A Commentary By Ranger
As it takes one year in power, the Sierra Leone People’s Party Government has found out, and to their utter chagrin, that being in opposition criticizing the government of the day left and right on every issue is not the same as being on the receiving end of that criticism – much of it unfair at that.
It can be recalled that when the SLPP was in opposition, their propagandists spoke derogatorily of the then APC government having sold the country to the Chinese in exchange for a pittance. Now it is very interesting to read and hear the things that are being said by APC propagandists on SLPP’s involvement with the Chinese.
Truth of the matter is, the SLPP has far more on its plate than it can chew; in terms of managing an economy that is deeply in the red and nowhere near bouncing back to life; controlling and if possible, reducing inflation and consumer prices that keep escalating every now and then causing the poor, who still make up the majority of the population, unimaginable stress and sleepless nights, particularly those that are unemployed and have many mouths besides theirs to feed daily.
On both sides, the government and anti-government propagandists are very busy informing and misinforming the poor people, depending from which side of the political divide they are seated and speaking from.
However, the truth of the matter is that it does
not matter to the people, who is speaking the truth or who is bombarding
them with sugar coated vibes. What matters to them is that the cost of
living is driving them crazy to the point that they are now chanting:
“De gron dry-o!!!”
For Sierra Leoneans who have all kinds of graphic metaphors and similes to describe their deplorable existence, de phrase: “De gron dry” needs no explanation.
To the APC propagandists who pray every minute, every second that life here would get worst than they had it in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and other poor developing countries characterized by decades of dictatorship, mismanagement and corruption, the appeal is, please cool down.
Since this government came to power, there is a lot that is happening positively on the governance and public financial management fronts that augur well for a well managed economy that will eventually translate into prosperity for the state and its people.
In helping to build the Mama Salone that we all envision, if we all truly love this our beautiful country, the advice is to practice constructive criticism.
That is, where we honestly believe that the government is doing well by
way of improving on performance and delivery that benefits the people,
let us be magnanimous to say so.
At the same time, without any fear, we should feel free to genuinely criticize where we see lapses and excesses without resorting to “mammy kurs” and hate speeches reek with tribalism and regionalism.
The message here is that we can criticize the government and its officials without being offensive and odious to others; then the criticism will be taken in good faith and acted upon by whoever it is addressed to.
To the government propagandists…You are very easy to lose your temper and take off your shirts, vest and blouses to fight.
You cannot fight fire with fire; you only make matters worse. APC and the opposition in general have the right to criticize your government; it is your duty to take such criticism in good faith and to engage the opposition constructively, civilly with a sense of humor.
That said, Sierra Leoneans, we are all in the same boat. If any of us pray that now that we are in the middle of the sea with a storm blowing over us and only a few life belts available, that the boat capsizes, which of us do we think will be saved?
As such, we should not pray that the “Pa-o-pa” government fails; for if it fails the failure will affect all of us in diverse ways.
At the same time, the Pa-o-pa
government and its people should stop seeing those of us who do not
belong to their party or did not vote for them in 2018 as enemy aliens
that they should seek to suppress and destroy at all cost.
Rather, we want to see Pa-o-pa and Torkpoi in words and deeds genuinely living their mantra of “ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE”.
How long will, as Bob Marley said, fools continue to die for want of wisdom?
As ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE, tell me what 7 million of us thinking, working and pulling in the same direction cannot achieve that countries like Botswana, Rwanda, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia have?
©The Calabash Newspaper