Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 May 2021:
Minister for electricity – Alhaji Kanja Sesay, yesterday, Sunday 16th May, conducted on the spot check at the Kossoh Town and Jui Community where unknown persons are alleged to have recently vandalized a 315KVA transformer that provides electricity to over four hundred homes.
According to a report by the communications unit of the electricity distribution agency (EDSA), the minister called on community stakeholders to take ownership of the electricity infrastructure and ensure their safety and security.
He assured them of immediate government intervention in restoring electricity in the area, provided the community takes full responsibility for surveillance of the electricity sub-station in their area to stop theft and vandalism. Meanwhile, he told them that investigations are ongoing to catch those responsible for the damage.
Last week the EDSA issued a public statement promising to establish a security unit comprising of the police and military to protect electricity installations across Freetown. Now the minister is telling communities that if they fail to protect their local substation they would have to go without electricity. It seems the government is giving up on their responsibilities.
You call that abdication of responsibility? Citizens too have responsibilities to their states. I learnt that in secondary school
Bad system. Completely unpatriotic. The must find them
One seems to remember in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when I was just a lad. Jack Straw was the home office minister and Robin Cook was the foreign minister. Fast forward to the present, these people are retired grandees. Only in a banana republic, would you see Kanja Sesay, Abass Bundu still as minister and speaker of parliament.
These geriatrics do not have a clue about the modern age. “There is nothing more despicable than an old man who has nothing to show but his age” Seneca the Younger
The problem we have, is not so much taking responsibility, and looking after our own affairs, the biggest problem we have, and this goes back to independence, is the way our countrys institutions are organised, structured, and run. This top down hierarchical institutional governance structures, are conceived and adopted as the template in which power over the people is exircised. It has not only damaged our African cultural norms the way we use to do things, in which elders in the community have control over such issues like looking after the substation, it has effectively damaged the way we used to run our affairs. Over the years, it has made us the only known Zombie nation on planet earth, programmed to respond to the whims of corrupt politicians that have bled our country dry. And under Bio, his government has taken it to a whole different level. He has put it on steroids Which I call the TOP DOWN REORGANISATION STRUCTURE. Even our local Paramount Chiefs, section chiefs, and Headmen in our towns and villages, need the approval of Bio, and his government ministers, before they are replaced.
We need a revolutionary bottom up change in Sierra Leone, not top down change if our government is serious in empowering local communities. Not long ago there was a simlar issue in Kailahun District. No one takes any decision without a government minister walking on your face with a clip board telling you how it should be done. Effectively, we Sierra Leoneans are treated like animals in tbe zoo. The whole of Sierra Leone is kept in a cage, and Bio and his government ministers are the gate keepers. Our country has been taken hostage by this incompetent leadership we have today. Gone are the days when traditional chiefs that live amongst their communities, and since they are the symbol of authority, the only ones the communities respect in the traditional sense. Trouble with that, their people know they lack the authority in the traditional sense because the central government took all their powers away. Nowadays when there is a dispute amongst local communities, their first port of call is no more to the local chief, as it used to be , but the police station.
Even demostic issues like where the husband can’t look after his three wives. Or give his favorite wife “CHOP MONEY” and leave the others to fend for themselves the police is now involved. The government needs to support the chiefs, and elders in these communities. Since their authority is exercised by the consent of their people, it makes perfect sense to enhance, and support them, so we retain our traditional way of doing things. Now even the vandalising of an electricity substation, a Minister has to come from state house to remind powerless local communities to look after their interest. What do tbese people take us Sierra Leoneans for? Yes everyone knows where their intrest lies. But when the central government wants to take control of all decision making process in the country, local leaders in the communities are powerless to organise their own people. So everyone is left looking up to the government or “PA BIO” for minor things to tackle their problems.
Surely the people also need to take some responsibility for the security of their national infrastructure jointly with the government. All hands must be on deck.