Raymond Dele Awoonor-Gordon
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 April 2016
If the ‘eyes’ of a nation are those that allow us to see right from wrong, then it is obvious that Sierra Leone started losing her sight many years ago.
The current inherent deception, which pays lip service to change and the restoration of some sense of values, as well as the eradication of corruption – the bane of our society – does not guarantee the recovery of our national sight.
It is like giving a man with glaucoma a pair of prescription glasses, without reducing the intra-ocular pressure. That man is guaranteed to be blind. It is that simple.
The partial sight which we have continued to utilize is what has led us to the cloudy future we are now facing.
Coupled with the unresponsive and lazy followership that we have become, the national loss of sight is guaranteed.
Our corrupted lenses, such as the celebration of mediocrity and corruption among other irrelevances of the current structure, is made even worse by the fact that the followership is not educated or bold enough to demand change.
This development embodies the face of the failure of our governance and the breakdown of the social contract as engineered by the leadership, which is resorting increasingly to oppressive, illegitimate and tyrannical display of their disdain for the instrument of state, as a counter weapon.
At the start of the present administration almost a decade ago, I had thought that our governance and indeed the country, which had been steadied by the previous administration, after a decade in which we displayed suicidal tendencies, would soon balloon its sails with wind.
My notion was that we were about to finally blow away the cobwebs of our malaise. To people like me, the desire for a new and more functional Sierra Leone, where the key ingredients of good governance are not in deficit, was about to be achieved at last, by people that I felt were coming in with an unwavering passion for service.
I now repent of my naivety, as I did not reckon with impunity rearing its head again.
Like my brother, the late Olu Gordon (Photo), we did not bargain on the fact that when exposed to power and prestige, most of those he gave the benefit of the doubt, would become so deeply compromised by greed as to lose total focus.
Nor did we expect a ‘progressive’ government to do everything in its powers to reverse and subvert the collective will.
I expected our growth at a rate of knots, and never anticipated the current hot air and cold comfort that is being churned out with casual disdain and spineless insanity.
Today, we are far closer to the cliff’s edge and about to throw ourselves off, as we gradually sink into a morass of indifference where nobody seems to care, especially our government.
Again, not only do we lack a sense of patriotic fervor and loyalty to the fortunes of Sierra Leone; its governance and its future direction which we have failed to take ownership of, are not backed by an equally intense passion for its betterment and advancement.
It is sixteen years into the 21st century. It is at least over a decade and a half since the end of our fratricidal folly, when the music of our existence came from the barrel of the gun.
We’ve had the Ebola disaster with the wailings of thousands lulling us to sleep, as well as all kinds of political strife and machinations, scripted and choreographed, amidst the pesky din of politicians, who ecstatically wallow daily in pornography of propaganda.
It is frustrating that any attempt to go into proper national discourse is often paralysed by those who want us to forget the lessons of our history, and forever be grateful to the very people who continue to drag us through the maze of an illusion of free choice.
However, if we cannot look at our problems for what they are, unvarnished; we are not likely to resolve them conclusively.
That something is unpalatable, does not mean that we should soften the truth with the same compromises that we’ve been making and which have literarily brought us to our knees.
It is my unwavering belief that as a nation, we have reached a stage that we – the very people of Sierra Leone, must not only seize the political narrative, but drive its process.
The conspiracy of silence over the carnival of madness that is dragging us to the edge of the cliff is a deafening deceit.
We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. A fraudulent generation, if you permit me.
It is true that leadership failure has put Sierra Leone in reverse gear for so long. But the truth is that the entrenchment of our system-without a heart, is a collective creation.
We should re-direct our emotional energy towards confronting the harsh reality that drowns millions of people from birth to grave.
One way to start is to ensure that the rebuilding capacity and competence required to sanitise our environment is devoid of the current anti-reality and escapism, that has tethered us to the current fairy tale of illusion.
Those damned leaders, who stink of national loathing and who operate like locusts and cankerworms, are definitely from Mars – not from amongst us.
They have only been encouraged by the way we fawn over them and are fortified by our continued willingness to bow and shower them with accolades and adulation, as well as cult personality for abusing us and stealing our rational patrimony.
We are between the rock and a very hard place. Let’s be honest with ourselves, national blindness envelopes us.