By Elhaj Malik Shabbaz
I am writing again from my Leicester Peak residence, where I have watched unfolding events of the uncertainty that has befallen this great nation. Whether we are to gather at the Vatican in Rome or Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, I don’t see the problem of this country having a solution as many would have anticipated it to be by change of governments. Not the political landscape, the governance or the people do have the clout to bring the much-needed change we have all been craving in Sierra Leone’s darling. But where do all the problems that have left this nation languid in the scathing hands of bullies seem to have emanated from? As I have decided to touch back my pen from my last letter to the speaker of Parliament today on this expository essay, I have decided to lilt my writings for the best interest of my readers to grasp the concept in it.
POLITICS: THE political landscape of Sierra Leone has been fuming with tribal bigotry and rhetorics of the regional divide, a new trend to lure in support from the political base. But, what has this type of politics in our political space made Sierra Leone looks like in the recent past? The “politricking” of our politicians wanting us to believe that we are a country divided by tribal and regional rhetorics has been one of the most deceitful and churlish attitudes in recent days in Sierra Leone. Whether we have learnt from the findings of the TRC or forgotten too quickly what happened 20 years back, what seemed to be lackluster in all of this is that we only have a tribal divide in politics and not in our daily lives as citizens of this country.
They (Politicians) have succeeded in dividing our body politics to be seen as a north-south quest for power. They have been infiltrating the minds of our gullible people in exotic villages to believe that when the seat at State House is occupied by a son from the south, they are better off as citizens than when it is occupied by a northerner. The same applied to those in the north vis-a-vis. Could this actually be said to mean our country is divided along tribal and regional rhetorics, or accept the fact that politics has been used to divide our political space? These lies our politicians have been parading with are what we, as well-meaning Sierra Leoneans, must disgorge in its entirety.
GOVERNANCE: OUR governance system in Sierra Leone is divided into three arms pursuant to our national constitution. Among the three arms of government, the executive arm has been the B-all and End-all since independence. The legislative and the judiciary have been overshadowed by the executive arm of government. It is evident today in Sierra Leone that the executive arm of government has been remotely controlling the two other arms of government. The rampant use of the words veto power or orders from above, as if these words are trove in our grundnorm, is what has made our governance system scrubby in the eyes of its citizens. Our governance system has been shabbily run by cartels of criminals who have been regrouping themselves with transfer tickets from green to red and from red to green, vis-a-vis.
On many platforms I have been participating, people will proudly say we have had a change of peaceful governance since the end of the war. That is true, but they have not told you this: we have only had a rotational change of the same people we thought had failed us in the last governance and not a change of governance system. If this rotational spree of those who were green that change to red or red changing to green is what we call a change of peaceful governance, I beg you to hire a psychosocial service. Maybe, you will join me in understanding the dynamics of those things that are hidden from many of us who have become mouthpieces for failed regimes. It is such a rotational spree we have had since, and we are yet to understand this dynamic played on our intelligence as responsible citizens of this crippling nation. If you have ever asked yourself why our governance system is not working or why it is that those of us who are poor continue to become poorer, this piece already answers your question simpliciter. Whether it is APC or SLPP in power, the fact remains that we continue to hear almost the same names of people rotating.
THE PEOPLE: SIERRA LEONEANS, till this day I am writing this piece, have always felt convinced they are the most civilized nation, if not across the world, but in Africa as a whole. This forged thinking of being too civilized people is what has today become our own detriment as we continue to perish. Seeing the trend in which we as people have made out politicians’ kingpins in our societies, one would wonder whether we are a cursed nation or the lost tribes of Israel. If not for any reason, the people are to be fully blamed for the continued suffering this small land is faced with. This very civilized nation is where the ordinary suffering citizen is ready to kill his brother for the politician who made him jobless.
This very civilized nation is where government responsibilities become opportunities. This very civilization nation is where the suffering citizen is celebrating a corrupt government at the expense of his own suffering. If there could be any reason for what led us to be the poorest of the world amidst the plethora of riches, the people of this crying nation must be blamed. I have not seen people’s power being used as an active force to correct our wrongs as a nation. I have seen since childhood how the people have been aiding and abetting those things that have left us in abject poverty. Prioritizing self over the country, today, what was supposed to be euphoria in our body politics and leadership has now turned to be dysphoria of leadership.