ONE Sunday morning, a lady late for church service met a man sitting outside the church crying bitterly. “Why are you sitting here crying so loudly ” , the woman screamed out at the man. “It is those people inside the church”, the man screamed back . “They are blaming me for everything , even their own human foibles. Even problems that are outside my purview, they are blaming me for them.” The bespectacled woman asked him , “Who are you ? ” and he replied “I am Satan, the Devil” . Though she did not care for the Devil, the woman agreed profusely with the man because it is the problem of modern day Christianity. Even when they commit sins through their own lust for evil , their own lack of self-control , bad judgements and deliberate choice to comit sins, christians blame the Devil. This is making their redemption impossible because to be saved, they first need to accept responsibility for their own sins, repent and ask God for forgiveness
Though there is no attempt here to equate the Devil with any human institution, much less a hardworking Government like the present APC Administration, this is exactly the kind of society the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) has created in Sierra Leone today in their blind, uncontrollable greed to wrestle back power from the ruling APC. Everything is the fault of President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC Government. One only needs to visit the website of our noisy neighbours at the New People Online or the Unity , Global Times, etc. to see this unprogressive and unproductive trend in action.
The vigilant Sierra Leone Police Force , acting on a tip-off, stages a dramatic sting operation , swoops on the Freetown Quay and arrests a container of cocaine that was imported to the country by ill-disposed criminals who have no connection whatsoever to the APC Government. But instead of praising the Police, President Ernest Koroma , who has no way of knowing that such a container was heading for Sierra Leone, is blamed by SLPP journalists and zealots. If anything, the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma should have been highly commended for their spectacular successes in thwarting criminals’ attempts to bring cocaine and other drugs into the country. What these crack downs mean is that the APC Government IS DOING A GREAT JOB TO COMBAT DRUG-TRAFFICKING IN SIERRA LEONE. It has put in place efficient and effective structures that are successfully blocking all attempts by criminals to import drugs into the country. In the past, without such structures the drug-traffickers had no problems importing their dangerous stuff into the country. Certainly, the cocaine trade did not start overnight.It has been going on for long.
Even the last Al Jazeera sting operation by Sorious Samura that exposed what has now been dubbed the Timbergate scandal, shoddy though the investigative work , was made possible because of the transparent, open and accountable socio-political system being run in Sierra Leone by the President Koroma Government. We are made to believe that some people at the top had foreknowledge of the presence of the Al Jazeera team in Sierra Leone but did not stop them from doing their undercover work because they wanted the corrupt timber trade to be exposed . If this is true, it further demonstrates how democratic and transparent this government is, unlike others before it. If true, it shows that this government has nothing to hide and is serious about fighting corruption.
But for the pro-SLPP media , SLPP commentators and party executives , every successful operation designed to expose social evils and clean up the country is a larvish and golden opportunity to cast blame on the Government and hold its feet to the unjustified fire of blame. So many ridiculous articles have surfaced in SLPP newspapers and forums lately about the APC Government turning Sierra Leone into a haven for cocaine importation that one wonders whether the brains of the accusers are screwed in the right place. Some uncouth and unreasonable writers even tried to link President Koroma to these evils. This is not only ignorance and imbecility in action but stunning wickedness towards the truth. One could also see that these articles are well-calculated and designed by SLPP operatives to unfairly tarnish the image of the President and the government because not all of them are written by journalists who can be classified as imbeciles. It is a deliberate attempt to give the government a bad rap for political capital.
