Bashiru Vandi: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 January 2020:
Appearing on AYV Television yesterday, 28 January 2020, the chairman of Sierra Leone’s opposition National Grand Coalition (NGC) party – Dr Dennis Bright, spoke about the ideological differences between the NGC, the ruling Paopa SLPP and the APC, as he sets out a bright and bold vision for the nation under an NGC government.
Mr Bright opposed the exclusive policy development process that fails to engage the public, and condemned the rampant politicisation of state institutions, whilst condemning the destructive materialism that prevents the electorate from voting on issues.
But as a progressive and liberal patriot, he proposed solutions, calling on the president to bring all economic actors together at a national economic summit to advise the government as to how best to tackle the current deplorable state of the economy.
He highlighted the need for all political parties to help “shape the political will” of the nation – meaning that adequately educating the masses in order to foster informed choices is key to national development.
By engaging the public and media in a regular monthly review of the state of the nation, such as shedding light on the reasons for the nation’s crushing economic hardship and clarifying the Auditor General’s Report, NGC he said is proving that it is indeed the dominant voice of the people.
NGC is a trailblazer – a One Nation political entity that is determined to engineer a responsible, constructively ideological and productive political system that will take Sierra Leone through the 21st Century and beyond.
You can watch Dr Bright speaking here:
Bashiru Vandi is the NGC-UKI’s publicity and media secretary
But am APC today and tomorrow, why would you want to share political power with another party not in coalition. The issue with the paopa leadership is not about mediocrity, tribalism or nepotism, etc. rather its about leadership. The president doesn’t seem to be fully in-charge as he presents himself. Much of the work is being directed from Francis, probably Patrick, the Interior Minister and Mrs Bio.
David sent Alie packing to DC, and so have many others been sent into oblivion. If my party was in power today, I won’t support sharing anything with anybody outside my outfit, unless, if the party lacks that resource. Bio has some of the best brains in the country, yet its about greed, ignorance and mentality. With poor mentality, you see one percent as fifty percent – that’s the problem.
For all purposes and intent, paopa doesn’t have any tribal or education qualification issue, hence there are lots of appointees from the north, south and east and west and academically everyone is qualified. But is that enough to lead and produce? Nope! Mentality is the problem – we do small things and behave like we’ve won the globe. There is no openness in our governance systems, be it yesterday or today, so corruption gonna thrive be it SLPP or APC.
What do you expect when there is a total leadership failure in a country? The answer is very simple. You outsource the very important security issues, checks and controls to a reckless, arrogant, violent, barbaric and tyrant Deputy Gentleman Minister of The Interior. Can you imagine how dangerous you could put your country at risk? Just see what is happening in our country today. A never ending spike in violence and barbarity. There is no one to put a check to it because of a disastrous leadership failure.
Accepting the failure of a government is one thing but, investigating individuals like the Gentleman tyrant Deputy Minister of the Interior is another. This Gentlemen Deputy Minister of the Interior has been associated with almost every violent and barbaric incidents in the country but, he has never been investigated. Why? Because, there is no leadership from top to bottom of the ruling government’s command chain. What a disastrous leadership failure and if Sierra Leoneans, especially the APC is not careful, will plunge our country into a long, protracted Chaos and Anarchy by mistake.
Frankly speaking, this Deputy tyrant Minister of the Interior must be investigated. Let’s forget about the First Lady and Chief Minister for the moment. We will sort that out later. What we should concentrate on is, to stop the barbarity and tyranny which is frequently happening in the country against the opposition. Thumbs up for the APC and their supporters for exercising restraint and political maturity, thereby saving the country from chaos and anarchy.
One final and very important thing. When leadership fails, the investors runaway and more importantly, the country fails. That is why the APC must select a new leader that will deliver the goods and get the job done in 2023. Don’t ask me who that leader must be. The APC knows. I’ve advised several times who that person should be. God bless the APC for making the best leadership decision. Thanks very much Hashim for your contribution on this glorious platform and may God bless you.
