Dr. Dennis Bright – NGC Party Chairman: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 September 2021:
Have you ever seen videos and pictures of Ministers and top officials visiting slum areas after a disaster? Did you notice the expressions of sorrow and sympathy on their faces? They almost want to cry! But in 30 minutes they are gone leaving behind good words and promises that go cold until the next disaster and the next visit. There is a bigger disaster happening every day in Sierra Leone, and no one is visiting.
It is the mounting hardship our people have been suffering and that NGC in a simple but eloquent way has been capturing since October 2019. We just go down to the market at intervals and record the rapidly increasing prices of foodstuff on which the very poor depend ` to survive.
Since 2018 when the New Direction government came in, the prices of items like rice, oil and garri have risen to very high levels whereas the people’s household income have remained the same, except for those who earn the minimum wage that had a raise of 20%.
But what can one do with a 20% minimum wage increase when rice per cup is up by 67%, garri by 100%, bonga by 500%, small tie plassas by 500%, cookery (with no beef or fish) 67% and peppeh by 1,329%. This is the real disaster, a “human slide,” that nobody is visiting.
We at the NGC have done all we can to draw the attention of Government to the terrible human slide, into hunger and deprivation, that has already started taking lives. Their best response has been to refer us to the Free education that has put the tuition money back into the parents’ pockets.
So, they apparently don’t see why people keep complaining. But this is the reason why: the school fee that Free Education is given to families is only Le 75,000 per child. And where the family has four school going children, that’s Le 300,000 savings in the year.
We have calculated that a modest bonga meal for a four-member family costs Le 45,000. Therefore, the money gained from Free Education, if placed on food, will last the family for only one week, and they return back to misery for the remaining 51 weeks. And micro-credit only brings temporary relief, if it lasts to the end of COVID 19.
In fact, the micro-credit money is coming in handy but in many cases only to repay the voluminous debts they have owed over time. The Government does not have good economists who can come up with sober options. We are lost, and even before the three zeros are knocked off, the wahala has started: and look at what Kelvin found:
“Bank Governor seems to have shaken a can of worms – all the prices are now flying – dollar has hit Le 1,120 new Leones or Le 1,120,000 (old Leone), and nobody is selling – cement now Le 110 (new Leone) or Le 110,000 (old Leone)” Twitter, 20 Aug 2021.
I say they have lost the plot. YOU CAN’T RUN A COUNTRY BY BLUFF AND “OPIN CALL”.
Dr Bright, you know that even when that ultimate end of ends (death ) occurs, it’s only those who are directly affected that will be in pain forever – blood relatives, good friends and acquaintances and those who are not in doubt of their own ultimate demise in the same manner.
The Chang that’s needed is in the hands of the people without them being aware of it. SLPP and APC have feelings for no one, no empathy, except for themselves. That’s why the moment the political scene is opened for the 2023 elections NGC should not be left on the starting block. The campaign theme should centre around the indisputable fact that in more than sixty years SLPP and APC have been the architect of our backward slide. This is not to forget the fact that thievery is second nature to them. If NGC can hold the urban areas in 2023 the presidency is their’s to lose . Please keep up the good work as leader of NGC. For the first time in their life, some people will understand the laws of probability in 2023.
Few weeks ago, I watched a Nigerian YouTuber who visited Sierra Leone for the first time and made a sarcastic comment about the Leone which felt like a punch in my stomach. She was very exited to “become a millionaire” for the first time in her life after changing few hundred dollar bills in Freetown. Hopefully since the Bank Governor “has shaken a can of worms”, initially things will be difficult due to the activities of some unpatriotic economic saboteurs within our nation, but eventually with the support of the World Bank and the IMF, the citizens will definitely get a psychological benefit. Personally, I can’t wait for the day when I can once again change a $100 bill to a Leone and keep it in my wallet with less security risk and also using pennies and cents to purchase items.
Let’s continue to hope and pray that this monetary policy will be backed up by a strong fiscal policy from our Finance minister and also sustainable production from our Agricultural and Mining sectors. In reality, things are difficult not only in Sierra Leone but globally due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Finally, my prediction is there will be lots of millionaires during this process especially in Makeni city, because the lifetime leader of the APC will need help to convert his loot for the new Leone. But since it’s “Bluff and Opin Call”, my only Krio advice is “Play Play Kill Bud, Die Bud Cook Soup”.
Wait a minute!! Is this a typical case of shooting the messenger instead of addressing the message? By all indications, the chairman of the NGC have proven to be a consistent opposition leader unlike any in recent memory. Time without numbered, not only have the leadership of the NGC party proposed meaningful solutions to our nation’s economic and political shortfalls, the party have done consistence research and surveys, presenting these raw data to the government, hoping a wholesome approach will be devise by the regime to tackle the shortcomings.
