Abdul R. Kabia
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 February 2016
Each time a report is released with reference to the government’s performance, it really leaves a lot to be desired.
Good and effective management of the natural resources of a low income country like Sierra Leone, is a driving force for achieving economic prosperity and social stability; and for the provision of basic services that are lacking in most communities across the country.
And it sometimes strains one’s imagination, pondering over the attitude of government officials in this country. They do not seem to harbour any sense of pride in their national identity, nor do they care about the poor people that are paying their salary through taxation.
They have completely lost their self-pride, in favour of the pursuit of quick and easy wealth; and, they are never satisfied.
It is evident that corruption has become ingrained and endemic within the country’s governing class.
But when such immoral practices become commonplace, and individuals lose their sense of responsibility and what they represent, disaster befalls the nation, poverty creeps in and the masses are condemned to abject poverty. This is the result of poor governance.
Our government officials cannot pride themselves in their performance and achievements in office. But they do pride themselves in the wealth and assets they have acquired at the expense of the poor and striving masses, who hardly can afford to meet their own basic needs.
If you happen to pin down a government official; I mean, one of those considered as highly educated in this country, it is terribly disheartening and upsetting just listening to what interests them most.
They boast without remorse about the immense wealth and assets they have accumulated, and the huge amount of money they spend on luxurious items, including furnishing their homes.
But when asked to name the government’s programs that are designed to drive the country to achieve economic and social progress, prosperity and alleviate poverty in line with the government’s agenda for prosperity, there is nothing of substance in terms of what is being achieved.
Instead, you will get a grotesque answer, casting blame on the ordinary poor people, for the economic and social problems they are experiencing.
This generation of government officials are a product of the general lack of political awareness, consciousness and conviction that characterizes public servants in the country today.
How on earth do we expect such class of public servants to deliver and achieve meaningful change and progress in society?
They have no interest in fighting against corruption, as it has become a way of life for them.
So, what is happening in the Fisheries Ministry is evidence of the scale of corrupt practices that are taking place across the various government departments.
Fishing and agricultural resources are strong capital assets for a country like Sierra Leone, where industrial activity is almost nonexistent.
These sectors need robust and efficient management for Sierra Leone to attain economic growth, through wealth creation. But can we rely on this APC government to bring about that change? I don’t think so.
There is an attempt by the APC government to stifle the efforts of conscientious and well-intentioned Sierra Leoneans, who have the determination and will to move the country forward.
We should work together with like-minded people in the country who want change in the way politics and governance is done today, so as to prevent Sierra Leone from sliding into another unstable, failed and chaotic state.
We can only bring about this change by creating conditions for everyone to participate in political activities in the country. It is a responsibility of every progressive Sierra Leonean to do so.