Drug busts take place on a regular basis in the U.S. and other industrialized countries which have the mechanism and the logistical clout to prevent attempts by drug lords to import their deadly drugs into these countries.Yet, when they happen, no U.S. newspaper blames President OBama or the Democrats .There are bank robberies, homicides and rapes everyday in Western countries. There are police killings of civilians now and again , some bordering on highhandedness and abuse by the Police but nobody blames President OBama or the Government. Greed and recklessness in the American mortgage industry caused the latest global economic downturn that has resulted in massive retrenchment of workers, freeze on employment, extreme hardship, leading further to millions losing their homes to foreclosures , but never have these problems been blamed on President OBama and the Government. Americans are learned and honest enough to know that some of these problems are not within the purview of President OBama and the Government. They are social evils that have prevailed before OBama was born and will continue even after he would have left power. Are mental backwardness and ignorance of the operations of the social and economic system responsible for Sierra Leoneans, on the other hand, blaming their President and Government for these evils over which they have no control ? Are we so dumb that we do not know what the government is culpable for and what it is not ?
The problem with Sierra Leone is that journalists and socio-political activists have lost their way in a country where journalism practice was once so excellent that Sierra Leone was regarded as the Fleet Street of West Africa, in addition to being the Athens of West Africa . Gone are the days of objective and probing analyses of socio-economic and political problems by responsible newspapers and writers . What we have now are imbeciles who do not care for the truth or responsible analyses of societal evils. They are politicians and everything is written to satiate their political excesses. Welcome to the new Sierra Leone where any moron can get up overnight and start calling himself Editor-In-Chief or a journalist or political commentator . Because of this anomaly, our so-called journalists and newspaper columnists and analysts lack the ability to critically and scientifically examine and analyse social and economic evils in their correct perspectives and discover their true causes .What is seen in Sierra Leone is the tendency to personalize the news and ascribe unlearned and self-serving meanings to it along political, regional and tribal lines. How are the mighty fallen ! ! !
The “Ernest Koroma did it” chorus always robs the readers of the opportunity to learn the true causes of corruption and evils or the cocaine trade .Readers may never know that cocaine and drug-smuggling are infact entrenched and deep-seated problems that flourished even during the NPRC and SLPP eras. Maada Bio, SAJ Musa , Valentine Strasser and some NPRC members were opium addicts who virtually lived on diamba. Yet the reader is unable to know that the problem of drug-smuggling goes beyond complicity by unpatriotic elements in our society because every news item is personalized to suit partisan, tribal and regional interests. Powerful International drug barons with solid international connections are the culprits in a multi-billion dollar enterprise that is taxing the resources of even governments in the U.S, Britain and industrialized countries . A diplomatic bag belonging to one of the officials of the SLPP Government was even confiscated at a British airport in 2002 . This clearly meant that the cocaine business was so serious that some impudent Sierra Leoneans even used our diplomatic baggage to trade in drugs , unknown to President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Was Ernest Koroma the President of Sierra Leone at that time ?
The SLPP should banish the thought that they will seize back power by unjustifiably blaming the government for everything, even matters that are outside the purview of government . The SLPP had a very poor record of governance . They ruled for 11 unbroken years and have nothing concrete to point to as achievement during their reign. Whatever the problems, President Koroma has achieved far more in just four years than the SLPP in 11 years. Why would the Sierra Leonean people suddenly abandon a government that is developing their country and relapse and revert to a government that had 11 years to prove its mettle but left the country in total darkness–with no electricity or water– food shortages, economic hardships and a filthy capital that was an embarrassment to everybody ?
The SLPP may have forgotten so easily that it was the worst government in Sierra Leone’s contemporary history but the people of Sierra Leone have not forgotten. They can blame the Government for everything including not sitting right on their comode but the Sierra Leonean people know that President Koroma is not responsible for these problems. He met them flourishing when he came to power in 2007 and is facing them head-on and taking the bull by the horns. It seems that these problems have escalated but this is not correct. Rather there is now so much focus on the evils as the government tackles them boldly . It will be a gigantic fight but because he is genuine and means well for our nation, success will crown President Koroma’s efforts. The SLPP and their propagandists will never succeed to damage the President’s name with their blame games.
© 2011, Cocorioko Newspaper. All rights reserved. – For the Latest News on Sierra leone