We have a very serious problem in our country. We do not wait to hear all the facts of an issue . We easily believe the first thing we hear about people or issues and quickly formulate our conclusions without waiting to get all the facts. Everything in Sierra Leone is dangerously aligned to APC/SLPP politics. Our people have become so reckless in their extreme political partisanship that they do not think out of the box of the APC/SLPP political dysfunction anymore.
And my question to some of these political and social commentators, editors, international news stringers, political analysts , op/ed writers and opinion -makers in the social media perambulating all these fallacious, illogical and wrong views on national events online , did they study LOGIC ?Are they familiar with the concepts of deductive , inductive and abductive reasoning ? Analogy, argument, reasoning, inference–Do they mean anything to Sierra Leoneans ?
For a country that was once grandiloquently hoisted as the Athens of West Africa and the beacon of light of Africa, how our people, especially the so-called educated elite and our journalists think is a disgrace not only to our nation but to human intellect. When partisan politics becomes so dangerously extreme that it has become the national opiate, these are some of the results. People no longer look at and examine the facts ; people do not even care any longer for the facts .They spend their waking hours sniffing through gutters and dump piles for negative stories and once they hit the jackpot by getting one, nothing —not even a colourful cavalcade and display of the facts before their eyes –would wrestle them out of their negative assertions, conclusions, spinning and propagation of lies. I have lived in other nations before but I have never seen a people so sold out to negativity AND WRONG CONCLUSIONS like Sierra Leoneans. Some of our West African neighbors reason far more logically than us when it comes to political issues . We are trapped in the APC/SLPP dorty box. Everything in politics is handled based on the hostility between the two parties. The barber does not like the dreadlocks man and the dreadlocks man does not like the barber . It is painful to say this about my country but that is what I have learnt dealing with citizens from these countries. It is my opinion. I hope I am wrong.
The letter written by the Hon. I.B. Kargbo in no way states that the Government of Sierra Leone has granted approval to the Lebanese Government proposal to transfer their trash and waste products to Sierra Leone. Where people are not hellbent on mischief or trying to gain cheap political points, the letter below should have settle the matter. The letter in no way states that President Ernest Koroma is even aware of the proposal, not to mention give his presidential accent to it . “It should be noted that the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has the final say on this matter” means that there has been no final say and that the President does not even know about this proposal yet. “I am just giving my advisory opinion here” actually should have been added next by the Honorable to complete the sentence.
It looks like the opinion of Hon. Kargbo had been sounded on the proposal and he was just giving his advisory opinion and advice. He even states all the conditions needed to be fulfilled if the proposal would ever be accepted. The baled material should not be of toxic nature AND THE MATERIAL SHOULD BE BASED ON THE FACT THAT, IT SHOULD BE PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF FERTILIZATION FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES ! ! !
But whatever precautions Kargbo seemed to be taking in his letter, the government is saying that it did not authorize him or anybody to convey to Lebanon approval of that country’s proposal. What this means is that Hon. Kargbo did not act on behalf of the Government. He was not representing the Government. So, even when Mr. Kargbo said the proposal was acceptable, he was not talking on behalf of the government, because he ended the letter by saying that the President will have to have the final say. How will the President have the final say if the proposal has already been deemed acceptable ? If the President still had to give the final say, then Mr. Kargbo was not speaking on behalf of the President or government when he said the proposal was acceptable. Simple logic. What makes it difficult for people to understand this is their bias and depraved desire that the story be true, whatever the facts. THEY CONTINUE LINKING GOVERNMENT TO THE SCANDAL NOT BASED ON THE FACTS OF THE CASE BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY WANT TO HAPPEN AND THE MANIACAL INCLINATION TO ALWAYS BELIEVE THE WORST ABOUT THEIR COUNTRY.
