Vice-President Berewa of Sierra Leone and Leadership Skills And qualities to lead Sierra Leone

Wednesday  October  25,  2006

By Dr. Burney N. Williams

Professor of  Mass Communication
Solomon-Berewa

 

Vice-President, Brewa of Sierra Leone aspiring to become President in 2007 lacks dynamic leadership skills, qualities, wit, tact, commitment, and the keen interest necessary to catapult Sierra Leone and Sierraleoneans in development. This is based on a critical and sound rhetorical analysis of his speeches delivered to Sierra leoneans in the United States of America, during his September 2006 fund raising visit for the general election in July/November 2007. He was asked three important questions that raised his temperature to fever heat, and caused him to do away with his sense of good humor. He became upset and gave arbitrary, irresponsible and condescending answers due to fatigue it seems.

 

His answers clearly demonstrated that he could not conceptualize what is leadership and his duties to the people of Sierra Leone as President. For the learned Brewa, some academicians in the audience were dismayed at his illusive and unscrupulous answers.  He forgot that he was not speaking to an illiterate audience in Sierra Leone. The pathos, logos and ethos in his delivery rendered him unsatisfactory for President of Sierra Leone in 2007. One wondered if the Vice-president knew the composition of his audience in the United States of America that he was addressing. Without disrespect to any of our leaders, it would appear wise for some of our leaders to pursue Leadership, Conference and Communication courses for their advancement and the good of Sierra Leone.

 

 

When a Vice- president aspires to become President of Sierra Leone, it means better leadership with unlimited responsibility, excellent short-and- long term plans to benefit citizens economically, culturally, educationally, spiritually and health-wise in nation building. It should be a challenge and fun because you will be working with illiterates to get the task of nation building done within a specified time. It means that people will be expecting you to take the responsibility of getting the job of nation building well done. Furthermore, don’t forget that only a bad workman would quarrel with his tools. Good leadership is a gift. You are to born with it, then you can lead wisely. However, if you are not born with it, you cannot rule wisely! Sierra Leone has had too many round pegs in square holes. When are they going to move forward in development? What then is good leadership?

 

 

Good leadership is the process of getting tasks performed through people under direction based upon the boss’s personality, attitude and wisdom. Leaders get things done by working through people to attain fruitful goals within a specified period based on direction. Being a leader is adventurous because one can never be sure to attain the goal set. The leader is the person that citizens look up to get the city in sanitary condition, provide clean drinking water, light, good roads, reliable Postal System and the prompt payment of salary in a country.  So do not think the job, as President of State will be just an honor. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. To yourself be true, Sierra Leone is in search of a vibrant, youthful, progressive, trustworthy and committed leader for the 2007 general election. Do you possess those qualities Sir?

 

This means that citizens are expecting the leader to take the responsibility of getting the above tasks accomplished through people for their well being. These people are voters and tax- payers. Huge loans and grants are given to you for their well-being by donors from overseas yearly. If one leads, they will do the job. If one fails to lead, they will expect him to do the job all by himself. That is why it is important that one begins right now to learn what leadership is all about. If one learned anything at Christ the King College High School, did not Christ wash the feet of his disciples? That was an action to demonstrate love and that the highest amongst you should be your servant.

 

How can you proudly enjoy the privileges of Vice –president of Sierra Leone, aspiring to be president? When you failed to show love and to perform your duties to the people Sir, Vice president does not automatically make you a good leader and strong contender for the Presidency of Sierra Leone. However, it identifies you as a politician who others may want to follow. This is provided you will let then by showing good leadership, which you had not done since you were in office, Sir.

 

 

You failed to give an account of your steward in Sierra Leone to us in the United States of America for the time you were in office. Where is the electricity? How many houses went ablaze in Freetown because of candle-light during your term of office as Vice-President? Where is the clean Water? What happened to the roads? Why is the price of Petrol still high in Sierra Leone? Where did all the funds go? What have you done about education? Why cant you pay teachers well and in time Sir? What about law and order, Sir ? What have you done beside saying you are the Vice-President of Sierra Leone seeking funds?

 

How long does it take one to fumble to become a good leader? You have had your chance, and could not make it. Can you willingly and respectfully give way to others?

 

 

Mr. Brewa how can you openly refrain from taking the responsibility of cleaning your Capital city through the people, where you and your citizens reside, and you entertain foreign visitors to talk investment business in filth? What would you want foreign visitors to think of you and your country? Please, what are Sierraleoneans? Where do they come from, and where do they live? What is a pig-sty?

 

When the Vice-president, Berewa visited America in September of 2006, when asked about the sanitation problem in Sierra Leone, he became upset and replied, “Na mi dae go clean you back yard.”  This means, do you expect me as Vice-president to clean up your yard.”  The Vice-president was getting back at the person who raised the question. Does this imply that the Vice-president is vindictive and feels that he is above every one. The people voted for you to become Vice-president. The people may let you down to your level again. Of course, pride goes before a fall. The audience was disappointed by the remarks made by Mr. Brewa, Vice-president of Sierra Leone.

 

This answer shows that Mr. Brewa is an arrogant leader, discourteous to his fellow citizens, proud to a fault, conceited and haughty. There is a big want of understanding between him and the job that he wants to undertake. This is an indication that he is not there to serve Sierra Leone and Sierraleoneans. Also, this statement portrays that he cannot conceptualize what is leadership. Therefore, he lacks the ability to get the people to perform work for the benefit of nation building. The things that come out of a person defile that person, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

 

 

Consequently, this is the reason why Sierra Leone did not progress an inch in anything after the civil unrest, has not progressed and will not progress before of poor leadership. This has nothing to do with the Sierra Leone’s People Party (SLPP), but the individual representing that party. Sierra Leone has passed the stage when people hide behind political parties. We want to see a leader for what that individual can offer the nation in terms of progress for the people and country.

