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Professor Kai Kai may not be the saint…

Professor Kai Kai may not be the saint…

I am looking at this issue from a political standpoint.  It is political because, when the APC-led government of President Ernest Bai Koroma shall finally decide to appoint Professor Septimus Kai Kai as the head of the soon-to-be-established Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), it definitely shall be added gloss to the inclusive credentials of the Koroma government. I am not in any way lobbying for Professor Kai Kai, but only taking the cue from what a leading paper in town, the Global Times, reported yesterday that there are plans to get the learned professional, to head the pending SLBC; and drawing steam from an earlier article in THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN, written on July 28, 2009, turning the spotlight on Prof Kai Kai, and suggesting that the Koroma presidency take advantage of the knowledge and experience of such opposition politicians. .

Appointing Professor Kai Kai, who hails from Kailahun, and is a strong SLPP member, will not only be a wise political decision that will be taken by President Koroma, but it shall go a long way in him, convincing the nation, and to an extent the international community, that, indeed, he (President Ernest Koroma) is a national leader, not a regional leader as the opposition has been deriding him. I give my overwhelming support to this ‘now open secret’ as a Northerner. I know the extremists in the APC fold may have a different view; and I am glad that the President is holding at bay the extremists in his own party.

My opinion would certainly not influence whatever decision the authoritative ‘pro-SLPP’ GLOBAL TIMES newspaper has published; and could even hinder the chances against Prof. Kai Kai, which is the exactly opposite of what I would want; but, I have to take the risk here, because, as Oswald Hanciles wrote in his column several months back, Prof. Kai Kai was one of the most impressive ministers in Tejan Kabbah’s government, especially during the height of our civil war, when he would calm the fears of people down with his soft-spoken manner, and would build up the confidence of those who were in government-controlled areas of the country.  . In fact, a writer, Walter Lippman, in his book, titled, The Phantom Public, pointed that ‘the role of public opinion is determined by the fact that its relation to a problem is external. The opinion affects opinion, but does not itself control the executive act…They count only if they influence the course of affairs…’ I wished my opinion on this issue could influence ‘the course of affairs’.   It should be noted that a public opinion is expressed by demonstration of praise or blame, but this time round, I express my opinion by heaping praises on Professor Kai Kai.

Take this from me; it would be unfair, if we cry down the intentions of the Ernest Koroma led government to appoint Professor Kai Kai. Despite his political beliefs, Professor Ka Kai still has a lot to offer for this country. He is such an excellent person and one that can meet the challenges of our time. As Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the SLPP government, Prof. Kai Kai could not use all the skills and knowledge he demonstrated so admirably as Presidential Spokesman, when he first returned to Sierra Leone, after a thirty year spell in the U.S., where he was comfortable as a lecturer of economics in one of their tertiary institutions.   It appeared as if the some people were worried about the presidential ambitions of Prof. Kai Kai, so, they decided to ‘exile’ him to the information ministry, and starved him of resources so that he would not be able to perform.  Apparently, Prof. Kai Kai sensed this, and resented it.  It was the SLPP’s great loss that they could not harness the proven track record in communication which had been demonstrated by Prof. Kai Kai as they approached the 2007 elections.

Professor Kai Kai

Professor Kai Kai

Kai Kai’s appointment will change President Koroma’s governance style

He is no saint, and as such, may not be the saint people shall be looking for to help run clean Sierra Leone like a business enterprise, but he can contribute in doing so; he may be SLPP, or lately was accused of having links with the PMDC, whatever way, he is a Sierra Leone that can serve the people of this country.

The APC is running the affairs of the country due to the majority vote that it secured during the 2007 polls. It has the wherewithal to determine what should happen in the socio-economic and political spheres of this country. The President, who is the APC leader, and President of the Republic, can hire and fire those he wants or does not want in his government; he can appoint a non-APC into government, as we today have many PMDC members in his government. It is his prerogative to appoint whoever he feels like appointing into his government.  In this case, the expected public service appointment of Prof. Kai kai would be a wonderful thing for his government, and delightful for the healing process in the country.

Indeed, the APC are in the majority in Parliament. But as Walter Lippman said, the wisdom that was held in the nineteenth century that there was a deep wisdom in majorities, which was the voice of God, was ‘a sincere mysticism, sometimes it was the self-deception which always accompanies the idealization of power…’  A vote is a promise of support, and if  over 50% voted,  promising to give their support to the APC, then it should be noted that the remaining percent of the population that voted, in promise of support the other parties  is relevant to the development of the state. And Professor may belong to that remaining percent of people, but nothing bad in him serving the country.

President Korma, I have said often and again, is a President who is genuinely loved by the majority of people in the country. When he went around Freetown last week, walking around the streets without security, he got ecstatic greetings from the crowds of youth. . He has good intentions for the progress of this country, and it only takes time, courage and national support for him to change things round. And with plans to get Professor Kai Kai as part of the team to manage the affairs of the state, it will definitely sever as an indication that we are progressing and moving ahead. Politics is all about performance; if the current government fails, the blame would be put on President Koroma, so he should be seen working in the interesting of uniting the country.

I should serve my conscience well, for ‘a man’s duty is to do all the good he can and to prevent all the evil, and on him who seethe to do good and doeth it not, lies a heavier condemnation that it is prudent to face…’, writes  William T. Stead, in his work, Government by Journalism. My conscience tells me that President Koroma is about to add more laurels to his term in office, in appointing a man, believed to a member of an opposition party, into governance. President Koroma is best informed and ‘power’, said Lord Beaconsfield, as quoted by William T. Stead, ‘belonged to him who was best informed’. Lord Beaconsfield, according to my investigation, was a British politician and author who entered Parliament in 1837 as Tory MP for Maidstone after four unsuccessful campaigns for a seat in the House of Commons.

We may be looking for saints in governance, Professor Kai Kai is not one of them, but he may get closer to that. Try him, and see the result.

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  • But what has Prof. Kaikai done for the people of our country

    18th December 2009

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