Why All This Hullabaloo about Emmerson’s Kokobeh?
It is indeed baffling to watch Sierra Leoneans of all walks of life either congratulating or lambasting Emmerson for his latest criticism of the current Government of His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in his latest album titled ‘Kokobeh’. (Photo: Ibrahim Sillah, author)
The questions that should come to the mind of every sane and concerned citizen of Sierra Leone are: Why should we give much concern to the rants of an individual artist who is expressing his inner feelings about the way he sees and analyses events in our country? Why should we feel so agitated about Emmerson’s erratic, irresponsible and inciting chants? Why should we allow Emmerson to render us so vulnerable to the extent of getting our blood pressure to such high degrees? If Sierra Leoneans are politically mature enough; if Sierra Leoneans are conscious enough of their recent ugly past; if Sierra Leoneans have resolved to rid themselves of the archaic sickening and detrimental tribal sentiments; if Sierra Leoneans cease to think of regional affiliations as no more than geographical positioning and if Sierra Leoneans are forward looking, we should not give a damned concern or consideration to Emmerson’s self-styled, reckless and unpatriotic display.
I call Emmerson’s art unpatriotic and reckless because any sensible Sierra Leoneans thoroughly aware of the current sensitivities on the ground in Sierra Leone should beware of any statements that might trigger off or ferment any rebellious attitudes against the Government. I believe that any well-calculated person should avert kindling any tribal sentiments in an aim to pit tribes against one another. It is absurd that in this 21st century, while we are supposed to garner all our efforts in a concerted manner in the interest of country, we are seen engaged in unhealthy actions whose outcome would probably-may God forbid- render us fragmented into hostile factions. We should know that the world is watching to see how Sierra Leoneans, both masses and Government, are going to manage themselves under the circumstances.
However ugly and disheartening the situation on the ground might be, it is our responsibility, as mature citizens, to have cool and sober heads to help find solutions to our endemic and numerous problems. We need to exercise self-restraint. The world is passing through colossal economic stagnations that are threatening governments and regimes around the world to crumble. But is aiming at each other’s throat the solution to our current plight? Of course, I don’t expect any responsible and sane Sierra Leonean to answer in the affirmative, for that would be deemed as an irresponsible act. I believe it is high time all our technocrats, experts and political parties came in unison to the effective and purposeful aid of President Koroma’s government to help find viable solutions to the crises engulfing Sierra Leone at this most crucial juncture in its history. This should be the homework of every concerned Sierra Leonean whose objective and dream is to see a prosperous Sierra Leone. Such an aid could be in the form of counseling, directing, and offering and suggesting solutions to improve living conditions of the masses. I think President Koroma’s meeting with political leaders on Thursday, 8th January, 2014, was the right step in the right direction. We hope such high profile meetings will take place periodically to discuss-in good faith- issues of substance and relevance to the current state of affairs in our country.
Indeed, every Sierra Leonean is aware that the current electricity status and other things are not going right at the moment. And it is normal under such a circumstance to hold Government responsible because the leadership was mandated to provide citizens with basic services, amongst which electricity stands most paramount. This is an indisputable fact. However, instead of criticizing and lambasting Government so vehemently, it is worth pausing by to analyze the factors behind the entire plight we are going through.
On the other hand, I think there is an organ in the Government that should make it a point of national duty to advise Government, or even criticize it for its short-comings. Our august and revered parliament is that organ. Our MP’s were elected not just to represent their constituencies, but also to aid and direct Government as to what it should do to meet the needs and aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone. These honorable MP’s must realize that they will be partly held accountable for any Government’s failures; they must know that they were not elected just to acquiesce to every single Government’s dictate. We see parliaments around the world that make leaderships yield to the will of the people, because the people are the actual power, and because they (the MP’s) were elected to represent the masses and look after their concerns.
Also, if Sierra Leone is to prosper as we so wish, bipartisan politics must be practiced in a healthy context where all political parties should be seen working in concert for a developed and prosperous Sierra Leone. That is the sort of politics being practiced elsewhere in the democratic world, where political parties deem one another as positive rivals working towards one goal, which is to develop their countries and improve the living conditions of their nationals.
Those fanning the ember of hatred must know that Sierra Leoneans are not ready for any fresh bloodbath; the decade-long gruesome and brutal war must be enough. It must serve as a life lesson for all and sundry. We should now be mature enough to resolve our issues at round tables. It is high time we resorted to our intellect as a way of resolving our problems and improving our lot rather than resorting to brutality. More so, the ‘Pull Him/Her Down’ (PHD) Syndrome must vanish from our midst. If one amongst has been preordained to be at the helm for the time being, why shouldn’t we stand up and help him succeed in his governance of the Republic, because his failure would definitely affect the entire state; after all there is only one country in the universe that we can call Sierra Leone. Hence, if the love for Sierra Leone is entrenched in our bosoms, all our efforts should be geared and directed towards developing Sierra Leone. This task should not be seen as pertaining to only one individual; rather, it should be viewed as a collective responsibility. Leaders are not demi-gods; they are humans who need help; and by helping them, we are indeed helping ourselves. In all honesty, we need to pray fervently for the leadership of our country for the Almighty to guide them to do the right thing for Sierra Leone and its nationals.
Those elements allegedly engaged in retro-active and undermining activities against Present Koroma’s Government must realize that they are doing so to their own detriment. EBK has four more years to go. Therefore, the only viable logic is that we should all support him until he takes back the ship to the shores. He has a mandate to accomplish. If that is so, why then is all this hullaballoo?
By Ibrahim Sillah, Saudi Arabia
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