Written by Kabs Kanu Thursday, 18 March 2010 06:39
Take it or leave it. Whatever shortcomings critics attribute to President Ernest Koroma’s no-nonsense and uncompromising stand against corruption in Sierra Leone, one fact stands sure.When the contemporary history of Sierra Leone is written, the President will certainly occupy an enviable place in Sierra Leone’s folklore. He will forever be known as the first President of Sierra Leone who took a drastic stand against corruption, the seemingly impregnable beast that has wreaked untold havoc on socio-economic and political prosperity in our land.
Already, the international and diplomatic world are beginning to take Sierra Leone seriously as one African nation that is now ready to put a mortal dent on corruption, the plague that the continent has flattered with to her own doom.Soon ,as Jamaica may be considering doing, fascinated leaders of other nations may start knocking at our doors to enquire how we successfully launched a crusade against a demon that other nations have steered clear off and have been hesitant to take by the horns .
Also standing sure is the fact that President Koroma is also laying a solid foundation for an elections landslide in 2012. The truth is that however much the President is criticised (And the critics are entitled to their opinions ) the generality of Sierra Leoneans are impressed with President Koroma’s fight to stamp out corruption from Sierra Leone at last. And they will not forget him on Elections Day, come 2012.
All President Koroma has to do is just remain unmoved and undeterred and set his face like a flint towards his goal.
The President knows more that some of us do that he will never satisfy everybody. He will do his dazzling best to satisfy us all, but he knows too well that it is not humanely possible to satisfy everybody.
Yesterday, the cry in the opposition circles was that President Koroma has sacred cows, contrary to his campaign promises in 2005-2007 that when he wins the Presidential Elections, there will be no sacred cows in government. Now the President has demonstrated that he does not indeed have any sacred cows and once the Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC ) provides proof and institutes legal action against any of his ministers or public officers , whoever those ministers or public officials are they must go. President Koroma has indeed proved that there are no sacred cows in his government.
Sierra Leoneans have to realize that it is never an easy decision for a President or a boss in any entity to let go of employees who had served him for a reasonable length of time. We ,especially, are a very small country and we are all bound, one way or the other, by family, kinship,marriage, regional and other difficult-to-break ties . Our tradition also dictates that we protect the interests of each other and one thing that no conscientious Sierra Leonean loves to do is to remove bread from the mouths of his compatriots. It was therefore not easy for the President when he had to take adverse decisions against his ministers. But a man is only as good as his word and his principles. The President does not delight in firing his ministers and Ernest Koroma has never been a vindictive person , even during his college days or life as a young insurance executive but when circumstances arise where his sentiments on one side and his moral principles and the nation’s interests collide , he has to take action in the interest of his moral principles and the nation, because, after all, he is the Chief law-enforcement officer in the land. Everybody is looking up to him to lead the way in making Sierra Leone a better country where the law works. If he does not ensure that the laws of the land are enforced, what kind of President will he want people to think he is and also, what kind of society will he be building ? It is very sad to let go of an employee in our unique African setting, but often, we are left with no choice. The national interest should be more supreme. If the President allows sentiments to cloud his judgement, the same people condemning him now will be the first to accuse him of complicity and there will be utter chaos .
For those who have a niche for always smelling the rat, President Koroma will never be part of a conspiracy against anyone. That is not his nature and even his detractors can acknowledge that. He is just doing his job.
If indeed those accused of corruption were ‘set up’ by unscrupulous ones, the legal system will decide. They will have their day in court and if indeed they are found not guilty, they will not only be exonerated but they will have the last laugh ,especially if they are reinstated. There is no joyful sentiment as having the last laugh. But let us give the legal system chance to work. We have all been clamoring for this kind of accountability and transparent justice in Sierra Leone. Let’s allow the system to work.
Female political activist, Agnes Dugba Macauley of the UK told us an interesting story at Leonenet-TAMU. Trying to reinforce the fact that it is very difficult to please Sierra Leoneans, Agnes narrated this story :
Let me tell you a little story: There is strong belief that a typical Sierra Leone will always find faults no matter what. A typical example is when a man visited his in-laws and the mother-in-law asked what he would particularly want on a Saturday Morning. He replied in krio: “mama nar plasas a go want.” The mother- in -law said “plasas enh ? ” …and he said “yes mama.” The mother- in- law cooked some very delicious cassava leaves with smoked monkey ..and when the food was presented to him on Saturday, he said: “de plasas sweet oh but a bin for lekke craine craine; especially wae nar Satiday. Why you nor cook two kine plasas, cassada liff en craine craine? ” The mother-in-law just scratched her head and smiled walking away sighing …ah we salone pipul dem!! We will never just appreciate anything without the why, or But. I guess thats that makes us a unique group of people.
This is a graphic picture of the way we behave and it is not right. We have to make up our minds what we really want.
I have always believed that people are entitled to their opinions.However, if we make ourselves too difficult to please, we will create a situation where , in future, other leaders will become shy of taking major decisions affecting the nation.
Let’s give credit to the President for his moral courage and commitment to fight corruption. It is a new day in Sierra Leone.The history books will not only hail this new dawn in Sierra Leone but the nation will always crave for a no-nonsense President like Ernest Koroma under whose watch corruption is about to suffer a black eye .
Certainly, the President is doing an outstanding job to discourage corruption and he is not only laying a strong foundation for Sierra Leoneans to give him a second term to complete his crusade. If things continue at the pace they are going, by the time President Koroma completes his second term, Sierra Leone will be a nation that we will all be proud of. We are setting the pace once again and soon, we will restore our old glory of being the Beacon of Light of Africa.
This is what we have been praying for and we thank God that it is now being fulfilled.
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