Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 April 2016
For too long, we have been playing jazz music for Azonto enthusiast, which is why the suffocating level of poverty has started to open the ‘’eyes’’ of those, whose only craving is for good governance and a better life. (Photo: Poverty in Freetown – courtesy of National Geographic).
Since my arrival in town, discussions at every stop have been that of the state of the nation, the increasing hardship and governance in general.
It is as if the clock has struck midnight, and the stage coach has become a pumpkin once again. I guess it’s the person who has a cut in the mouth that knows the true taste of blood.
As more and more of our compatriots, especially the youths, question the value of their affinity with the nation, there is beginning to be an unraveling of the social order by those who believe they have no hope in the formal system as it exists now. They feel short changed. Frustrated. Disillusioned.
That Mungo Park discovered river Niger, is an item for the museum. The average human being lives for the current existence and not those being chronicled for the archives
That the ‘world’s best’ brought light and tarred roads, is from the Ancient Mariner; because despite the well-known resilience of the people, the truth is that majority of Sierra Leoneans are in abject poverty and the country as well as its economy, is not in the best of shape. Pure and simple.
That is today’s news. Let’s lift the iceberg of reality now rather than later. We have deep epistemological issues.
And until we can define our knowledge, in terms of our societal needs today and tomorrow, in a bid to fashion out the system to deliver the competencies needed to remove the culture of mendacity that has spread across every sphere of our society, we shall continue to struggle big time.
But there is absolutely no reason for Sierra Leone to be dying by a thousand cuts, and allow our key issues to become minor postscript in what for a longtime now, has seemed inevitable.
Instead of the current scenario in which shifty arm-benders and cockpit boys who swagger with the intimacy of power keep trying to fog the atmosphere, we need to know that there’s a compelling need to face our issues head on, without emotions and then deconstruct them dispassionately.
Only then can we begin to test our viable options, which can be narrowed down to implementables that will end the brigandage in government, and the persistence to continue to build medieval castles in an internet age.
Even musical chairs do come to a grinding halt.
When a society that is socially and economically imperiled as Sierra Leone, begins to wallow in the sentimentality of a tale like ours, then we should hit the pause button and introspect. Because, unless we collectively demand and embrace sustained socio-economic and political change, our beloved country will be permanently blinded.
We need to start taking collective ownership of the shame and national disgrace that steers us in the face. There’s no reason leaving truth twisting in the breeze.
Experience is a comb that life gives you, after you have lost your hair. Since it requires a lot of carefulness to kill the fly that perches on the scrotum, I believe the future direction of Sierra Leone is something that we all need to take a very keen interest in, devoid of parochial and other inherent sentiments.
We need to leave the past behind, next shop: the future. We should no longer continue to compromise strong values for political expediency. Political convenience should stop trumping the national interests.
Our sharpest pitchfork should be aimed at the dark heart of the political sector, to unearth those things that have failed us as a result of mismanagement and greed, while ensuring that the new direction we want has the flexibility to smooth out extreme imbalances, and also expose the moral hollowness at the heart of our politics.
Set against decades of stagnation, the critical point about the whole country, no matter how good or palatable it looks, is a corrupt system which sub-optimizes the national socio economic and political network.
Any suprastructure built on such a weak infrastructure is bound to collapse, especially when they are just pots full of agendas of wishful thinking.
If I may ask, have we spared a thought for how this country will look in the next one to two decades, if we don’t eyeball our problems truthfully and dispassionately in a bid to deconstruct them for what they truly are?
From one generation to another generation, we remain deep in the woods. Our hopes appear to dim every day; our dreams crushed and our aspirations fizzle. Everyday our longings and desires for Eldorado remain bar room discussions and whispering palms.
Right before our eyes, we watch as hustlers and pretenders dominate our environment, and cleverly hack our national software. We’ve had to change and adapt every so often.
Yet it is those who changed their moral platforms who remain the source of our problems.
To find salvation in the midst of this hustlers’ paradise, means acceptance of our folly, not mollycoddle.
A river cuts the rock, not because of its power but because of its consistency.
When are we going to wake up as a nation and take responsibility to rule ourselves well, build a virile nation and lay good examples for generations to come? We’ll continue to talk.