By Jeremiah Fonnie…
In Sierra Leonr, every leader is made a Demi-God when in power. People virtually worship him. But when he gets off the helm of that ship, he becomes a public ridicule. The reason, I suppose, is we don’t confront our leaders when they misstep. Rather, we blame their gross inefficiencies on a bunch of sycophants who parade themselves around as “the Pa e man dem”. I am of the opinion that even the electorate may not have the slightest clue of what their rights are. The Democracy we have paid so dearly to have in this nation is that of ” Government of the people, by the people and for the people”. In very simple terms, it means that the real power belongs to the people. Our elected leaders after Sir Milton Margai have, to a large extent, been a bunch of purposeless bigots, who have done very minimal in upholding their own part of the Social Contract. With their own personal vision and their party manifestoes they outline to us, the people, what they will do, on being elected, to uphold their own side of the contract. But more often than not they fail woefully in keeping their part of the contract.
As we approach our national general and presidential elections, slated for March 2018, the whole gimmick is seeing to be unfolding once again. You will hear aspirant pledging to the youth that they are the reason for his running for that office, and on being elected that will be his first port of call – youth issues. To pursue this strategy, the only best way such aspiring candidates know is to turn our youth into zombies by loading them with all kinds of narcotics, and using them against one another for their selfish political pursuits. When they finally get elected, the take one or two of the youth and used them against their peers, thereby diffusing every hope of survival of the rest of our youth. It is a vicious cycle orchestrated by lack and want, perpetrated by our politicians to disempower our youth which further make them vulnerable and wholly inadequate. This must STOP.
Secondly, when in office, our leaders behave not as public servants, answerable to the people, but as callous landlords, ravenously exploiting and abusing the people with sheer acerbity. Like an irresponsible father, they neglect the dire needs of the people and focus on self gratification pursuits, whatever that may mean to them. The slightest disapproval will be met with a draconic action, mostly with the use of police brutality to silence that scoffer forever, and as a warning to anyone else that may to raise an eyebrow to their excesses.
Thirdly, raping the nation of its meagre resources has become a leadership identify. A man who had never ever built a mud hut by himself, on becoming an appointed/ elected public officer, translate himself into a real estate developer and goes on high end construction frenzy with looted money. Building and and buying for himself, girlfriends and relatives. Not to talk about overseas mansions and fat offshore bank accounts. “ALL CONTRI KOPOR wae den tiff”.
Fourthly, no nation grows and develops without a well-rooted educational foundation. But it seems, our leaders have turned a blind eye to developing the resource-potential of their people through education, whether informal or formal. This nation was once dubbed “The Athens of Africa” , therefore, for her education base to have retrogressed to this level could only have been induced by a calculated Leadership impropriety. No nation grows beyond her educational standard.
Fifthly, political sycophants and, therefore, political patronising, is become a gateway to personal aggrandisement. This is the singular reason why has become a lucrative field for all lazy, failed and unpatriotic folks. If you think of political icons like Kaunda, Mandela, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Lumumba, to name a few, sought politics for the emancipation of their nation’s not the other way round, for the emaciation of their people and country.
To conclude this discussion I would like to appeal to us as a people to think of what to do as we approach the forth coming elections.