Sorry Dr, Bio and his party do not need any ‘ National’ this or that to lead. That’s his leadership, let him get on with it. His score card will be read by the voters at the next national ballot. If you lose, there are many things you and your members should have picked up rather than trying to embed with the paopa leadership. Your NGC party was not only mired in the ‘Two Sims’ wahala, but probably lost the national vote due to that. So most of us expected your party to lead the way to fight that scourge, but you abandoned it immediately you dipped your hands into the cookie jar at parliament.
You of all people should know better that there are huge benefits in getting rid of the ‘two sims’ barrier for development. There are many Sierra Leonean experts out there who would jump at the least opportunity to come back and work at home without losing their second passports. I mean the thousands of diasporas (medical doctors, researchers, academics, techies ,etc.) who would jump at that opportunity, but you lost that focus. So leave Bio alone, that your Bintumani thing should belong down bormeh.
Let paopa fail or succeed as paopa. Its leadership has mandate and authority from the people , so allow it to roll. Find something useful with your time sir. You’ve more than enough to offer the country than this politics of inclusion game. As advanced but nationalist as the western nations are, why do you think they’ve never waivered with the ‘ten’ sims thing. All they need are people from all walks of life who can contribute to their development. Unfortunately, we (the underdeveloped countries) who need such policies more than anyone one else don’t see it that way. Most see it from the self interest protective mirrors rather. Just too sad.
Dear Friends in Sierra Leone. I have been to visit your country for the first time and as a European, I was appalled and shocked to see the deprivation that people live in in your country. It seems that your (tribal) attitudes go back to the middle ages as it was in Europe at the time. It seems that your government is totally inadequate to lead your country and govern with integrity, not really caring for the needs of the people.
And what about adopting the Zambian slogan of,’ONE PEOPLE, ONE NATION’. Do you not realise that you are all in this together. Poverty is a man made issue and can be resolved with appropriate action by a competent government who cares for all it’s people regardless of tribal or social economic background. Everyone has a role to play in making Sierra Leone a more prosperous country, starting from the top down.
You can always tell how civilised a country is by the way the government treats it’s citizens, especially the weak, elderly etc. It is my sincere wish that I will be able to see a happier and more prosperous population when I do come and visit again in a few years time.
All you politicians and people in power….do yourself and your nation proud and govern with openness and accountability and do not be part of ‘The Looting Machine’ that is so prevalent in other African nations. Govern your country with integrity for ALL it’s people in true spirit of solidarity. You have been given much responsibility, now step up to the plate, bring health, social justice and equality to your nation. You will leave a beautiful legacy and all will be well.
Dr. Dennis Bright was minister of youth and sports from 2002 to 2007. During this period of time the Leone Stars were one of the worst national teams in Africa. He was lucky not to have been fired by president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Now, all of a sudden, Dr. Bright has transformed himself into a super economist lecturing the economists on the economy of Sierra Leone. There is disease called political boredom, which I believe the opposition, especially the NGC is currently suffering from.
Well, NGC folks only have themselves to blame. They quit the SLPP because they had a dream. But when political hallucination ceases, reality steps in. Put differently, the myopic NGC journey started from a drunken stupor of being the best party to govern Sierra Leone. The current reality is one of a confused and chaotic political ensemble literally begging for relevance in the political process. Oh how the mighty have fallen!!!
The SLPP is too busy with governance issues to entertain the idea of an economic summit with a bunch of power hungry idlers. Let NGC spend its idle time transforming itself from an Internet political outfit to a real force on the ground. It is only then that the mighty SLPP would take it seriously.
Bilal Coleman says — “The SLPP is too busy with governance issues to entertain the idea of an economic summit with a bunch of power hungry idlers”
Fellow forumites, as expected, Mr. Coleman being among the die-hard delusional PAOPA supporters, he thinks anyone who complains or calls for a different approach in solving our on life-support economy is an idler. Can you imagine the pomposity of these unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans?
Everyone knows SLPP won the elections, hence they are in governance. In light of this, all what the NGC leadership and other patriotic entities of Sierra Leone are asking for is for the SLPP government to start producing meaningful results or get outside help for the benefit of all Sierra Leoneans. Now tell me Mr. Coleman, what is exactly wrong with such a disposition? If things are not working as expected, isn’t it the right thing to suggest a change of course or approach?
