Where Is The Share Of Our Shared Prosperity?
Posted by African Press International on August 13, 2014
By Sulay B. Conteh
About two years into his last five-year term of office, utter abyss has befallen the politically so-lauded prosperity for all Sierra Leoneans declared by His Excellency, President Dr. Earnest Bai Koroma. Koroma and his APC Party came to power in 2007 with a political drive for attitudinal change, which laid the basis of governance in his first five-year term of office. Little did we know that APC Koroma had meant to redirect the country into all the bad habits his predecessor, Late President Kabbah, had so assiduously fought against with tremendous fortitude. After over three decades of systematic social, cultural, economic and political decadence under successive APC Governments, the Kabbah-led SLPP Government painfully worked to remove all sorts of corruption, plundering and political decadence from national institutions in Sierra Leone within just ten years. The decades of accumulated domestic and foreign debts of Sierra Leone were completely cleared and a handsome nation reserve built to put the country back on a solid financial footing. Press freedom and human rights were observed to the letter and also the parliament and the judiciary restructured to work without fear of political interference and coercion. With the APC-Koroma initiated attitudinal change since his questionable election victory in 2007, Sierra Leone once again deeply relapsed into all worst habits of governance. Battered with corruption and plundering of an epic magnitude, Sierra Leone has once again accumulated billions of dollars in foreign and domestic debts. Press freedom and human rights have again become those beautiful things of yesteryears. The parliament and the judiciary are now puppets of the APC Government. State revenues have become personal incomes of the corrupt authorities in charge. Today in Sierra Leone, there is nothing left for the common people to legitimately survive on. This was indeed the sweeping agenda for attitudinal change which APC President Koroma instituted in his first five-year term of office.
In his second and final five-year term of office, President Koroma again introduced a brand new agenda called the agenda for prosperity. With the woeful deceit and the subsequent failure of the agenda for attitudinal change, at least for the large majority of Sierra Leoneans, hardly was the agenda for prosperity launched than it became crystal clear that it was another deceit and therefore doom to fail. Just prior to the 2012 elections, President Koroma had just decorated the streets of Freetown with street lamps powered by solar cells. Also the Wilkinson Road was hastily given a flashy tar pavement. APC Koroma had even gone to the extent of grading the provincial roads in the East and South, including Kailahun, Pujehun, Moyamba, Bonthe, etcetera, etcetera. All these projects were just meant to fool the illiterate majority of Sierra Leoneans that the APC-Koroma Government really meant good for the country. No sooner was the election stylistically rigged and declared worn than the APC-Koroma Government abandoned all these cherishable projects. Even the street lamps in Freetown were hurriedly uprooted and completely sold out. Of course, most of the roads in the North were tar paved during Kabbah’s SLPP regime and are today the only reliable roads in Sierra Leone.
The APC-Koroma Government openly promised Sierra Leone in the National Stadium in Freetown that it will provide a total of one thousand buses before the end of its second term of office. In the hospitals, free medical programs were launched for the pregnant, lactating and vulnerable population. The medical system in Sierra Leone was lauded by the APC-Koroma Government as one of the best in the world, and in fact the best in the developing world. All these narratives and the numerous more not mentioned here are now clearly known to amount to nothing but a politically calculated hoax meant to tell the people of Sierra Leone that You Are A Country Of Stupid Nonentities. Now the outbreak of the Ebola Epidemic Disease, which of course is new in West Africa but not at all new in East Africa, has clearly revealed how best our medical systems in Sierra Leone are. Not even are there simple dressing gears for the doctors, let alone appropriate drugs or ambulances or even the infrastructure where to treat patients. It is a total disgrace to realize that with all the iron ore, bauxite, rutile, zircon, petroleum, fisheries, cocoa/coffee produce, etcetera, etcetera, we have to be given adaptable tricycle ambulances by filthily wealthy nations like Saudi Arabia. It is really a disgrace worse than slapping one straight in the face with sole of the shoe.
Where has all the money from plundering our God-given natural resources gone under the APC rule? Was this what APC Koroma meant by the agenda for attitudinal change and the agenda for prosperity? After fraudulently cooking the figures to put economic growth in Sierra Leone at over 13 per cent (the highest in the world), the people are today smoldering in a sober destitution never before experienced. In fact the fatality rate of the Ebola in West Africa is put at around 56 per cent, far less than that in East Africa, which has a fatality rater of over 80 per cent. This implies that the Ebola in West Africa is not as deadly as that in East Africa. Then one wonders why the so much alarm about the Ebola in West Africa? The reason is just very simple and clear. It is the I-don’t-care laxity of the Governments of the Ebola-infected countries in West Africa regarding the containment and treatment of the killer virus disease that have dead-scared the Western and Eastern worlds. Sierra Leone, in particular, initially treated the virus disease outbreak as a political curse on the people of Kailahun District. It was not until when the lone virologist doctor died of the disease, the almost nation-wide spread of the disease and above all the band on attending the Historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that the APC Government started treating the killer virus disease outbreak with some seriousness. Even so, the Government allocated two hundred million Leones to fight the Ebola Virus Disease in Koinadugu District, when we are still to hear a single confirmed case of the disease. Can the APC Koroma Government please tell us how much it allocated to the districts in the Eastern and Southern Provinces where the killer disease has its worst tolls in the country?
We are caught by surprise and in absolute shame that in a country with the best medical system in the world and with the highest economic growth rate of over 13 per cent, a known disease epidemic like Ebola could devastate us so very rapidly. Have the agendas for change and prosperity now changed into the agenda for governance relapse and agenda for Ebola death? The reality is that things are so much so worse that the entire country of Sierra Leone is today a land of death traps. If you survive economic hardship, then treatable diseases could easily kill you or political witch-hunting and suppression will eventually pin you down and exterminate you. There are also the witch doctors who have become renowned under the Koroma-led APC Government for summarily exterminating progressive people in the country. For the lay man in the streets of Sierra Leone, there is absolutely no room for survival. It is the replica of the APC tactic put in place in Sierra Leone that Ambassador Foh is hurriedly putting in place in China today. The underlying doctrine of the tactic is “leave no room for the masses to survive”. As long as you can squeeze the survival of the masses into your hands, then you can manipulate them anyhow you like. This is the agenda for change and prosperity for the chosen few. As long as the masses cannot survive, then the few in authority can prosper into wealthy monsters they are today.
We have to work concertedly to change this inhuman doctrine or Sierra Leone will be forever doomed.
God Bless Sierra Leone!