Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 November 2017
Corruption is very endemic in Sierra Leone’s political history. Both my APC and the SLPP parties are guilty of massive corruption.
Voters have been let down innumerable times by past governments, dominated by these two main political parties since independence in 1961. Shame on them for stealing from the nation’s coffers. Greedy and selfish politicians are pushing the majority of electorate into abject poverty and hopelessness.
That is why, according to my research, the voters are now gearing up for the 2018 elections with eyes and ears widely open. Corruption is at the core of voters’ minds this time. (Photo: Abu Shaw).
Any political candidates that can convince the voters that corruption will be eliminated or drastically minimised will have their votes. No doubts. Voters in Sierra Leone have long been taken for granted and as fools.
True, the ruling APC party is the lesser of two evils. SLPP is worse statistically. But now the voters do want honest, accountable and transparent government. They yearn for a political party that puts the country and citizens’ interests first, not public servants who continue to steal and enrich themselves and their families.
APC and SLPP should hang their heads in shame for not adequately punishing the bad eggs in their midst.
Yes, APC has done well in developing the country infrastructurally. Voters enjoy nice roads around the country now since President Ernest Koroma took the reign. But the rampant corruption – that necessitates the absence of basic amenities of life nationwide – like safe drinking water, free education, good hospitals, affordable food, etc – is a real concern for the ordinary Sierra Leoneans.
People are tired of hearing Ebolagate, Hajjgate and countless corrupt practices shamefully engineered by corrupt officials in high places, who in most cases are let off the hook, thanks to the remote controlled and incompetent Anti- Corruption Commission.
Yes, voters want to see their public servants live well, but not by stealing tax payers money. They can live on their wages like the majority of poverty stricken Sierra Leoneans. At least their fat allowances can top up their livelihood.
It bothers many voters when public thieves are allowed to go scot free by the ACC, thus making a mockery of our justice system, which is fast becoming a laughing stock nationally and globally.
Painfully, the handful of public servants who do not condone corruption are either maligned, blasted or undermined by certain higher-ups, much to the chagrin and annoyance of the silent observers.
“When will this stop,” voters often ask. Research shows that the 2018 elections will be very unique as voters are now ready to spring surprises during polling day on March 7, 2018.
Sierra Leone is bleeding economically, as corrupt officials continue to acquire more palaces, expensive vehicles, millions of foreign currency banked overseas, expensive medical treatments abroad, the list is endless, while ordinary Sierra Leoneans look on hopelessly and wondering why God has forsaken them for so long.
True, corruption is everywhere in the world, even in developed nations. And it’s impossible to eliminate corruption. But it can be minimised to the least percentage.
Corruption in western countries is put at 5% to 10% maximum. But when you are in a country where corruption has become endemic and is clocking over 70%, then it is a recipe for disaster for the ordinary voters. It’s a shame that some of our politicians have no conscience and compassion for the suffering masses.
Sierra Leone is very rich in natural resources, and is a nation that can be easily managed and developed, provided the government can combat rampant corruption.
Now the voters are waiting impatiently for the manifestos from the various political parties. The policy document that puts Anti-corruption at the top of its scale of preference, will definitely win the 2018 elections.
May the better side win. Hopefully, my APC party will win. But the new force in town – the National Grand Coalition (NGC) must be taken seriously.