Like ‘Paopa’ like ‘Tolongbo’ Sierra Leone Politics
Sierra Leoneans have been suffering from bad governance and injustice for far too long. For sixty years after so-called freedom from the shackles and bondage of colonialism by the British, the people are still groaning under the pangs of hunger and poverty, orchestrated by successive governments from ‘Tonlogb to Paopa’.
Sierra Leoneans have become synonymous with acute lack of power supply and pipe-born water, homelessness, unsafe roads, killer medical facilities, crime, violence, and corruption.
A painful irony is that the country is endowed with enormous stocks of natural resources, which political leaders have tapped with impunity to not only filthily enrich themselves and their families, but also dangerously used to cause more suffering on the citizens.
Ridiculing this sad state of affairs, these political cankerworms have used the plight of the people to continue to rule over them and frying them with own oil by building castles in the air through unfulfilled lofty promises loaded in political party manifestoes, well worded to cajole the people by appealing to their gullibility and abject poverty.
In the last elections in 2018, the new SLPP-Paopa formation brandished the ‘People’s Manifesto’, while the outgone APC- Tolongbo architecture traded the ‘Agenda-for-Prosperity’. Both documents have the primary objective of luring the people by pretending to speak to their man-made predicament. Poverty is all over the place and shows little or no signs of disappearing anytime soon; thank God, no less a person than the former Minister of Finance and now Chief Minister in the Bio-led Paopa administration, Jacop Jusu Saffa, like the Bank Governor, Professor Kallon, has what it takes to attest to this dark cloud of excruciating poverty and acute fiscal shortage hanging over the fate of the economy and Sierra Leoneans. I doff my hat to a man who calls a spade, spade and damn the crucifixion of public discourse; in truth, there is salvation.
The people do not deserve this hell on earth as rightful and tax-paying citizens; the talking must stop and start the doing. It’s high time the political elite serve their consciences by serving the people; they are servants in a social contract to serve the people and improve on their welfare through the prudent management of the country’s natural endowment.
As mentioned above, many people are dying in hospitals for lack of proper and quality healthcare; many people go to bed on empty stomachs, while the pets of well-placed Government officials live in abundance of good food; many teachers are not earning salaries, while the children of the political elite enjoy the largesse of education abroad; many rural people go to the bush to answer to the call of nature, while their representatives in Government have bathrooms in their bedrooms and offices, all at the expense of the people.
The perpetrators of this sorry state of Sierra Leoneans are successive governments headed by Paopa-SLPP and Tolongbo-APC. However, the docility of the people can also be blamed for taking too much for too long. One would be inclined to think that having gone through a brutal civil conflict whose scars are yet to disappear from the conscience of the nation, the political maturity of the people would be have scaled up to a level that sends the right message at the right time to the right class, and make political deception and foul play a thing of the past.
By Abdul Kuyateh
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