Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 July 2017
Change is not easy, and admittedly, for years people had given up hope and dared only to dream of a major roll of the dice, one fine day. But we brought ourselves here, and trust me, the solution must be in spite of us.
While we are all being distracted by out-of-depth politicians, using the oldest trick to distort our perception because of our weak institutions and decadent populace, the avarice- muddled political class plots its way into power, in a musical chairs version of inter-house sports.
APC today – SLPP tomorrow. Who gets to sit first, whether by pushing, shoving or otherwise.
The bane of our democracy and indeed, governance, which unfortunately does not need a consensus, is that we have specialised in building dysfunction into our system.
This is simply because of our penchant and motive of gaming every opportunity for personal, ethnic, religious or financial gain and conveniently ignoring the contexts and mechanics of the very best practices, that have made saner nations the very envy that draws us to them.
Those whom we choose to lead, play on this and often like to claim that they want to adapt our society to such enviable heights. Most often, they end up becoming the very architects of the misfortune that befall us.
Again, this is because we have collectively lost our morals to lucre and a scattered gun approach to our development, which of course, is the ultimate self-destruction.
Money has systematically destroyed every node of what makes us a system, and is eminently now – a ONE-STORY narrative of the word – corruption, which is an all -encompassing concept.
So, as I discussed the palpably visible, frenzied, open and latent political machinations to wrest power from the ruling party and, or also prevent the ailing opposition SLPP from taking power, I could not but wonder if amidst the cacophony of voices and a mad dash to the new vogue of coalition, we have a sequential thought process; or vision of what the aspirants for next year’s presidency, actually represent in our political history; or what they are actually capable of doing.
I wonder how many of us have noticed that there are glaring irregularities in the electoral process towards next year. Yet not one of the elites in all the main parties who have surely become turkeys voting for Christmas, are fighting tooth and nail for the entrenchment of the salient and sacrosanct parts of the law guiding the polls.
Why should they? All they want is the power. Their focus is somewhere else, and they too look forward to using the same defects in the system to their advantage, when they assume power.
Most of them have held various political positions. What did they do while in office to make the change we now crave? What did they do to stem the slide while they held office?
Why didn’t they speak up then? Most of them have of course told their children never to return to Sierra Leone, as if they were not part of the group that destroyed the economy and socio-political fabric of the nation.
Kandeh Yumkella, a product of an international laboratory – a distillation of ideology rather than a well-rounded politician familiar with our political realities, has suspended his bid for the leadership of the country under the banner of the SLPP, and is seeking alternative platform for his ambition, for the sake of Sierra Leone.
He had been initially seen as a god-send for bored hacks who have wandered in the miserably barren wilderness of our near comatose political terrain for a saviour, until some of his naivety exposed him.
Sam Sumana with his sanctimonious posturing, is risking everything, including arrest and is back in the political frame, to ensure that Sierra Leone is rid of the current decadent clique; of which he was once an integral part, for the sake of the masses of our land.
Ernest Koroma, for the fear of irrelevance and infamy, refuses to leave the stage and is determined to manipulate the entire political system, including his party’s constitution, for the sake of Sierra Leone which can never ‘survive’, without him.
Maada Bio is already desperately brow-beating anything and anyone in his path for the ultimate prize in his party, and of course, for the sake of Sierra Leone.
I am not quite sure if the generality of the people and even those in his own party will ever warm to him.
His demeanour which smirks of arrogance is also not doing him any favours, either. Not to forget the extra-judicial killings which stands as an albatross round his neck?
Alie Kabba, is yet to clarify his complicity or otherwise in the Foday Sankoh insurgence. The jury is still out for him also; especially since he was thrust into national consciousness by the bigamy brouhaha, as he appears to be a secret weapon of fifth columnists. The paradox is that the source of his sudden popularity is also his predicament.
Alpha Kanu of ‘Abuja Hajj fame’ and a controversial figure that reeks of all that is corrupt in our system, John Sisay alleged to have presided over the final handover of the national mining heirloom and a willing tool in the hands of Koroma.
Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, seen as a spoilsport seeking for a share of the spoils rather than a minesweeper; and all the others seeking the prized bull, are doing so for the sake of the same Sierra Leone that has been brutalised, bastardised and sodomised by either their direct or indirect actions, as well as a political system that is screwed up.
It further endorses the scale of how our leaders, knowing that we are a people who do not seem appalled by their actions and who forget easily, have taken advantage of our credulity and cynicism, as they violate the norms and traditions of our political system in order to manipulate our emotions and expose our shallowness.
Everyone’s recourse to seeking power for the sake of the nation, with no visible, credible and sustainable antecedents, goes to confirm that protracted residency in the “Hustlers’ Paradise” has the tendency to erode every semblance of morality and normalcy.
Oh, the sweet aroma of power. But what does that say of some of those potential leaders and their desperation to catch the ultimate crab? Whatever it is, some of them are still an embodiment of the big-tent social democratic aspirations and politics already on offer.
They are simply playing to the base graft of our antiquated politics, in the hope that we will somehow miss the flight with our seeming lackadaisical attitude. Which is why, performance or potential is not based on a point in time; but is a continuous lifelong assessment of not just how well you did in the last opportunistic post you chanced on or the vuvuzela of how good you are.
It’s no use having the finest suit, the cutest cuts or the finest principles that tantalise (remember Ernest Koroma and his agenda for change); or sitting in an ivory tower of integrity, untainted by the shabby compromises of real politics, if deep down, all you can offer for our solution, is what focus groups and hardened politicians of AGIP (any government in power), might tell you to think or say.
The heroes of today and tomorrow that we need are those who will be quick thinking and clever-acting leaders. Those, who are able to anticipate and respond to challenges. Leaders who in turn, create fluid organisational or institutional structures that encourage robust interactions, swift decision-making and incisive problem-solving, based on our realities and not some foreign-induced recipes.
Many of those on the march towards next year’s poll are simply playing the corruption game in a very unique and admittedly effective way, and nothing else.
Some have innovatively schemed themselves into reckoning, because of our lack of a mind-map software that will chart the various branches, emanating from socio-political corruption, of which looting is only the most enviable node.
I intend to continue this, but right now the wood is so dense and the rotten ones are planted among the timber and calibre.