Opinion

Something is definitely wrong with Sierra Leoneans

8 August 2008 at 00:50 | 663 views

By Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu, Editor/Publisher, Cocorioko newspaper, New Jersey, USA.

The people involved in the present Cocaine Chaos in Sierra Leone and those blaming the government unreasonably for the bust do not have any patriotic fervour beating in their hearts. The cocaine saga has demonstrated once again the dichotomy between genuine political activism and true patriotism in Sierra Leone.

We (Cocorioko), as a patriotic newspaper, have no good and flattering words for those canterkerous , indurate , odious , callous and incorrigible citizens who have brought this monumental shame on our great nation. If they loved their country, they should have known or had cause to know, that their nefarious drug-dealing would have reflected perniciously on the nation whenever the long arm of the law caught with them, as it has done.

Only such men , in their unquenchable greed for money, would have failed to realize that the Sierra Leone of today is not the Sierra Leone of yesteryears. Sierra Leone today , more or less, is under international trusteeship, (so to speak) and surveiilance. This is a sad fact and we have to acknowledge it.

The international stakeholders , organizations and nations pouring money into the country have a vice-like grip on what is transpiring in our nation and would not go to sleep on duty and allow international drug-trafficking to flourish under their noses . These avaricious and impetuous citizens should have known that some day, some how, either the UNDOC , or their agents or security operatives of international stakeholders would have caught them. That is all the reason that President Ernest Koroma should keep wielding that scalpel —Anybody implicated in this drug bust should not only be booted from the government but should be tried and sent to prison to pay for bringing our country to international infamy.

The time for tribal , regional, political, family and personal sentiments are gone. If these people loved their country, government or President, they would have thought twice before engaging in such a dangerous and reckless international enterprise that they knew would have universal and national ramifications if they got busted.They should have weighed the consequences of their avarice . President Koroma should be assured that he has the support of the nation in whatever judicious action he takes to bring the culprits to justice.

We cannot afford to face international stigma because certain people in our midst just cannot be satiated in their lust for money and the lure of materialism. The government itself cannot afford to see all its good work frittered away on the altar of lack of judicial transparency and accountability. The investigations must reach every hole and crevice in the nation and beyond, and those found to be partners of the cocaine lords should face the full weight of the law.

When that has been said, the behaviour of critics of the government should also be put under lucid scrutiny. While we agree with them that this cocaine scandal has sullied the international reputation of our beloved country, the base, unpatriotic and reckless acts of a few men should not be blamed on an entire government or President, even if key government operatives are linked to the crime. We all know that certain people are prone to such greedy, grasping, voracious and reckless pursuit of filthy lucre, wherever they find themselves. It does not matter whether they were caught while serving the APC government.

After all the son of a former Sierra Leone president was busted for cocaine trafficking. It is no secret that that President’s son was a notorious international drug baron. Did that make his father, the President, a drug dealer ? Did that convert his father’s government from men working in the interest of the nation to those neck-deep in drug trafficking ? If the answers to these questions are ’no’, why should President Ernest Koroma be blamed for the alleged involvement (If at all . Investigations are still going on ) of some members of his government in this cocaine bust ?

If we did not cast the blame for the drug dealing of the son we referred to above on his father,the former president, why are we blaming President Koroma for the alleged complicity of the relative of a government minister or the minister himself for this cocaine bust ? I agree that the quantity and scale of this cocaine bust by far outweigh the other situation, but crime is crime. The quantity of cocaine involved in the two crimes should not be the mitigating factor in apportioning culpability .

It is also a fact that during SLPP rule, a Sierra Leonean minister or diplomat was caught with a briefcase of cocaine. Why didn’t we blame President Koroma and the SLPP government then for such a shameful criminal act ?

Something is definitely wrong with Sierra Leoneans. We have shown that patriotism is far from our modus operandi. We do not love our nation. Our obdurate allegiance is to our tribes, regions and political parties. Some vociferous critics are blaming President Koroma and the APC Government today because the cocaine scandal did not happen under the watch of the SLPP . Because the scandal occured during the reign of the APC, those disposed to always amplify tribal, regional and partisan loyalties are having a field day annihilating the government’s reputation.To them the APC government is a cocaine government and Northerners are cocaine dealers. Is this fair to the honest and innocent members of the APC government and Northerners ? Do we call this love for our country when we tar a whole government and citizens of an entire region with one brush because of the complicity of a few people? Should we always gloat when a national or international scandal hits during the reign of a government we do not support? Something is wrong with Sierra Leoneans and this anti-nationalistic act is one of the reasons that we are adjudged as the most backward nation in the world. We cannot develop our country if we do not put our nation first. We have to develop a national or world perspective of events.

If anybody wants to expose these unpatriotic citizens, he should rewind the tape to the SLPP era and study the stand these same pseudo-moralists took when the SLPP itself was making a charade of governance. It does not have to be a cocaine scandal.There are other baleful acts.In the eyes of God, sin is sin. The adulterer or fornicator is as guilty of sin as the embezzler or murderer. God does not magnify one sin over the other. If both offenders do not repent , they will end up in the same fires of Hell. We, Sierra Leoneans, should condemn evil with the same ferocity, whether it transpires under the SLPP or the APC.

Anyway, all this would not have happened if it had not been for the equally unpatriotic deeds of the cocaine dealers. They should have forseen all these unintended consequences of their acts. Because they did not think about the embarrassment they will bring the government and President , as well as the nation, if caught, they too should have no mercy invested in them. President Koroma must not feel sorry for people who did not feel sorry for him , his government and the people of Sierra Leone. Those found guilty should be severely dealt with by the law.

President Koroma cannot afford to trifle with his own credibility. The President cannot afford to imperil the respect of his government. The President cannot afford to subject our nation to international ridicule and rejection. There should be no kid gloves in the treatment of those who have brought shame to our nation. Whoever is involved must face the music.

The whole nation and the world are looking at you, Mr. President. They want justice and you cannot afford to fail them. Something is wrong with Sierra Leoneans and you cannot afford to let your political future,credibility and international goodwill suffer because of them. Those guilty of this scandalous fiasco should cool their heels behind bars for a long time so that others will see , fear and learn not to subject their government, people and nation to such shameful straits again.

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