 

 

Second, a Mende lady, Baindu Kemokae questioned Vice-president, Brewa about the irregularities in the Postal Services. “Why mails from the diaspora hardly reach their owners in Sierra Leone?” Brewa replied, may be you don’t know how to address your letters.”  This sounded so naïve coming from the Vice-president of Sierra Leone. This is an indication that he felt that he was addressing an illiterate Mende lady in Sierra Leone, even though he was speaking to Sierraleoneans in the United States of America. It is shockingly strange that Mr. Brewa,. Vice-president of Sierra Leone, a lawyer does not know that mail pilfering had been going on in Sierra Leone since time immemorial? How can he solve what he does not know? Is this a big cover up? Or does the Vice-president seemed removed from his people’s problem and reality in Sierra Leone. Also.this is an indication that Mr. Brewa, a Mende man has no respect for Mende ladies specifically and ladies.in general.

 

 

Baindu Kemokae is a representative of the group of ladies. Mr. Brewa could have been carrying out such irresponsible and unwarranted behavior in Sierra Leone by talking down to ladies. He spoke down to her in a contemptuous and condescending manner. His tone of voice and the content of his message to the lady appeared disrespectful, discourteous, arrogant, snobbish and conceited. He did not know whether the lady was a graduate or not, he simply made the statement that may be she did not know how to address letters. This statement portrays Brewa as a frustrated sexist. He is short- tempered and easily irritable. He is quick to rush to conclusion without enough evidence even though he is a lawyer.

 

 

 

Also, there is indication that Mr. Brewa does not care if letters of citizens go astray or are tampered with, as long as his letters reach him safely. He is a selfish politician, who would not improve the Postal Services or Government system because he is satisfied with the out put. The ethos of his speeches indicate that he is not adventurous, nor a problem solver and talks down to his subordinates. He appears to be concerned only about himself and cares less about his citizens. He portrays himself as an egoistic person. Therefore, lacks empathy, love, interpersonal communication skills and qualities necessary for good leadership.

 

Third, Brewa told the audience that “Sierra Leonean teachers are paid on time every month to the point where some teachers are now refusing to take their salaries because they have enough money in their hands.” What a Vice-president! With all due respect to the Vice-president, Brewa was in defense, denial and under tremendous pressure from questions that he was not expecting. Brewa publicly ridiculed the teachers of Sierra Leone. He made a rhetorically exaggerated statement when he said that some teachers in Sierra Leone are now refusing to take their salaries because they have enough money in their hands. Of course, that was a sarcastic statement which portrays Brewa as a comedian. He could not be taken seriously because he blew things out of proportion. This statement portrays him as one who does not tell the truth, nor accept his fault for wrong done to teachers. Economists have stated that the salaries of teachers specifically and workers general in Sierra Leone fall far below the cost of living index for that country. Since Mr. Brewa gets his monthly salary, if teachers do not, it is their problem. Is it that his attitude to teachers and workers on salary issues in Sierra Leone is nonchalant?

 

 

 

Therefore, if given a chance he would not amend his ways, better the situation of teachers or find a solution to the late payment of teachers in Sierra Leone. He is an introverted person, therefore not a peoples’ persons. One cannot give what he does not possess. It shows that his values for education and the educated are low. How can Brewa become president at this time when Sierraleoneans are in need of education and the educated to develop the country that has 87 percent of its populace as illiterate. Brewa is not a teacher, but could lovingly work through teachers to propagate education in Sierra Leone to reach that goal despite the pittance that teachers are paid. It takes good leadership which Brewa lacks and cannot be taught at this time because old dogs do not answer to new names.

 

This is because as far as Brewa is concerned all is well with Sierra Leone because he believes that he has done so much that people do not want to acknowledge. A good runner sees himself as the fastest until he gets to the track and sees someone ahead of him. The eye sees not itself, but by reflection. If you want progress in Sierra Leone, let your citizens be your judge. He is over confident that he would win the general election by hiding under and behind the banner of the party. If a seasoned statesman of maturity, Brewa could have said thanks in a polite manner for bringing these facts to my knowledge, once I assume the Presidency most things would be handled differently for the progress of Sierra Leone. His speeches lacked that finesse of a seasoned politician and lawyer like Bliar of Britain, and Clinton of the United States. Sierra Leone politicians in their speeches should have been in that category at this stage and time. Therefore, Mr. Brewa did not display any wit, tack or wisdom, if he had any as a politician and lawyer it did not emerge.

 

 

With the educational, economical, cultural, political and spiritual competition in the global village, based on the poor performance of Vice-president, Brewa in the United States of America, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) would need to find a suitable, youthful, committed, intelligent, witty, tactful, trustworthy, truthful, dynamic and energetic politician to compete for the presidency of Sierra Leone. That party seems to have done a lot of good things for Sierra Leone and need to continue, but the problem at this time is better leadership. Therefore, the Sierra Leone Students’ for Democratic Progress in the United States of America has unanimously failed to endorse the good, Mr. Brewa for President as we deserve a better president for Sierra Leone. Consequently, it is apparent that when humans are prone to heights of greatness, that the higher they go the better their hidden qualities at worse are perceived from ground zero. Also, we wish Charles Magai too could come and talk to Sierraleoneans in the United States of America for us to be able to evaluate and assess him as a presidential candidate for Sierra Leone.

 

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