Sierra Leone – caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon

Sierra Leone telegraph: 2 August 2017

While there is a burning desire to effect change in Sierra Leone, and a popular will to do so, I am afraid of the completion of the process.

How do you tell a council of ‘pen robbers’ that robbery is no longer in fashion – especially when the perpetual mis-education and deliberate ignorance of the masses is beyond the fresh beginning that we actually desire, if we are not to end up with another car crash?

There was once a country of great people and brilliant politicians. Now there’s only a lawless cove of the shallowest of humanity, morally and intellectually. Truly, truly saddening. The rot is total and complete. (Photo: The noble men and women who negotiated Sierra Leone’s independence from British rule).

Many of us today still sugar-coat the depth; or is it the magnitude of the problem that the feral, noisy and clueless minority have created, because of the random bright spots in our dark firmament and some occasional sparks of brilliance spearheaded by foreign interventions.

Even though we’ve seen from experience that names or labels cannot change the nature of a thing. What a saddening history of a once great people.

To those who still believe, after reading most of my recent write-ups that this is a problem to be solved from the bottom up, I say good luck. It is my prayers however, that more and more people begin to see that what we are calling governance, is nothing but a waddle in a sewage tank.

We cannot be as selfish and self-centred as not to think of what mess we are leaving for our children.

If I seem to be causing a lot of knickers-twisting and upset, it is not my intention to assault anybody’s sensibilities or conscience. I’m just trying to share the truth as I see it.

We learn nothing from agreeing with each other. I think I owe it a duty in this crucial period, to say what I see as threats to our socio-political cohesion, as a result of the desperate manipulations of overnight ‘saints’.

We need to start thinking, because this generation, of which many of us are part and parcel of the leadership, as well as previous generations, have not only continued the rot that has landed us where we are, we have taken it to greater heights.

Consequently, corruption has become the inevitable endpoint of the mindset of loyalty over objectivity. It is this mindset that has made corruption thrive in our society. It is why our case is nowIchabod- the glory has departed. The house has fallen.

While not denying the existence of corrupt tendencies in other climes, you’ll discover that in our society, you go through tribalism and nepotism and nowadays even religious and political favouritism, before corruption steps out naked and with utmost impunity, revealing a deep morass which we unwittingly think we can just dialogue ourselves out of. (Photo: President Koroma and his tribal heir apparent – John Bonoh Sisay).

Though a blinding glimpse of the obvious, this lunacy is also found in our pretense that this is anything else, even though what’s needed for us as a society is introspection. Of course, the most effective antidote may not be palatable. But we are already down in the dumps.

Looking inwards – that’s what is completely missing in our environment. Selfishness, no matter how thickly or thinly disguised, is usually the seed of failure – which is obviously, the history of our leadership.

Therefore, we cannot continue to pretend that the worst of us will bring about the best for us. That’s a very obvious illogic. That’s what should be assaulting our sensibilities, if we truly possess any.

It is not the length of time that a malaise has existed that will determine its extermination. It is the resolve of those who have the power to do something about it, no matter how little or insignificant it appears.

Yes, treating sexually transmitted diseases with Panadol is indeed a course of treatment. But definitely its end result is the grave. To go after the various symptoms and not the root disease, is ultimately an exercise in futility.

As we enter the season where our masters of doublespeak and insincerity of purpose take over the limelight, what is obvious is that we are likely to continue running around with confused haste to nowhere, like a rat in a gum trap.

The desperation of virtually all the contestants for next year, has seen words spoken like mantra, rather than a political reality. But this will not suffice for our situation right now.

Personal fantasy of potentials, which currently appear far above the grim reality and the self-indulgent egotism that we are unwittingly massaging, will not berth us at the dock of the change and desire from the shackles of poverty.

What has continued to emerge is the fact that our political class is full of lying lips, which are so shallow that they will be out of their depth in a puddle.

The situation has been made worse by the internal disarray within the main opposition party and the glaring opportunism of emerging politicians, which have combined to strengthen the smell of decay in our governance.

Power has become the consuming project for the political lifetime of some of the 2018 candidates, whose banalities is an indication of how neophyte – most of them, really are.

They are like someone who doesn’t know how to trap a football, but is busy discussing the merits of 4-4-2; 4-5-1 and three at the back system of defence. Such utterances are not knowledge-based values, but a representation.

The sad thing is that out of a lack of compelling alternatives and our collective attitude that gave rise to the place of corruption and impunity over us, we are faced with the devil and the deep blue sea.

It will take our collective commitment to eliminate this vice. Let us not continue to delude ourselves that the next set of leaders are willing agents of redeeming the collection of numbed Sierra Leoneans, who have been cowered into overwhelming mediocrity.

From their utterances and desperate actions which focuses more on power rather than sign-posted prescriptions for our malaise, how can the ‘clean men’ jump into a sewage tank and come out smelling of roses.

Logic stands on its own, as will its output, usually called truth. We would have ourselves to blame if ……We continue to allow the continuous slavery of our existence and values in our ‘coro-coro’ eyes.

1 Comment

  1. Continuous degradation of Sierra Leone is by no doubt, the lifeless symthoms that has been built, with the population where there is no democracy (democrazy).

    Correcting the malaise and putting the country into clean waters, should start from the top.

    Starting everything from the grassroot, has no meaninful target as political leaders continue to savage the country for their own greed.

    Everyone is frustrated about the bad luck Sierra Leone has had since 1968.

    I also blame the voters who never ride against political frenzies but just accept what is said.

    Sierra Leone wake up and drive through the mindlessness of our politicians who lie any time they speak a word.

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