Analysis

Society, Corruption and Attitudinal Change

22 May 2010 at 03:50 | 490 views

By Nanette Thomas – President, APC Texas Chapter.

A society, to me, is made up of a group of people who work together towards common goals, has its own unique practices, rituals, beliefs and even language, and also has rules and standards that help to maintain and keep it organized. A society can be considered effective or functional when all these traits are present. Of course, other traits can define a society; however they are not nearly as essential to the society’s existence. This world is made up of countless societies, each one being unlike another, but they all work because they portray the characteristics of a true society. There are so many factors that make society effective, and of course there are other factors in society that help destroy the very good fabric of society. Some of these factors include corruption, and attitude which has contributed tremendously towards the destruction of Sierra Leone. Society is inevitable. It will always be there as a pleasure and a burden. Society puts labels on everything as good or bad, rich or poor, normal or aberrant. Although some of these stamps are accurate, but there are some that are very dangerous to the foundation of a good society.

In Sierra Leone corruption is the way of life of the system, and fighting corruption has not been an easy task. The society believes that without corruption nothing is going to work out well. But thank God we do have a President who is determined to help clean the society in every way possible. Our country, surprisingly, is a functional society, despite the differences that appear to divide us. I have different roles in all of my societies, but each one works because I understand what it takes for there to be a successful society. I play my part very effectively in each society. Every society on this earth is unlike any other. What makes each one a true society is the fact that the members have certain things in common and have standards to follow, irrespective of color, race, tribe or religion? There are times when I have asked myself whether we as Sierra Leoneans can make Sierra Leone into a very successful society? YES WE CAN!!! If we only work together, put all party differences aside, and help President Koroma move his attitudinal change forward, we can put an end to this deadly disease in our society –

CORRUPTION.

As I mentioned earlier corruption has been difficult to fight in Sierra Leone but President Koroma is doing his level best to help get rid of this menace that has destroyed our country for far too long. Majority of Sierra Leoneans believe that without corruption they will not be able to function effectively. Corruption is a real curse among authorities at all levels of power; newspapers` headlines are colorful of court cases against officials and strict and decisive measures should be introduced to stop this arbitrariness. I agree that the ACC is doing its level best, but I do believe that more stringent measures needs to be put in place and issues needs to be addressed quickly and effectively.
Firstly, we should stop public officials who are receiving private gains illegally for doing something that they are ordinarily required to do by law, and are being paid for doing it. While according to our mentality it is a common procedure to take gifts that are provided as a sign of gratitude, we must change our mind to the point that in civilized society there is no place for bribes.

Secondly, we must prevent bribes that are paid to obtain services, which the official is prohibited from providing. These cases must be strictly punished because they undermine the trust of common people to authorities.
Thirdly, we must discharge those officials in the public sector who improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves by the use of public power that was entrusted to them. President Koroma is doing a great job but we should all be watchdogs and help move Mama Salone forward.

Unfortunately all the above-mentioned has become an accepted practice and our society must try to eradicate the word "corruption" not only from headlines but from the real life. Under the policy of our President we began to do this and let us all hope and pray that we will continue to do it in future.
When President Koroma started talking about attitudinal change, there were some people who did not believe that change is possible. Attitudes can be formed by many situations in life, and they are constantly evolving to accommodate new information. When someone takes a stand on an issue, it is rendered in terms of his attitude. When one has an attitude, he is no longer neutral, he will keep that attitude until he adopts a different one’. Attitudes are learned through reinforcement or congruity. If an action has been highly regarded in the past, the attitude toward it will likely be strengthened’. This is the problem in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leoneans are so set in their attitude, that they do not think they should try or even attempt to change their attitude. Much as I agree that change is difficult, it is left with the individual on how you perceive it. Most people assume that what we think or feel internally would influence how we act externally - that attitudes influence behavior. Attitudes and behaviors are quite often predictably related in certain circumstances. Yet the influences of individuals’ attitude could never summarize all human behavior. Sierra Leoneans all over the world need to wake up from their slumber and support President Koroma in his drive, against corruption, and attitudinal change. You do not need to be an APC member, but the fact that you are a Sierra Leonean, I believe it is our responsibility to jump on the bandwagon and help the President get rid of these difficult menace that has destroyed our sweet Mama Salone.

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