World News

Politics and Change

23 August 2016 at 04:38 | 1183 views

Commentary

By Gibril G. Koroma, CEO/Publisher, the Patriotic Vanguard.

I have been following the activities (not just pronouncements) of Sierra Leone’s Minister of Agriculture Professor Monty Jones since his appointment in February this year and I have been quite impressed so far.

He has been going around the country talking to farmers and agricultural officers, providing fertilizers and even money to farmers to buy seeds; he has been giving them advice on what to plant and when. Sierra Leone is therefore blessed to have an Agriculture Minister who is himself and agriculturist with enormous international experience and contacts. A Minister who knows how to grow food and market it, something many Sierra Leoneans desperately need to learn.

This brings me to the main point I would like to make today and that is, the necessity for people with superior education and talents to go into politics and make a difference. I had made this point in the past, I am making it today and will not hesitate to make it again in the future.

Imagine for a moment that Professor Monty Jones had limited his work on earth to international organizations and not to his home government and people. How would the country have benefited directly from his expertise? How would he have been able to sit together with the president and fellow Ministers with diverse skills and expertise during a cabinet meeting to share ideas on how to tackle the country’s many difficult but not unsolvable problems?

I am not saying everybody should become a politician but politics offers tremendous opportunities to effect and create change more than any other human activity in my estimation. I cannot think of a better avenue to realize your dreams and visions for your country. I don’t think president Ernest Koroma would have been able to do what he has done for Sierra Leone in nine years if he had remained an insurance executive and entrepreneur.

Sierra Leone’s political parties, especially the so-called opposition parties are in urgent need of people with good political skills, not just formal education.

A political party like the Sierra Leone People’s Party is sinking everyday and will disappear pretty soon in the minds of the majority of Sierra Leoneans if it is not saved by its numerous academic or armchair politicians who refuse to go down into the trenches to engage with the masses to eliminate the cancer that is killing it (SLPP) slowly but surely.

Politics is not a dirty word; not all politicians are bad people. And not everybody goes into politics to get a job or make money or to enrich themselves. Professor Monty Jones did not go into politics to enrich himself or "enjoy power". People like him go into politics to SERVE and to help change things for the better. They have already made their money, already received the awards and honorary degrees from world class universities. Many are very successful professionals with very good jobs and conditions of service far above what they could access in Sierra Leone.

For those who are always criticizing without offering any solutions, I would say: Talk is cheap, my friend. Do something to change things by going into politics, from the village council to the town council to the city council. From the ward level to the district level to the regional level. There is so much work to do out there. Think of professor Bob Kandeh and the fantastic work he and his brothers and sisters are doing at the Moyamba district council.

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