Letter to editor

On the new ODA Director

12 August 2010 at 00:48 | 665 views

By Jesmed Suma, USA.


I learnt this morning from reliable sources that the APC Govt has appointed a William Konteh as Director of the Office of Diaspora Affairs, yet no public annoucement was made, not to my knowledge nor was the Diaspora community even given the respect to be officially notified let alone have an input.

No opposition leader has seen need to question the Govt not only on the process by which appointments are made to this office, but also the rational for having the very office if it does not seem to serve the interest of the Diaspora community.

These are the sort of issues our yet to be formed civil action group would be raising to fill the void created by inept opposition parties. They only exist in name but they are void of any meaning to the people of SL.

The other issue I would like to touch on, is the sad incident of land erosion in Freetown few days ago, that resulted to the loss of the lives of 16 fellow Sierra Leoneans. 16 lives waisted on account of the Govt’s failure to address the dangers associated with the construction of homes on the hill-sides around the city without proper planning, destroying the vegetation that holds the soil together resulting to such sad consequences.

It is easy to blame the poor family that choose upon themselves to build their homes along the side of the hills, but isn’t that what we have a Govt for, that reviews and regulate such individual decisions for public interest?
I would blame this squarely on the Govt particularly the Min of Lands for the failure to provide alternative for those families and/or regulate the building process around the city.

I hope they would at least offer to take up the cost of the burial of the innocent souls. A Govt that works in the interest of his people would have an emergency respond unit to handle such disasters. God knows even if they’ve lift a finger in this case. The report only mentioned about the local police’s account of the incident.

This Govt maybe a Govt of the People since we went through an election process certified to be free and fair, hence it can also be described as a Govt by the people but we are yet to see it really work for the people.
We are looking for a Govt for the people.....unfortunately there is no opposition to provide an alternative.

Wake up SL. We have a problem to address.

To address the problem we have to decide to either flee the problem as others before us did which yielded no result, or
we ignore the problem pretend it does not exist and continue to be self-centered yet the war was brought to our doorpost right down to Freetown and we all suffered, or fight the problem as a few others did organising and leading meaningless demonstrations in our embassies abroad resulting to the flaring of tension and laid the foundation of a civil war that even made the problem worst. We may choose to

Face the problem, that is intellectually confront the powers that be, project ourselves as rightful stakeholders, present alternative approach to the system of governance and use our international influence to bring pressure to bear upon the Govt to address the people.

Face the Problem that is where I want us to be. That is the only option that has not been exploited.....It is only when we agree to face our problems in SL that we would grow stronger in faith and self-confidence to address it.
Let us mount a serious and relentless criticism of the ills of the nation, but one that is constructive, fair and objective, motivated by true care, concern and sincere desire to help. We do not have to be confrontational we just have to be smart about how we go about it. We cannot criticize without providing an alternative, common sense approach on how the affairs of Governance should be handled. Eventually, even those that you criticize would come to love you and appreciate the fact that you help them to become better leaders. Better leadership that is the umtimate goal so those of us that are interested in business but lack the patience to deal with corruption would have a level playing field to operate.

One thing we cannot do though is pretend we do not have a problem.

I thank you for your attention. In a few days I shall outline my views of how I think we can go about it.

Long Live Salone.

J F Suma.

Source: Sierra Leone Discussion Group.