Speech delivered by the President of the Patriotic Sierra Leoneans, Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba
On the launching of the Positive Attitude Week Organised by the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat at the British Council Hall Tower Hill in Freetown. The theme for the Positive Attitude Week is “Positive Attitude and Behaviour: the Yardstick of Socio-Economic Growth and Development”. (Photo: Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba)
All protocol observed.
I want to ask a few simple questions. And then I shall answer them.
Do we have unity as a nation? How can we as a nation develop and sustain a middle class system in Sierra Leone? How can your attitude shape our destiny to become a prosperous and healthy nation?
One afternoon, I picked up my son from pre-school. He was very excited to tell me that he was taught in class the colors and meaning of the Sierra Leone flag. He stated that the GREEN color represents our Agriculture, our Mountains and our Natural Resources. The WHITE color represents our Unity and Justice. The BLUE color represents our Natural Harbor and Ocean. I was very impressed with not just my son but the American pre-school that incorporates my country Sierra Leone as an embassy in my son’s class room. I thought deeply about the conversations with my son and passionately reflected on the reason(s) why our fore fathers chose the colors and the meaning of our flag.
The WHITE color which is embedded in the middle of our flag, symbolizes justice and unity. I am going to stress on that significance. We cannot enjoy our natural resources and agriculture without our unity. We cannot enjoy our natural harbor and ocean without our unity. We must unite at this defining moment and keep striving for what we deserve, our God given blessings. Our country Sierra Leone is a bless nation and I have no doubt about that. I am not going to trade Sierra Leone for any nation in the world. This tide, direction and prosperity of the future, are ours. It is ours if we show ourselves worthy and committed to our culture and our heritage. Make no mistake, I personally believe the tide of our unity and prosperous future is going to be like the ocean tide- regular, relentless, and inevitable. I challenge you, my fellow citizens, to reawaken our united spirit that our nation represent; to fully define the meaning of being a Sierra Leonean? For me, a Sierra Leonean is one who loves justice and believes in the dignity of man. A Sierra Leonean is one who values and protects his freedom and that of his neighbor. A Sierra Leoneans is one who wants to always see a peaceful Sierra Leone.
When I look around the country, I don’t see a Temne Sierra Leone; a Mende Sierra Leone; a Limba Sierra Leone; Creole Sierra Leone; Loko Sierra Leone; Madingo Sierra Leone; Fullah Sierra Leone; Kissi Sierra Leone; Susu Sierra Leone; Kono Sierra Leone; I see one Sierra Leone, one people. We are Sierra Leoneans first and we must unite to move our country forward. I am asking you, my fellow citizens to be motivated by a sense of responsibility to yourself, your family, and the future of our country Sierra Leone to resist from what will destroy our country. When you pray for a President to fail, our country failed. When you pray for your opposition to fail, our democracy fail and eventually our country failed. The same applied to your neighbors, friends and families. When they failed we failed with them as a nation.
Please allow me to share a story; A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal,” Water, water; we die of thirst!” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” A second time the signal, “Water, water; send us water!” ran up from the distressed vessel, and was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” And a third and fourth signal for water was answered, “Cast down your bucket where you are.” The captain of the distressed vessel, at last heeding the injunction, cast down his bucket, and it came up full of fresh, sparkling water from the mouth of the Amazon River. To all my fellow citizens who depend on bettering their condition in a foreign land or who underestimate the importance of cultivating and nurturing our natural resources, and to eliminate our dependence of foreign aids, I would say: “Cast down your bucket where you are”— cast it down in making friends in every manly way of the people of all tribes by whom we are surrounded.
Cast down your bucket in agriculture, in schools and education, in business, in responsible leadership, in transparent and accountability ethics. Cast you’re your bucket in affordable housing for the poor, to eradicate greed and nepotism, in trade, in mechanics, in commerce, in domestic service, and in the professions. Cast down your bucket to make sure our democracy and upcoming elections are transparent, fair and violence free. And in this connection it is well to bear in mind that any mistakes our generation may be called to bear, when it comes to patriotism, pure and simple, history will judge us that our generation left our country better than we met it and in nothing is this exposition more eloquent than in emphasizing this chance. The chance to be our sister’s and brother’s keeper. The chance to ask yourself at all times what you can do for your country? No nation can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem or sitting in the State House, Ministerial offices, a Parliament or Judiciary offices. It is at the bottom of life we must begin, and not at the top. Nor should we permit our grievances to overshadow our opportunities.
It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to move our country Sierra Leone from being a third world country is by developing and sustaining a strong middle class for the people. How can the Government develop a strong middle class? JOBS! JOBS and more JOBS! We need to strengthens the private sector by creating incentives and tax breaks to create jobs. Government need to support NGO’s and non-profit organizations in Sierra Leone and diaspora to create values and the much needed services to the people by assisting them with the barriers they face each day. Let us look to our country and our cause, and elevate ourselves to the dignity of pure and disinterested patriots, and save our country from all impending dangers of greed and exploitation.
What if, in the march of this nation to greatness and power, we should be buried beneath the wheels that propel it onward!… Can you make that sacrifice for our nation? We must know our will and make it felt.
In conclusion, may I repeat that nothing in the fifty one years from our Independence has given us more hope and encouragement, and drawn us so near to our Prosperity as a nation. I pledge that in your effort to work out the great and intricate problem which God has laid at the doors of our country, you shall have at all times the patience, dedication and sympathetic help of the people. Let us pray God, will come, blotting out of sectional & tribal differences and political animosities and suspicions, in a determination to administer absolute justice and unity, we will for once enjoy the blessings of our country Sierra Leone. This, coupled with our material prosperity and patriotism will bring into our beloved Sierra Leone a new heaven and a new nation.
May God bless you and may God bless our country Sierra Leone.
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