Now like what is being observe in this intellectual platform, each time such statistical data are presented to the regime, regime supporters, especially delusional PAOPAs fanatics, will immediately run amok, attacking the leadership of the NGC for daring to say the TRUTH pertaining to the hardship of the masses. Instead of admitting the regime’s ineptitude in addressing the ‘bread and butter’ issues that finance minister JJ saffa, turned chief minister, promised to fixed in less than a year if the SLPP get the keys to governance, the arrogance and deceptive nature of PAOPA elitist is getting the best of them, opting to attack those revealing the facts. To me there is only two ways of of this, the regime can either fix the bread and bread issues, or be ready to get kick out of governance.
Thanks Mr Young4na, for pointing out the inconsistencies in some of the blind support that some of our fellow Sierra-leoneans, that are blindly led to the slaughter house by Boi and some of his corrupt ministers named in the Africanist press that is acting as wrecking ball to country’s economic prospect. And to be quiet clear I am not not pointing an accusing finger at them, to getting any thing in return for supporting this failed an inept Bio government. I wonder if they were doing the Maths like Dr Bright, whether they will be arriving at the same conclusion. And here are some of logical facts they have to trained their minds and start to look at things from the broader perspective. And this applies to all diasporains that can see any faults in Bio’s mismanagement of our economy.First things firsts. Bio’s lack of solid knowledge of how to get our countrys economy going is not only impacts the families they left back in Sierra Leone, but it also impacts their own pockets, by way of sending reminitance to help support their families back home.
If our economy is doing well, there is jobs for our educates youths, there is government support grants for businesses, like pepper women, agricultural farmers, education and youth training programmes, chances are our economy will be booming like Botswana or Rawanda. The citizens of those countries are mostly content to stay in their own countries because their governments are committed in developing their countries. In 1994 Rawanda experienced genocide. One of the worst human tragedies that open the eyes of the world, what hate and economic mismanagement can bring to a fragile nation. Today Rawanda has transformed itself to a shinning example of what is possible, if only you have the right leadership. Rawanda is taking in Afghan refugees fleeing there own fanatical Taliban government. Dr Bright has been consistent in raising the issues that affects ordinary people in our country.
Now is up to Sierra Leonean to elect some one who knows your problems and want to help you solve them. Or as has always been the case, elect some one like Bio who knows the problems facing the country, but choose to do nothing. Or in some cases exacerbate the problems. If not Dr Bright, Who eles has been consistent? Dr Bylden, Mayor Akin Sawyer, Dr Yumukella and some one we’ve never heard off. But make no mistakes there are lot of Sierra-Leoneans out there, given the chance they will do a better job than sleepy Bio.
Mr Bangura, much as you, and me, and any of our fellow compatriots that contribute in this forum, would like to see ourselves as one people, one country, breathing the same air, and going through the same economic challenges facing our country. Unless and until we start judging our fellow Sierra-leoneans on what they know,not who they know before they are offered a job, chances are, our country will be Shepherd by people that feels they are entile to this jobs. Whether they perform or not in their new roles, for example as head of ministries count for little in their mind.The country and people is just a grand scheme of how to make quick bucks. Any thing less, is left for the talking heads to chew over. Their self of entitlement is boosted because they are on first name terms with the president, or the Chief Minister.under such circumstances what eles can go wrong.Their commitment to the country’s development is none existence.
As long as they please their boss the president and get a tapp on the back. All the problems facing the country and people are kicked in the long grass . Thats for others to deal with. Better still, this little Bio princess are not judge on what they can they do to contribute to the national development of our country, where everyone is given the opportunity to excel and express their talents , without judging them by their sure name when they apply for that government job,or whatever job, or which region they hail from, or tribe, for the moment Iam afraid those are the facts of life in Sierra Leone.When Bio came to power, his first act was to embark on a national cleansing exircise.The first manifesto promise he breaks, bringing people’s together. His victims are mostly civil servants that have Laboured in government ministries for decades and suddenly found themselves pushed out because their surname or their region doesn’t rhymes with Bio’s agenda. Iam not making it up. In 2021 TV interview, Bio confessed on national television, he only employ people he knows.
Now here is the president of a country of almost eight million people, saying things in public, what most chief executive of companies will be sanctions, or sack for publicly accepting they are tribalistic, and can’t bring themselves to the fact thats a very divisive language to a country that is in the tender hooks of tribal conflagration.So If Bio can say things like that in public, we don’t know what he thinks of other people outside his circle that are more qualified to do his job. Logic suggests he will stop at nothing from denying them to acquire the powers he have in his possession. Which by the way was entrusted to him by the people of Sierra Leone. There are lot of abled bodied Sierra Leone, given the chance will able to unite our country, fight corruption and above all eles creat the economic conditions that will lift our people out of poverty. We need a politicians that are not tainted with corruption, politicians that understand the issues inside out, politicians that can make use of our natural and human resources, by investing in education, and training , health care, good roads, low housing cost for low income families,support our militay, police, fire fighters, teachers, refush collectors, building sports facilities where young talents can excel, promote a national dialogue for the way forward, so we can have our own sports stars that can compete in the world stage. We need to stop kidding ourselves and accept our country will never develop with out addressing this issues in the first place.
We don’t have to always base our political beliefs on tribal sentiments.
