Letter to editor

Stop insulting us, John Benjamin

1 December 2007 at 07:04 | 4871 views

Dear Editor,
Kindly allow me to address an important issue that is heart breaking and devastating because it hurts as Mr. John Benjamin(former Finance Minister) continues blasting young president Ernest Koroma about the shameful achievement of his(Benjamin’s) glorified SLPP under the leadership of former president Kabbah.

It is true that the past regime raised a lot of money, spent a lot of money and left chicken change for President Ernest Koroma to start with as operating capital. This is a hectic honour and many Sierra Leoneans will remember that achievement but it is stagnant water looking nice and beautiful on the surface while deep down it is dirty.

Mr. Benjamin is indirectly insulting many Sierra Leoneans who can think well more than him and many others in the previous administration. The left over SLPP bread crumbs are not sufficient to lift a dying nation sneezing and gasping for air.

The administration left behind a huge mountain that must be crushed by president Koroma before any glimpse of economic prosperity can be recognized. Uncle Ben should understand the magnitude of the problems they left behind and accept the fact that they could have done a better job. The debts were written off out of sympathy for Sierra Leoneans because many people saw that step would help resurrect Sierra Leone and the people.

Sierra Leoneans living abroad contributed a lot by helping families and friends. Many Sierra Leoneans living abroad cried bitterly to many people, therefore it was not entirely through the individual effort of Alhaji Tejan Kabbah that debts were pardoned. There should be no bluff talk about that issue. What was produced out of the expenditures? Inflated costs, unfinished projects and dubious figures took away three fourths of the money. Yes, this is true.

It may be true that the A.P.C. did not leave much before SLPP took power in 1996, but the true question is what did the S.L.P.P. leave when the A.P.C. took full control in 1967/68? If Uncle Ben is one honest and true leader, he should agree as listed here:

1. A poor country without proper economic foundation.
2. A poor country divided and disorganized.
3. A country where massive exploitation of the masses prevailed.
4. A rich country but foolishly mismanaged, corrupted and plagued by all sorts of diseases. High death rate, dangerous roads, board bridges and many other issues.
5. A country without political and economic direction.

The Steven’s administration had nothing to start with because there was no solid foundation laid for further advancement. Three fourths of the country was in severe pain and agony. Farmers, drivers, school children, traders, miners and business people were suffering. Thievery, mismanagement, government waste and corruption exceeded the tolerance levels. Labourers were subjected to severe torture and dehumanization. I am sure you will remember the riots throughout the country especially in Kono District.

Mr. Benjamin, let us move to the 10 years of your ruling and be very honest in our dealing with issues because this is the only way a baboon will hold a mirror and see himself as ugly as Tom Jollay.

The excellent achievement of Alhaji Tejan Kabbah is great; he resurrected and sustained the SLPP for the benefit of party members, family members, friends and their girl friends. His speech recorded in Conakry before his return to power became dust on a pigeon’s wing. Did Kabbah eradicate extreme poverty, improve education or did he eradicate violence, immoral conduct in the civil service, army and police? Did Alhaji Kabbah eradicate unemployment and make Sierra Leone a place where every Sierra Leonean has a home? I am sure you know he made a deceitful speech so that many people looking for a new Sierra Leone will support his return.

Yes, democracy would have gotten a big blow and crushed if a so-called democratically elected president was not returned in a brutal manner. Oh yes, there is nothing wrong about that ugly dirty decision. Many people died for an unjust cause that enriched others.

Mr.Benjamin, please keep in mind that 10 years of your leadership were not ten days. I am sure a fool could see the bad work you did. High percentage extreme poverty, under education, poor health, starvation and extreme hunger, economic strangulation, direct and indirect prostitution (due to extreme poverty), corruption, mismanagement, waste of resources, delay of programs so as to eat more money, hooliganism and many other disgusting issues.

May be it was the easy method to balance the equation and create a remainder. Bravo to you, the excellent economists but it is a shame upon you big men.

You and the Kabbah administration tried but your best try was not enough so your regime was put aside. You need time to sit down and understand where you failed. The speeches of Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, Dr. Lansana Nallay and many other Sierra Leoneans are on tapes. Relax and listen to some of the speeches. Yes you will scratch your head with a pen. Some big men do not like little men because the little men always say the truth.

The message you received from many Sierra Leoneans is simple; you did not do well as expected. Alhaji Tejan Kabbah made sky-rocking promises with malicious intentions to fool the nation so he can dance on the tail of a crazy flying horse. I know small men should not laugh when big men fall but I am not sure the small men will seal their lips and suppress their laughs. We are sorry it did not work. Please stop insulting us.

I wish you good luck next time.
Thank you.
Sorie M. Jawara.
Washington D.C.