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The dawn of an era

The dawn of an era

Information and Communications Minister Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo announced a cabinet reshuffle by President Ernest Bai Koroma in the early morning hours of Saturday December 4th, 2010, thereby sacking some Ministers and bringing on board many technocrats, rescheduling some ineffective individuals to other Ministries, upgraded some and posted few to diplomatic missions abroad to add impetus and teach their colleagues what is: and how to rebrand a country.  (Photo: Pasco Gerald Temple)

Long overdue though, some might say, I think it is the prerogative of the President of any Country to judiciously appoint and sack personalities in offices as and when he likes – so long as it is in line with his policies and mandate.

In this reshuffle, President Koroma brings on board many technocrats many of whom have never held a Ministerial Position, but have performed very excellently in their professional areas of assignments. He also reassigned Ministers and Deputy Ministers, which in my view, indicates that the Government is characterized by technocrats.

The Cabinet shake up is a welcome news. I particularly welcome it because there are some political appointees who were operating the offices they held as their private properties, thereby undermining the efficacy of the Government. They abrogate Government procedures with impunity and build their own empires within some of these institutions by blatantly ignoring government instructions and become a law on to themselves.

Most importantly, some of them don’t even have constituencies: even if they have, they cannot mobilize any meaningful number to bolster the support of the Government and the President.  According to Philosopher Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, In a Democracy, look how many Demagogs [that is] how many powerful Orators there are with the people.

They actually took tolerance for weakness and rejoice over folly. But as the Bible says, “a day shall declare it”. Today Saturday 4th December has declared it: this is the day the lord has made.

One of my friends who works for a foreign Mission in Nigeria called me up 2:38 AM one blessed morning and said “my high commissioner told me, if he was my employer he would have sacked me”. I asked him: Teddy: why did he tell you that? What did you do? “Because I expressed my concern regarding the way and manner he employs people without following due process, the pattern he uses to dictate his pace in the office and the meanness that characterises his expenditure in so far as all the monies Government is sending as support for its work in the Mission is concerned.” Teddy said “the High Commissioner denies me all Government laid down facilities and will further threaten us with sack and call the Foreign Minister and say in our presence all manner of evil against us and uses the characteristics of a despot to bulldoze laid down Government Procedures and travels to his home Country as and when he likes and collects per diem with absolutely no regard for rules and procedures. “It even came to a point wherein there was ninety nine Kobos in the account. Consequently, telephones and Internet facilities were disconnected: when I said it is disgraceful we should not allow that to happen, the High Commissioner said, he is not under any obligation to serve because he was begged by the President to accept the post as High Commissioner”.

Even though some High Commissioners have been consistently saying it, that they were begged by their Presidents to accept jobs as High Commissioners to different Countries including the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I never said a word.

In my response, I quoted Niccolo Machiavelli who said “a return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man,” in this case the President: His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.

It is important to note that no Government appointee be it Minister or otherwise would take pleasure in losing his or her job: but the conduct of their companions have always led to their punishments.

In his reshuffle, President Ernest Bai Koroma has created a separate Ministry for Youth and Sports to address the perennial problems of Youth and Sports. A challenge to Paul Kamara.

This in my view is in line with Aristotle who said that “All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.”

President Koroma also appointed Parliamentarians to Ministerial Positions and retains those who have performed excellently.

This is why I think, this is the dawn of a new era.

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