Denis Bright, you mean the minister of youth and sports in the support government from 1998 to 2007. You mean Denis Bright who until November 2017 was a grand chief patron in the slpp has suddenly become the real deal. Bra jalloh left nor. Can Denis Bright help us trace all the post war recovery money that the donors put into the youth and sports ministry between 2002 and 2007?
Maada Bio overthrew Captain Strasser and then the S.L.P.P won the elections. The question is was that election free and fair, as it seems strange that he is back as the head of the party. Given that the election of the S.L.P.P nearly engulfed Sierra Leone in a tribal bloodbath. Is Maada Bio guilty of the events that occurred from 1997 to 2002 due to subverting the democratic process and frustrating the will of the people?
No one is suggesting Maada Bio is responsible for the the old age problems we have in Sierra leone. Tribalism, regionalism, corruption, and nepotism, all of the things you will associate with a Banana Republic, that doesn’t wants to take advantage of its human and natural resources, and develop for the good of all rather than the few. Anyone who tried to suggest otherwise, is at best being economical with the truth. Bio has been and remains part of the political scene of Sierra Leone, long before he sought to national prominence . Which makes part of solutions if he so wish, or the problems facing our country. Unfortunately, given his actions, he have chosen the latter. The 1992 overthrow of the Momoh government, which brought an end to 26 years of the old APC misrule.Since then Bio have had two wasted opportunities to change the trajectory, and political discussion in our country. All of the above ills are real impediments to country’s aspirations for national and economic self sufficiency development.
No one knows the problems facing our country better than than Bio himself . He talks about it all the time like a broken recorder . But since he was given the keys to State House, he hasn’t made any serious effort to tackle at least one of this problems facing our country . Corruption and bringing the country together? Not a lot. Going by his record, he still have to proof his worth to the Sierra Leoneans voting public. Right now I will say the jury is still out.
This arm- economic analysis is deceitful and does no good for Sierra Leone. Criticisms not backed by what you can do differently indicates mere soap-washing of the real issues. The problems of the country are decades old events that requires thereorizing and practicalizing workable results as there has been a dearth of blueprints to solving the decades- old problem. So for a mere literature teacher to be shouting all over place and offering no alternative is very deceitful. Leave the issues to the professionals to deal with dedication.
The NGC, of Dr Denise Bright have always strike me as the real deal that Sierra Leone is crying out for. The NGC have been consistently raised the real issues that affects ordinary families up and down the country. While most politicians are busy siphoning the wealth of our country, and buying expensive cars, and building villas for themselves and their extended families, the NGC party are busy with their calculators, calculating every items we need for every day survival in Bio’s bankrupt Sierra Leone. Bio and some of his corrupt ministers are busy calculating the price of an SUV, a hefty price tag than go any where north of $30,000 dollars to $60,000 dollars . which given the current state of the earnings power of some families in Sierra Leone, thats a life time savings.Or the price of just one SUV can build a primary school in a village, or a health centre, that cater for expectant mothers.
While we are all consumed in admiring Bio and his ministers driving in their expensive Sierra Leone flag waving SUVs, in pot holed filled roads, once the dust is settled , we are suddenly brought down earth, or to the real world of what Dr Bright is trying to point us to, the price of Gari or School fees for a larger family is getting bigger and bigger, whilst the earnings powers of majority of families have been squeeze to a breaking point . Or the exchange rates the Leone to the dollar is making it hard to make ends meet. The prices of common houses hold items you need for everyday survival, like rice, ogri, pepper, plam oil, cement, are now out of reach for many families up and down the country. Sierra Leone’s economy wasn’t prepared for any down ward economic shocks, but as always the case, when you are least prepared, thats the time the elements of suprise is thrown at you. Covid19 coming two years after a devastating category five, hits our country, the trouble is we knew it was comjng, but ignored it. For clarity purposes we will call it “HURRICANE MADDAA BIO” after he took the oath of office in 2018.
The political storms were already gathering pace, and all the early warning systems were in place, because we knew Bio from his NPRC days. Here is a man that back stabbed his comrade, and assumed power for himself. Now I know politics is a dirty game, but removing Captain Straser back then and hand cuffing him and flying, him to Guinea Conakry, only to realised in their haste to get rid of Captain Straser, they have forgotten the keys to the handcuffs in Freetown. But thats an other story. The point is, we should never have trusted Bio by rewarding him the office of the presidency. I hope our nations media, are able to give the NGC more air time, so they can establish a foot hold in every corner of Sierra Leone. Right now the SLPP and the APC party are taking our votes for granted. We need the NGC to give this two parties a run for their monies. We are in a situation were the two major parties are taking turns to plunder our countrys resources. Unless and until we get a third established party, chances are we will never see the changes we all want to see happen in our country.
You hit the nail right on the head!!!! We gullible? We have to get rid of entrenched politicians for fresh and new crop of politicians……especially those who have/had lived in a western democracy ..eg America and England .
Yes this is the ‘ Tok n Do’, delusional PAOPAs supporters are trumpeting about their so called dear leader. Even during our 11yrs civil war, this kind of hardship was uncommon. Insanity at the highest degree.