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When boys are ruling …

When boys are ruling …

The Awoko surveys on the ministers are damning, shocking, disenchanting, disgusting, disbelieving and disappointing, because if a cross section of Western Area can’t even name 50% of their ministers, how can the rest of the country that doesn’t have full access to communications do better or know more? It is quite clear that Ernest Koroma’s cabinet has not been performing to the people’s expectation thereby being less impressive as well as operative to the nation as a whole. This I’m sure is the reason for the bad policies they’ve been implemented to the detriment of us all.

I have been reading some articles from pro APC websites as they jubilate for the corruption and human development index that have shown positive movement. As for me, I always believe indexes are always crap because the average Sierra Leonean doesn’t care about figures, what he cares about is to feel such movement in his/her pocket/purse.

It happened few years ago when SLPP was in government and John Benjamin as Finance Minister boasting of single digit inflation and a sound economy that was never felt in our lives. It is the same thing now as the figures are showing positive signs, poverty in the country is increasing with the Leone depreciating by the day against the dollar (Le4,500 to $1); what an irony.

I believe the ministers of this government are well known in the ghettos and masquerade parlors. If the survey had been done in those areas most of them would have scored high marks, because those areas are there constituencies where they think the can harness votes for 2012. This is the reason, most of the people you find in these areas are opportunists or better still less educated. So long they can be provided with some booze, smoke, ashoebi and the masquerades they are perfectly ok with the system.

If you want to prove me right or wrong, just wait and see next month during the Christmas holidays, you will see who the leaders of these masquerades are. A country that is buried in masquerade will be extremely difficult to rise up from the ashes of poverty and backwardness. It will just continue to be buried until thy kingdom come.

The subjects suffer because of our leaders continued mistakes. Ever since the government took over the administration of the country, things appear not to be working properly. Developments in the country since the inauguration of this administration have been everything, but encouraging. It would be wrong for anybody – not even the fiercest critic of the government to insinuate that nothing at all has been done by the government. Some things have been done, though very little. They are not doing much because “boys” are at the helm; boys are ruling.

The government has failed to pull us along a clear-cut policy direction. There has not been a concrete plan, a transformational vision to improve upon the fortunes of the country. It is obvious that there is a dearth of leadership in the country. This is what you get when you have boys, and not “men” ruling. The pronouncements, actions, and even inactions of some elements in this administration show that the future and destiny of the nation are in wrong hands. His Excellency, the president might be a good man with good plans and ideas for the country, but as long as he continuously grosses over the ineptitude of some of his appointees (especially the loose cannons), then we should not expect any meaningful turnaround in the country in the last two years of his rule.

What we should expect is how they can continue to fleece the country with impunity at the detriment of us all. Fancy few months ago when they granted African Minerals mining license, as they were giving them the okay they were demanding AML to pay taxes for the next two years that they have not seen, very weird and unethical. So this tells us that the projection by AML to be paying millions of Dollars in the years to come will definitely be difficult to see the back of these boys. This is the reason their spending is unprecedented. It will take superman, iron man and spider man to get them out of power if even the voters turned their backs on them.

By boys, I mean novices, inexperienced bunch of a president and his appointees who obviously and surely do not know the reason why they are occupying their respective portfolios. (The only thing they know best is to do nothing to uplift their respective ministries, but rain insults on their dissenters filled their pockets and purses with our money, gbashi gbashi). If you do not know the nitty-gritty of your job or the dictates of your responsibility, then it is certain that you are an amateur. And there is a plethora of boys in this administration who are contributing nothing to the progress of their ministries and the nation, but sadly dissipating the State’s resources: we spend moneys on them for doing absolutely nothing.

The president himself recently made the pronouncement that most of his ministers were disappointing when the report card came out, but what did he do or is doing to improve his governance in this last years of his dispensation.

Let me provide a practical definition of the concept “boy.” Who is a boy? A novice, an amateur, an inexperienced practitioner, who has an aspiration, desire to accomplish something worthwhile in a chosen career, but is not refined yet. Boys are not cut for, or ready to make any meaningful contributions to their chosen profession. What we are seeing about this government is that some of the ministers, deputy ministers, and presidential aides are simply put, liabilities. Sadly though, some of these appointees do not even make for boys; they need to be apprenticed. Let us look at the characteristics of boys briefly.

First, apart from the fact that boys are not thoroughly cut or prepared for their jobs, they are also petty. Instead of focusing on important and worthwhile issues-developmentally oriented ones, they deliberately settle on trivialities. Things of insignificance are their major preoccupation. Instead of thinking progressively, they allow petty politics to be the hallmark of their actions and decisions. A serious government, instead of ‘nicodemously’ and surreptitiously chanting Agenda for Change, replying to Emmerson’s lyrics and masquerading all over the city with masquerades, should be thinking deeply about bettering the lives of the citizenry. Pettiness, which is being exhibited by some key figures in the government, is preventing them from thinking deeply in order to solve our numerous challenges. The government should move away from the petty politics and buckle down to work.

Another characteristic of boys is arrogance. Their arrogance is situated; it is situated in their mistaken belief of their illusionary superiority to the hoi polloi. They think they are powerful when they are not; they believe they are competent when they are not. These were men and women doing unpleasant jobs in the Diaspora that were called in to mantle such important ministries and offices. They should understand that their being a minister-or a deputy minister is a privilege they are enjoying, and not a right: every educated citizen of our motherland deserves to occupy the position they are occupying now.

When government appointees paid by tax payers’ money can disrespect their own office and that of others by virtue of their “superior” position, then we should fathom that boys are in charge because matured and thoroughly bred people will not scoop that low. Mr. Pallo Conteh Minister of Defense behaviour to ABC’s Sylvester Suaray, Alhaji I B Kargbo slush remarks on Charles Margai clearly show that they are boys, and do not deserve to hold their jobs.

Again, boys are prone to engaging in knee-jerk reactions. Boys, in their hurry to make contributions within the remit of their job, throw caution to the wind by not thinking through the implications or consequences of their actions and reactions. They do not wait to assemble their facts before putting information in the public’s domain. Instead of getting their facts right – a hallmark of experts, before opening their mouths to speak on issues of national relevance, they always, without recourse to due diligence put misinformation and disinformation in the public domain. This is what we are getting from the boys and girls at the helm of the information ministry. No wonder John Benjamin had a field day with Information Minster, and no wonder many Sierra Leoneans believe that Information Minister is a pathological liar. Also courtesy of the Awareness Times we see the president being bashed for deceitfully telling the world that he built a school in Kailahun that doesn’t exist. So you see the problem of boys? They speak or put information in the public’s domain without getting their facts right.

Finally, boys are judgmental. Boys do not solve problems by looking at the root cause; rather they resort to judgmental attitude. They judge people’s motives instead of trying to address the issues at stake. In doing so, they needlessly stoke the fire. Whatever people do; whether doctors and nurses are embarking on industrial action or head teachers or principles addressing a legitimate concern pertaining to their schools and when we write our articles from the journalistic point of view, they observe them as political. They even make those spurious arguments even though it is obvious to them that members of organized labour or head teachers can never belong to the same political party. That is why the Minister of Education could call some of us studying in China ‘aliens’ because our source of the scholarship was directly from the Chinese Embassy and not his ministry or his political party.

We all seek a better country for ourselves, our children, and posterity. Therefore, the president should, as a matter of urgency address the snag of incompetence within his administration before it gets too late. Most of the deputies, I think should either resign honorably or be fired by the president. They might have the desire to serve the nation; but are not ready yet. The president should therefore bring “men and women” on board; the boys are simply messing up, big-time!!

Austin Thomas, China

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