By Abraham Williams
Your Excellency Sir,
In this edition I shall endeavour to deliberate on the ongoing law school saga, the Ebola fight and the natural mineral/wealth potential of Sierra Leone.
I would like to thank the Attorney General for his recent intervention into this embarrassing situation between the Law School Administration and some outgoing students. From the feedback I have been receiving on his latest meetings held last week, in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) with the aggrieved students, seems fair and mature enough to expect an amicable outcome. And as much as the matter is still pending this is what is required of our public functionaries. Bravo AG and the Commissioner, HRCSL!
However, from the facts I know this matter ought to have been resolved a long while ago without creating unnecessary threats or ripples of victimization and evasion of justice; and they normally say, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. Therefore, I would like to crave your indulgence to personally follow-up on this issue to its logical or in-house legal redress, noting that it was the meting out of such injustice and the reckless accumulation of similar sagas (among several other unequal scenarios) that precipitated our recently concluded civil war.
I do realize that many naive people are very uncomfortable when we refer to our past war and forewarn against its recurrence. But I would like to summarily state that avoidance of war (as any ugly history) is not evading discourses about it, as in dealing with the identified root causes of it. This is extremely crucial because, if the major root causes of our most loathed past war, such as corruption, victimization, selective justice and scapegoatism, press and human rights repression, etc. are increasing without decisive check from you and our public functionaries especially, we would be inadvertently dragging ourselves wily-nily to that road sooner or later. So, my advice is that as we keep in prayer against such mayhems, we should all watch out for warning signs and keep addressing them constructively, and as such work at preventing any recurrence.
Since the dreadful Ebola haemorrhagic virus entered Sierra Leone there seems to have been frantic efforts, (though to some extent with disjointed signals,) from government and other relevant health and humanitarian stakeholders to forestall, prevent and/or control the spread of this killer disease. Even recently there has been an ‘ongoing collaborative effort in the Mano River Union basin between both the health ministries and the governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea’. My prayer is that these efforts produce the practical interactions and actions that will soon curb this fatal disease. And my advice too is that all politicisation of this issue be stopped as this virus continues to claim lives on an ever increasing basis without regard to political affiliation. I would like to end here by applauding all the efforts of the health minister and ministry, government and other international actors in fighting this dreadful pandemic. And may the good and merciful Lord rid our nation and this sub-region of it.
Having recently travelled to some parts of Sierra Leone, I am made to reflect with satisfaction on what one former top public functionary of the eastern region said in a privilege conversation with him in the 1980s; that when he went to study in Israel, he was shown from scientific prospecting that the entire country (Sierra Leone) seats on very valuable natural resources: of the mineral, agricultural and marine sectors especially.
My advice in this vein is that government and the private sector consider the exploring and utilizing of our vast fertile agricultural land in order to return to exporting rice and other crops, as well as reviewing our mining policies, especially as it pertains to the relationship, collaboration and mutual benefits of both the investors and the host communities. Let us move from the system of the excessive exploitation of our host communities by some in governance and public service, (in contrivance with investors,) without realistic and commensurate rehabilitation and development of the host communities.
I also noticed during this visit upcountry that several of our local authorities really want to see the lives of their people transformed and their communities developed with the resources that are freely given to them by God and their natural environments. Government needs to plan and act much with these elected local authorities from the outset in order to see the actual realisation of “popular development and prosperity” in their various communities.
It is rather very disheartening to note that most of our public functionaries have been (and continue to be increasingly) very unpatriotic, selfish and dishonest to Sierra Leone and the Sierra Leonean masses or tax payers. They keep amassing wealth for themselves heartlessly (and to serve their several generations yet unborn,) at the expense of the masses and the nation. I observe that what is meant for millions is conveniently siphoned by one man elected by the many to serve them, in contrivance with some functionaries appointed to serve the general interest and being paid from the tax payers’ money. No wonder the 2012/2013 Auditor General’s Reports still remain unattended to by the ACC and your government. What a disservice to the country and posterity.
Frankly, I have numerous unanswered questions on my mind concerning government’s honesty to pursue and/execute your Agenda for Prosperity. How can well thoughtful and popularly well meaning programmes as this be made to serve only a handful in society? Do remember that God, posterity and the current generation will judge all our leaders sooner or later, but no one escapes divine and/or popular justice eventually.
Sir, I leave that with you and your conscience toward God and humanity.
LAND THAT WE LOVE OUR SIERRA LEONE!