Speech delivered by Honourable Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo at the launching ceremony in Freetown of a book titled: "Lanndscaping Sierra Leone Politics in the Mould of Attitudinal and Behavioural Change."
Mr. Chairman, Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the visionary leader who continues to propagate his vision on Attitudinal Change, it gives me great pleasure to be part of this book launching ceremony. On the same token, may I use this opportunity to congratulate the members of the faculty of the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology for facilitating this very auspicious occasion.
On behalf of the President I equally congratulate the author for propagating his sense of intellect and industry. His excellent presentation of his skills in compiling a book that is not only of great relevance to the citizenry of this country but also for continuing to open the debate which is also directly related to the President’s “Agenda for Change”.
Landscaping Sierra Leone politics in the mould of attitudinal and behavioural change is a book title that coincides with the wishes and aspirations of the President in the Government’s quest to rebrand Sierra Leone and to introduce positive development in all programs which in itself can also be seen as a change for the better for all Sierra Leoneans.
The history relating to this thinking, the determination by the President to plead with his compatriots to be a part of the attitudinal change drive can be traced to the early days of the President, Dr. Ernest BaiKoroma when during his inauguration as President after his historic victory observed among other things,that there is great need for Sierra Leoneans to take a second hard look at ourselves and at the same time endeavor to change our attitudes as a way of propelling the development programs so vital in giving Sierra Leone a new facelift. In the presence of close to half a million Sierra Leoneans, the President observed that negative behaviour both by the citizens and holders of public offices severely hampered the development of Sierra Leone during the past fifty years of our independence.
For the first time many Sierra Leoneans came to the realization that they must cooperate with the President, when he insisted that the destruction of public property, misuse of public funds, abandoning of official work places when workers are supposed to be at work, the lack of respect for State institutions, the general absence or lack of patriotism are enemies of development and ways must be found to eradicate the malaise.
Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,
The role of Government in propagating new policies should also be seen as a centerpiece of good governance and acceptable political practice. In his thinking relating to attitudinal change, the President Dr. Ernest BaiKoroma insists unlike in the past that we should continue to imbibe the new concept of acceptable competitive politics devoid of violence as he continues to plea that politicians must accept the verdict of the people.
In other words the people must be seen to be the centerpiece for modern political practice especially since the right of the citizens has now been promoted by the Government as a part of the attitudinal change process. In the past citizens accepted it as a matter of fact when they found themselves ina helpless position without good roads, without accessible healthcare and without electricity. As Governments in the past, simply did not come up with new ideas to address the concerns of the citizenry. But for purposes of developing the minds of our young people even the educational system, must continue to go through an open and liberal system to allow as many young people as possible to access quality education. And for us to be able to train a cadre of young people who can be effective leaders of the future with quality education that will make them compete with their colleagues in other countries, we must deviate from the old forms of education by introducing our young people to modern science and mathematics. Modern skills in business management and introduce information Communication technology prerequisite for them to be effective participants in the public and private sector. But for attitudinal change to be seen to be meaningful among our young people in institutions of learning and outside such institutions such young people must also be prepared to undergo fundamental change in their approach to life itself.
In some of our institutions cults have become wayward form of defying authority an act which never benefits the students themselves. Our young people must also be prepared to be part of the change that requires them to abandon the use of drugs and to be a part of the development of the State.
The concept of attitudinal change was an idea dropped by the president for public debate and discussion. Today I am proud to say that a Secretariat attached to the Ministry of Information and Communications continue to propagate the President’s dream of attitudinal change whilst theFirst Lady did commission a group of scholars in an effort to promote the concept ofattitudinal change in schools. Today we are here to launch a book that helps to propagate the President’s vision even if it helps to open a vista of public debate for which I congratulate the author and the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology.
On behalf of the President Dr. Ernest BaiKoroma, I formally launch the book “Landscaping Sierra Leone Politics in the Mould of Attitudinal Change” and I salute the author.
Photo: Information Minister Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo.