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Back to where we were

Back to where we were

The euphoria marking the APC’s 36 months in office is now over; the vuvuzelas of achievements, some real but most of it phantom has died down. It is now time for reflection, when we should ask ourselves a few searching questions. What have been the regime’s achievements in real terms and how have those achievements benefited us by transforming our lives? Putting aside the propaganda rhetoric of the minister of information, has the country been transformed in real terms? In what ways have we made a turn-around at the end of the 36 months when we were assured that there would be conspicuous and remarkable changes?  (Photo: Dr. Sama Banya)

The first question I would like to ask is how far have we succeeded in unifying the country?  It was Dr. Schumarker who said that “Small was beautiful” He was of course referring to those micro and mini projects which constitute meaningful development such as rehabilitation, housing, schools, health centres, government infrastructures etc. So often when I raise the vexed question of the APC’s divisive policies the grossly insincere praise singers call me a tribalist. That however will not deter me from pointing out those apparently obscure actions of the government which are divisive. The government is planning an innovative and highly commendable programme for the solar electrification of rural areas. It has begun by sending six local village women to India to learn skills in solar energy production. BUT HOW MANY OF THOSE WOMEN COME FROM THE SOUTH EAST? The answer is NOT A SINGLE ONE. They are all from the north. And yet apologists for the government speak of how the country is being unified for development, HOW? How laudable it would have been if each rural region had been represented in the pilot programme.

How have the lives of the ordinary people been transformed in terms of bread and butter? What is the purchasing power of the Leone at King Jimmy and Garrison street or Dove Cot markets or Moyamba junction or in the central market in the heart of Makeni city? What is the minimum daily amount that a house wife needs to take to market? How could anyone who is sincere with EBK (the poor man deserves much more than he is getting from many of his lieutenants) shout “Hallelujah, we’ve brought the railway back?” And all because African Minerals have rehabilitated the 22 mile rail track between Marampa and Pepel meant solely for the transport of iron from the mines to the port?

“Vouchergate” raised its head during Sharki’s Presidency; I had then been minister of finance for barely six weeks. When he handed power to Joseph Saidu Momoh, it was said that the kitty was empty; we were a one-party government and that statement did not emanate from an opposition party but from the APC membership. Then the scandal of milliongate broke and with typical humour Sharki said “They had said I left the kitty empty but in my time we only had vouchergate. How could the kitty have been empty when they now have milliongate on their hand?” So it is with the deputy mineral resources minister who alleged in a discussion programme with John Benjamin that the APC inherited a battered economy. And yet they squandered most of what we left behind on unnecessary oversea trips and per diem as well as on publicity stunts. Whom was the deputy minister fooling? Our people are better informed these days

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently warned of the danger of youth unemployment and corruption which is still rampant in the country. That acknowledged professional boot leaker Mohamed One Drop Sankoh has had the nerve to say that the Secretary-General must have been in a trance during President Koroma’s address to the UN. Does One Drop understand how the S-G’s report is compiled and did he expect it to wonder outside the confines of truth and reality? Little wonder that Sylvia Blyden has dealt with him so very effectively in a rejoinder to his Kailahun Court Barry nonsense and unjustified praise of Christiana Thorpe. Readers are directed to yesterday’s edition of the Awareness Times newspaper. People like One Drop are much too thick skinned to hang their head in shame as long s they are in the service of their master.

The people of Siama village in the Upper Bambara chiefdom of Kailahun district are in very urgent need of help from a roaming leopard. The ferocious animal was first caught in a trap set for duikers and antelopes. The young man who had set the trap had never set eyes on a leopard because the last time one was seen or shot by my late uncle, himself a renowned hunter was over SIXTY years ago. As he approached the trap, the injured beast tore itself off from the trap and attacked him. Luckily he was able to escape with wounds which suggest that his attacker was a young beast. But the following day another person was attacked and the villagers who have sent out an SOS to the army and the police now live in fear. It is unlikely that this is a lonely animal on its own, if so where are the parents? Have they escaped from that part of the Gola Forest in the Malema chiefdom? As a conservationist who knows what ought to done in similar situations elsewhere I am filled with a sense of helplessness and frustration. I pray that my people would get an early response to their cry for help.

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  • Puawui, considering the state the country was in when your party was kicked out of party, we are in far better shape and the outlook looks good for mama salone. AML and London mining are about to start operations next year and the SCP agricultural project has taken off all of which will provide much needed income and alleviate the living conditions of majority of our people. Obai is not a magician that can immediately turn around an economy that has suffered from years of corruption and poor governance from inept politicians like you. There is light at the end of the tunnel for mama salone and most of us can see it.

    27th September 2010

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