I am VERY wary about the transfer of trash to our country because we do not have the technology in place for converting waste products into fertilizers, though I am fully aware that it is now another phase of technological development where trash and waste products are now being exported between countries for purposes of fertilization. If one fully understands how trash and wastes are also now being converted to renewable energy, the proposal itself is not as outlandish as many think. It is not without precedence. It is not a new transaction between states. It is ongoing. Norway and other countries, for instance, receive trash and waste from other nations. However, it is in consideration of our situation in Sierra Leone where we do not have the technology to turn wastes into productive commodities that Sierra Leoneans are strongly averse to the idea of bringing in trash from another country. In this , they have a point . But THEY SHOULD TRUST THE GOVERNMENT AND BELIEVE THAT President Koroma and the Government , once told about the proposal, would have viewed it in the same way . The Government would not have accepted the proposal. The manner in which the Government outrightly denounced and dissociated itself from the proposal clearly demonstrates its disdain for the idea and the fact that the proposal would not have been accepted. President Koroma’s Government is out to build Sierra Leone , not engage in any activity that would reverse the government’s own gains.
The other mistake our people make is that they do not judge people by their character. However saintly, pious, upright and honest you are, once an unscrupulous person makes an allegation against you, that is it. Our people believe easily and help to spread the lie, as long as you do not belong to the same political party. Many decent and honest citizens have had their hard-earned reputation sullied by their enemies or those envious of them, because of the gullibility of our people. Anybody who knows President Koroma and tries to judge him fairly and objectively will not believe that President Koroma will be party to any scheme to import wastes and trash into our country, especially at this time when we are trying to recover from Ebola. President Koroma is not a perfect mortal. Nobody is perfect. We all have our foibles. However, the President has demonstrated enough that he loves his people and cares for their welfare. He has built us beautiful roads and beautiful structures. He has shown that he loves beauty which is why he is beautifying our country. Why would such a President approve a proposal to import trash into the country ?
We Sierra Leoneans must also learn to believe , trust our Government and give it chance to do its work. The press release below from Government clearly shows that the Government has nothing to do with the proposal to bring trash to Sierra Leone. Whoever was engaged in any negotiations was not acting on behalf of President Koroma and the Government. The fact that a criminal investigation was immediately launched and the presidential adviser was invited to the CID to be quizzed on the matter shows good faith gestures by the Government to drum home the fact that it is not a party to the trash plan. Let us give the Government chance to delve deeper into the matter and determine whether there was any wrongdoing and criminal act.
LET US STOP POLITICIZING EVERYTHING IN OUR COUNTRY. LET US STOP JUMPING TO HASTY CONCLUSIONS BEFORE WE HEAR ALL THE FACTS. LET US LEARN TO REASON OUT THINGS BEFORE WE CONCLUDE.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS SAID IT HAS NO HAND IN THIS MATTER AND HAS EVEN LAUNCHED CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS.
WE MUST BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT AND STOP ACCUSING IT FALSELY.
The attention of government has been drawn to an article published on 9th january, 2016 in the As – Safir newspaper of Lebanon in which it is claimed that the Lebanese Foreign Ministry has received a letter from the authorities in Sierra Leone indicating the country’s willingness to accept waste from Lebanon on the condition that it is free of toxins. The said letter is allegedly signed by an adviser to His Excellency the president. The newspaper further stated that approval remains at a preliminary stage until the President and government of Sierra Leone confirm the deal.
Since this matter is currently the subject of an active debate, it is incumbent on government to clear the air by issuing this disclaimer. Government wants to make it abundantly clear that it has not agreed to accept waste from Lebanon and has not authorised any official of state to convey approval to that effect. Government is fully aware of the danger posed by hazardous and non – hazardous waste and gives the full assurance that it will never expose the public to such long – term risks to health and the environment.
His Excellency the President has instructed the office of National Security and the Sierra Leone Police to conduct criminal investigations into the circumstances surrounding this matter and the public will be apprised of the outcome. Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has also been instructed by His Excellency to ascertain through diplomatic channels in Lebanon the origin of this proposed transaction.
Freetown 9th january, 2016