A Commentary By Ranger
Sierra Leone, like a majority of badly governed and recklessly financially managed developing countries has been a prisoner of economic underdevelopment, mass poverty and high indebtedness that have had adverse socio-economic effects on the lives of their citizens since the failed decades of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and the 90s.
After the return to democracy in 1996, Sierra Leoneans were euphoric that a new era of responsible multi-party politics had come into being. Indeed, it was through this that in 2007, a majority of Sierra Leoneans voted in the APC Government of Ernest Bai Koroma.
Eleven years on, in the March 2018 elections, majority of the citizenry rejected APC rule for the alternate rule of SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio.
Under this new regime, Sierra Leone stands at a critical crossroad between the sins of the past that condemned it to being one of the poorest countries in the world, in spite of its enormous natural resources that can easily pay for any level of material development and leaping forward boldly into a creative dynamic, robustly prosperous future.
Already, Bio has taken some hard decisions that have the main opposition APC that was in power for eleven years and its supporters trying to promote tribalism, xenophobia, regionalism, selective justice, etc but such have been resisted by the media and Civil Society Organizations.
Fact of the matter is that, without the country’s leadership defiantly tackling corruption, any hope of the scarce resources available for development being judicious and effectively used to tackle poverty and all its attendant social evils would be like wishing for a trip to Mars.
Sierra Leone stands at a critical cross road between continued quiet desperate hunger and starvation for a majority of its people, unemployment, underemployment, low wages, continued illiteracy, ill health and outright hopelessness.
Which way do we choose as a nation – up or down?
Frankly speaking, we cannot choose to be hypocritical and not support the President and its Government in fighting corruption and mismanagement of the State ad its resources if we wish for our children to be better educated; if we wish for the economy to become more productive and profitable to its citizens.
Face the fact. Sierra Leone cannot advance its development if we do not put an end to the granting of wasteful uneconomic highly inflated public works contracts to political cronies.
We cannot go far with our development if our civil servants – teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, police officers, tax men and women do not inculcate a high sense of patriotism and selflessness in serving the nation and its citizens.
These are the things Maada Bio have said he wants to do to push the country’s development progressively and rapidly in the coming years.
All those who are against President Bio and his government working to change Sierra Leone’s reality from grass to grace, from poverty to prosperity from hopelessness to plenty, please; hands up.