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.
As a nation we seem so hopelessly lost that one wonders what is the way out. There is so much impunity at the top, while millions wallow in abject poverty as though the country does not belong to us all.
How do we bring about this so much needed political transformation? I am inclined to say like every other nation, our destiny is in our hands, and I pray that God will give us the wisdom and grace to take it.
We do need an urgent political change in our country and this time with unbiased attitude and the idea of self thrown out and burried forever. We are confronted with a whole lot of things that are the makings of the electorates of our tiny nation.
Indeed ‘we ought to be ashamed of ourselves’. Our intelligence has been questioned so many times with regards our political choices. And every time we have the opportunity to correct it, we falter.
We glamorise the ineffectiveness and criminality of our politicians, rather than take them to task. I don’t blame lack of education, but mere common stupidity that has taken over the fabric of our nation.
As a people we must rise from slumber and look beyond our current plight; put people in office based on credibility and ability, rather than the colour of their party, the region they hail from, the tribe and family they belong to or the friendship they have made.
We should be looking at policies – issues that will make us a better country.
Indeed, being caught between ‘the rock and a very had place’ leaves Sierra Leoneans with no option other than opting for the SKIES.
In December 1989, the situation in the country was no less than the current one. It was also an APC national CALAMITY. The Editor of the SHAFT Newspaper Mr Bunting Davies, ‘May his Soul Rejoice in Heaven for his intellectual BRAVERY’, wrote a similar eye-opener on Multi-Party democracy in Sierra Leone.
I think, your article and thoughts suggest the inevitability of an urgent political change in Sierra Leone. As in the “BUNTING DAVIES” Awakening ARTICLE, your thoughts should be well received by all those who believe in ‘LAND THAT WE LOVE OUR SIERRA LEONE’.
So let every patriotic Sierra Leonean say to themselves: “IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE MESS. WE ARE COMING OUT NOW! EE DO SO (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH)!”