Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 May 2019:
The only thing worse than collective amnesia is wilful selective amnesia. It is a highly potent concentrated brew of sheer hypocrisy, genetic mediocrity and downright amorality. Our worst can’t bring out our best, obviously one would think.
People are not interested in just tales of who’s corrupt. It’s clear to every citizen that the level of corruption in the country is disturbing, even now. Beyond that however, majority are hurting and hungry.
The extent people go because of poverty is sometimes alarming… I totally agree that no matter what structures are put on the ground by our government, our lack of empathy and loss of moral compass will not make it work.
But what’s going to happen in the short, medium and long term that will assuage the pains that the people have to endure in the marathon to a new Sierra Leone? That is the question.
We are still locked into the high value-low volume mindset in approaching the rebuilding of the economy, I sincerely believe. And our attempts at mass empowerment are, to be polite, forming.
Allocation is not a solution. We should focus on utilisation and impact target attainment. Money on its own cannot solve our problems and we don’t begin to have nearly enough of it any way.
I do not know any magic wand which the government can wave to moderate the expected quick desire of a people pauperised by years of neglect and indifference to their plight.
But, whatever way it can muster, it has to, in a fast manner, set the visible and concrete tone that will show the way of translation from poverty, while expecting the people to be patient.
The people are trusting, even at the risk of becoming highly gullible. And despite the widespread apprehension, disillusion and anger, they are still desperate to follow any star to national discovery and recovery.
But if the government which inherited a deficit economy want us to be patient with it, the people will listen so long as they and their family members live modestly and embark on projects, which identify with the plight of the poor – aside the most populist ones.
Yes, transparent projects not suspicious of any financial inducements to them and their cronies, as well as that which will benefit the poor masses in the long term, is the sine qua non. This much is clear.
It is essential that it quickly puts in place, some programmes which are of short-term benefits as a relief and reprieve.
The New Direction cannot embark on selective generosity to any segment of the populace whom it thinks it must please in order to remain popular or acceptable; or to people whom it thinks can blackmail them or make life difficult for them.
We are in this for a while. Remember when I said it’s going to be a long dance? Once you get to the bottom of a pit, you need double energy and have a good vision to climb out.
We can sing praises and write all the epistles we want to write till thy kingdom come, the mind of a hungry man is a deposit for anger and indifferent attitudes to reading and political carrots.
A hungry man has zero thirsts for credible information dissemination. This is the prevailing situation in our society today. We are fast losing our value systems.
While it must be reordered, the once glorious Athens of West Africa stained by the needless blood of many is now bowed as a result of the pains of uncertainty.
Meanwhile, another year and another national birthday celebration went with tempers flying because the government failed to indulge the people in the old mindset of jollification.
But what is there to rejoice about when a once glorious nation has been reduced to one with a begging bowl and is ravaged by the festering wounds of political intolerance, tribalism, corruption, nepotism and the after-effect of the rape of its natural and human resources.
When under what is supposed to be a New Direction, they are preaching justice after roofing their reign with shining sheets of inequality and have invented ingenious political and social arguments with a snide at history, as the new anthem for justice, fairness and national cohesion where only those very close to the SLPP kitchen, gets a full meal.
I am a terminal optimist – ‘a believer’ in Sierra Leone’s future greatness. We are yet to live the dreams of our founding fathers.
Though we are close to the bottom, but believe me, Salone shall rise again.
However, nothing will be salvaged until we stop state and party-sponsored divisiveness and just see each other as citizens with different contributions to make. Just saying.
Tomorrow is not too far. The one who slaps his mistress immediately after a sizzling bedroom act would soon have another erection.