Change of Attitude: Monkey for Lef Di Black Han Bizness!

13 February 2008 at 05:21 | 915 views

By Mohamed Boye Jallo Jamboria, Norway.

Leadership is all about saying and doing and as the axiom goes “example is better than precept”; so must the leadership for the general good adopt the mode of setting examples.

Talking about leadership, who is the leader and what is expected of that leader? The leader is a broad based term that is applicable to several levels and dimensions of “torchbearers” who move society and whose views and opinions are sanctioned words that instigate change.

Sierra Leone as of now, and all factors being equal, has a leader or rather is beginning to see a new style of leadership. I normally do not praise sing but as it is there is every reason for me to say there are signposts and bench marks that indicate a new style of leadership is emerging.

Since the new government began to function, and we are yet to see it function to its fullest, there have been some reasonable changes that give hope to any reasonable mind that the way forward is at hand.

These statements, as preamble, will of course meet with a lot of challenges. They are my honest view and are made for my country, not for any government. I stand to be corrected but not misunderstood by those who may want to look at this all important issue with an emotional eye.

I am normally not given to propaganda and do not propagate any view. Some readers who are conversant with my articles will observe that this is one of my few papers in which the first person article is used. I am doing it on purpose and the purpose is self castigation.

Upon deep introspection, I came to realise that I am a member of that generation who between 25 and 45 years back were the leaders of tomorrow but who within those same years had done some of the worst damage to the Sierra Leonean society by way of our selfish desires to acquire it all whilst not giving any consideration to the next generation.

Naturally it is not all of us who did what was done but we are all guilty by proxy.Persident Koroma himself is part of that generation and if today he is asking for a change of attitude and has gone one step to set up a committee that will sensitise society about the need for a change of attitude then we must rally round and gear up to help by any means to see this change effected in the shortest possible time.

Some had with contempt fleeced the public coffers for their unproductive selfish satisfaction whilst others had teamed up to wreak havoc on the nation. Others had been lackadaisical and nonchalant, adopting the defeatist approach and always wasting time discussing a system of which we were all a part and from which we had our scoops and gifts at differing points in time, all being a part of the beat of destruction that took us to this stage.

If change is now and if change is to be effective, we must all do some introspection and ask that self question:-what is my role in making it better for now and forever? After all we are not doing it for the APC nor for Ernest Bai Koroma, we are dong it for us all and for generations yet unborn.

We must at this crucial time in global history and trends take cognisance of the fact that a new global way of doing things has emerged and that this way will consume those who fail to plan and apparently plan to fail. We must take cognisance of the hidden fact that globalisation is all about using technology and capital to dominate those who continue to be developmentally weak.

This is the rise of the last empire in the last hours of the ancient sunlight. These are the times which Neale Donald Walsh has described in his book “The Last Hours of the Ancient Sunlight” as the time to co-create as we are all a part of the Crucial ones whose actions will led the world and our country in particular in the direction of our making, if not choice. Like he said “(We) are one of the people who will play a key role in co-creating our future on this planet...”

This may sound outlandish but it is the naked truth. Our world is undergoing great changes and Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans must be an active part of that change if our generations to come would not be left to serve as the future slaves of those masters who have the technology and capital. We must become a part of what Barbra Max Hubbard calls the “conscious evolution” which as the phraseology goes implies mental evolution.

We must take a look at our present attitudes. Well of course this has been a song for some time now. It has been paralleled with the other songs of conscious times.

The question here is: have we in actual and real terms began to make these necessary attitudinal changes that will enhance and develop the consciousness needed for us to make gains ?

The answer may of course warrant a sector by sector stocktaking of what we have been up in the last 40 and more years to date. We definitely need to show that we are the product of our past and that our future depends on our present.As the saying goes,“show me your history; I’ll show you your greatness”.

What have been the gains made by our attitudes? Of course without much gainsaying, it’s clear that Sierra Leoneans have learnt some very crucial lessons from the war decades and the period following.

This was one very quiet factor that influenced the mode if not the outcome of the last elections. It also has, for the subtle minds, left a sign of rising mass consciousness about the need for change or a turnaround of things.

If Sierra Leoneans, who on the 29th April 1992 danced with relief on the ousting of the APC and made its name a household slang for anyone suspected of deviating from the new NPRC norm, can vote for the APC in 2007, then it is a sign that people want change and have decided to look for it with the nearest alternative available instead of using the power of the barrel of the gun.

Implicitly, it is a declaration of a state of fatigue that may take an unknown dimension in the event of failure to see the envisaged change with the use of the new found power of the ballot. This in itself is an indication of change.

However with the present state of things alongside the unpredictable global trends, can Sierra Leoneans afford the luxury of changing governments because of the lack of change in the state of the political economy? If the answer is no then who are those that must effect this change?


From several objective perspectives the response to this widely held view is yes and no at the same time.

It is yes given that we take the perspective of the role of the leadership as models that others emulate. If that is the one side of the coin then the question is who makes up the leadership?

For some it is the government in power whilst for others it is the political party that exercises power.

I have made a distinction between government and political party for a reason. The government is the machinery that in its totality administers and manages the affairs of state whilst the political party is the powerful minority group that leads the machinery of state.

Both must coordinate and correlate in the overall exercise of change. If one is willing and the other is not then the overall desired processes will be undermined and overturned by a moral breach of trust and inadvertent loss of propulsion. In the circumstances thereof the social dynamics will experience an inverse propulsion equal and opposite to the desired vector. The result will be a reverse to and a breakdown of the machinery of statecraft with an eventual failed state scenario.

This has been the case in the recent past and it is the crux of the matter when it comes to changing attitudes.

Government as it is now is the unseen animal that is the corporate organism which wields power and which determines what happens next. This view is not totally right and must be re-examined. We must endeavour to redefine our views of government if we mean to continue to exercise our rights to vote and be voted for.

If that is the case then what is government or who forms the organism called government?

For the sake of this paper let us look at government from its multi dimensional perspective as the entirety of the machinery that runs any organised society where law and order obtains and prevails.

In the structure are two sides that produce the third which is government. The two sides are the governor and the governed. Coordination and synchronisation between the two produces what is the machinery that is called government.

What makes for coordination between the two? Simply put coordination is the appropriate response that functions on an awareness of the moral obligations of the two. This factor is of paramount importance as it is the very reason for elections and the very reason for the delegation of power to a few by the majority.

Otherwise it would have been a situation of every man for himself and God for us all; a situation that Sierra Leoneans have recently experienced during the period of break down of law and order that was the war. It was a time when material obligations took precedence over moral obligations and the game of survival became more paramount than collective coherence.

How do we exercise our moral obligations?

On the part of the governor, prudence, transparency and universally beneficial goal setting must be its main concern. On the part of the governed safeguard of the general assets, rationality in demand and supply of needs and collective response to the resource needs either by way of paying taxes or giving a hand here and there to make it better for the general must be the main concern.

In the process none should have an agenda of wanting to trick the other. Treachery by either of the two makes government impossible and makes room for covert practices that will only end up destroying the general welfare of both the governor and the governed. In this light therefore it is incumbent that we stop looking at government as “another man’s business” wherein all go in to get a piece of the cake. It is our business and if we run it properly we make profits, badly we make losses. Government is not a special animal, it is all of us. If we try to disrupt it we suffer the losses but if we try to empower it we make profits.

How do both the governor and the governed make profits?