Why look at every statement or utterance by any non-PAOPA member in a political lens rather than merit based? Is party politics more important to you Mr. Coleman than the country as a whole? With the current deplorable economy, do you think only opposition supporters are feeling the pain? Just yesterday, my best friend from Kenema (more than a brother), a die-hard SLPP supporter like you, was indirectly complaining to me that he is now paying 85,000 leones for a bag of cement for his house construction in Kenema. So with such exorbitant increase in prices, are you expecting Sierra Leoneans especially opposition leaders to stay mute and not talk about the issues affecting all Sierra Leoneans?
The fact is Sierra Leone belongs to all of us. Winning an election does not make you or anyone the owner of the country. On the contrary, winning an election means, you are answerable to citizens. So please Mr. Coleman, wake up from your slumber. Our country is a democracy with our constitution enshrining citizens expectation from our government. So all bonafide Sierra Leoneans have the right to demand answers from the government when things are not working as expected. If the SLPP leadership wants to maintain governorship, they should either heed the calls of patriotic citizens and fix our economy or simply take the exit door. Nothing more, nothing less. Salone na we all yone.
Spot on. Indeed, this guy should direct his false energy to making his dysfunctional party work. But again, this could be the only way to make himself useful.
Often and again, Sierra Leone’s well educated come to power and struggle to lift the country out of poverty. Amid all the confusion, three things have interplay: rampant corruption, egoism and tribalism. Since independence, three tribes have claimed and continue to claim ownership of Sierra Leone – and often, they are at the helm of politics – enjoying all the resources; and people who have failed to identify with them are often chastised.
If the Krios, who feel more civilized – in fact claim to have discovered or founded Sierra Leone; the Mendes who claim theirs by conquest; and Temnes who claim theirs as being original – should continue to always exclude other people including more than 14 other tribes, then it will be very difficult to develop Sierra Leone.
It must be noted that Sierra Leone’s economic advantage lies in the hands of other tribes – who are often out of the political focus, even though some of them do gain some power in some ministries in some ways – often when they assimilate.
For instance, the Konos own the land that host the diamonds, while agriculture is in the hands of the Kissi.
Another interesting issue is that because of this so called carved and enclave economic practice, resources are not shared as they should amongst the district – thereby creating artificial lack in the country. If any government must develop Sierra Leone, the secret is not in the hands of our politicians – the secret lies in the people. For instance, Kailahun district especially the Kissi Bendou region does not need any government jobs. If Koindou can be revamped, and agriculture is considered, all government needs to do is to pave the road, provide electricity and water. With this, I can assure you that the Kissi chiefdoms are capable of creating an economy that Sierra Leone can survive on.
In Kono and Kenema, keeping tribal politics apart, the potential is so huge that, we can use the diamonds and the Eastern Polytechnic to create three things in one: Mineral Economy – Diamonds and Gold – manufacturing jewellery which can be sold in Koindou as an International Market, then use that line to advance technology and a vibrant textile industry using cotton from Guinea. These three advantages have lost their way because of political battles between Temnes and Mendes.
Until we can accept that Sierra Leone is for all its tribes and create laws as such, we will continue to search for solutions. I am advancing the following, if we are ever to get better:
1. No single tribe must take up to 20% of ministerial positions at any given point in time,
2. The Present Government must call for a National Development Agenda that should be enshrined into law
3. Include a law that considers development as a nonpolitical alignment process – leading to a national agenda – not political agenda.
4. Immediately finalize plans to open Koindou as a Sierra Leone New Economic Zone
5. Depoliticize the government by establishing a government that empowers local councils while the central government takes direct responsibility for policy, monitoring and evaluation.
The leadership of NGC has bent over backwards, calling on countless occasions for the current regime to be patriotic and involve professional citizens and institutions to tackle our economic malaise. Time without number, their call falls on deaf ears. The regime is hell bent on maintaining their exclusivity — only SLPP members or sympathizers are allowed a sit at the table. We have witnessed tribalism and nepotism at the highest level in the past 2 years.
As far as the PAOPA team is concerned, it’s their time to eat; APC have had their turn in the past 10years, so absolutely nothing will persuade the leadership of the SLPP to change course, not even the starvation of our impoverished citizens. But like they say, everything must come to an end at some point. The PAOPA army will one day face accountability, either here on earth or the afterlife.