Ibrahim Sourie Mansaray: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 July 2018:
Do you call him a Taciturn, a reclusive or just a quiet politician who allows his actions to speak more than his words? It happened during the early days of the Green Revolution of the late Joseph Saidu Momoh of the APC.
Momoh introduced a new scheme aimed at improving the decaying agricultural output of the country. As a result of poor implementation, the program flopped, and the irony was that it heaped more hardship on the ordinary citizens of Sierra Leone. The erstwhile president and his team waged a robust campaign of defending the scheme.
At the end, the hardship continued unabatedly and Momoh had to confess to the public that his policies failed.
But the good quality of president Momoh was that he was honest to confess his weakness to the nation. Some considered it as a failure on his part.
The late president Tejan Kabbah of the SLPP in his sense of sincerity, informed the people of Sierra Leone that he knew of the coup that toppled him and had to inform his intelligence and security chiefs.
What do you expect of a civilian president to do when a whistleblower informs the presidency of a coup?
The natural course is to inform the military and other security apparatus to do the necessary checkmate. This developed into a quagmire for president Kabbah, as he was castigated for his inefficiency by the opposition.
President Ernest Koroma may not spend the rest of his political vacation with eyes closed, especially after he had instructed some people within his inner circle not to embezzle the dreadful Ebola Fund.
It is a pity for a president who made some strides in developing some areas in the country, only for his party to lose an election to an opposition.
Maada’s politics seem to be different from his predecessors. He is quiet, taciturn, reclusive and thinks through the eyes of men.
Even during the infamous NPRC days when some khaki leaders’ names were mentioned everywhere for the wrong reasons, Maada kept a distance and always worked behind the curtains. Is this the way he governs? Allow the actions to talk the talk?
His first one hundred days in office simply melted and the knee jerk pundits are in top gear.
Some have described his tenure as awful, while others have started caricaturing his ‘New Direction’ as “the Old Direction”.
Much has been said in his early days of his five years political journey. Interestingly, he does not seem to budge or riffled or troubled by some of the hard times befalling the ordinary citizens.
Is it that president Maada seemed to care more about big stuff without troubling himself with little stuff?
Is he relying on his simplistic vision for the country? Is Maada another Ronald Reagan of Sierra Leone whose party stalwarts hardly determine his next move?
Lots of political issues come in all shades of gray. In March 1983, Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire”.
Speaking at the Bradenburg Gate in June 1987, Reagan stated his major premise: “We believe that freedom and security go together”.
This was followed by his direct challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, his Russian counterpart to open the gate of communism and tear down the wall, which Gorbachev did in November 1989. These declarative sentences define Reagan and his massive achievements.
That is all what Americans should remember about Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a great president because he stood for what is great and enduring in the human condition.
Maada’s war on corruption will determine his political success or failure. If he triumphs in this crusade and the people realize the fruits of his battle, his leadership will resonate with generations yet unborn.
But if he fails, his name will be written as one of the leaders who destroyed his chances of becoming a statesman.
The recent pronouncement of reckless driving by some parliamentarians, ministers and high-profile personalities, the declaration of assets, the publication of the transitional report, among other issues are the yardsticks with which the sincerity of Maada’s crusade will be judged.
As a former soldier, this is a battle he should fight with sincerity and honesty. It is a battle that will determine his zest to serve a country that he swore to protect and serve.
Great leaders are never forgotten for what they did for their country during tough times in their struggle to sanitize the system. The likes of Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda, Thomas Sankara, Kwame Nkrummah became household names for eternity, as a result of championing a cause.
Maada will only be remembered if he fights this fight with a genuine, committed and dedicated spirit to save generations yet unborn.
An excellent synopsis of the current state of Sierra Leone under president Maada Bio. For me, I truly believe Sierra Leone is rich in terms of natural and human resources to enable Bio to implement his ambitious programs especially the free education scheme he has promised.
But I think conquering corruption will fuel success in all the other programs. So he must win against corruption, even if partially, otherwise posterity will judge and place him along the lines of President Mommoh and wealthy ex-president Koroma whom the country is nervously watching.
Maada Bio’s success will largely depend on his administration’s ability to implement policies that speak to the issues most relevant to the people of Sierra Leone. How prepared his team is to deliver on the campaign promises is another question.
But the challenge is where is the money going to come from? Should he (president) turn to the international financial institutions like the IMF even with stiff conditionalities and high interest rate or introduce measures to generate revenue locally? If the latter is preferred option is re-enforcing the anti corruption agency one of President Bio’s strategies to raise the much needed funds to address the priority issues on his to-do list?
Good question? Sierra Leoneans can’t answer this type of question. We the people of Sierra Leone learn to forgive and advance. Every body knows all nations has different cultures and history. Sierra Leone is now a democratic nation, so let us respect this democracy and forget about all the sufferance this nation has gone through.
Let us think about the youth of tommorrow. God bless the land that we love Sierra Leone. Give peace a chance. Stop the nonsense.