Saturday, April 28, 2007


As Sierra Leone celebrates 46 years of nationhood, it is time  once again to start flogging that dead horse of recriminations about what could have been, if Sierra Leone had handled her independence well. Newspaper pages and discussion forums online will once again carry regretful articles from Sierra Leoneans bemoaning how much a wonderful nation with al l imaginable mineral and human resources was ruined by her own very people  after Independence in 1961. It is a known fact that when a fish is about to rot, it is the head that first gets rotten. INFACT, IN MANY CASES, IT ONLY NEEDS THE HEAD TO GO BAD FOR THE WHOLE FISH TO BE DECLARED ROTTEN.

When Sierra Leone wanted  to rot, it was her leaders who first took the heart- shattering route to putrefaction  It would be the most unjust assessment ever to place the blame for the Sierra Leonean dilemma at the doorsteps of the people. From the photos we have displayed online of our major towns, nothing stood out than the industry of SOME of our  people .They could be  seen out there on the streets  hurstling --working very hard at selling , dealing and other enterprising endeavours  to make ends meet. Such hard-working people do not deserve to have a country like Sierra Leone. Some of the Sierra Leoneans themselves could be said to be lazy, unproductive and their work ethic is terrible. However, with good, committed, serious, patriotic and honest leaders, things would have been so different. They would have provided the motivation to the rest of the people to work hard to help build a strong and wealthy nation.

Sierra Leone is the nation that got shortchanged by her leaders. None of the leaders we have had deserve to be exonerated. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission report broke the myth of Sir Milton's angelhood. The report clearly indicated that Sir Miltoon Margai, the first post-Independence leader, also has a case to answer. All our past leaders owe the people of Sierra Leone an apology for their roles in destroying what was a veritable paradise at Independence. Rather than build the nation, our leaders lined their pockets instead, went to sleep and allowed incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance and corruption to reign supreme. The feature of Sierra Leone's history after Independence is the cruel manner the people were let down, impoverished and destroyed by their leaders, politicians, public servants and their collaborators.

In our Special Independence Anniversary issue, we have sought to highlight this problem by publishing new articles or reproducing older ones written on the same dilemma by sundry writers during past anniversaries in the pages of COCORIOKO. We urge you to take your time to read and digest them .They are gems for they provide the answers to the question : Why are we one of the poorest nations on the face of the earth, with all our diamonds, gold, bauxite, Iron Ore and other material and human resources ? They constitutes sombre thoughts  for all of us at  another Independence Anniversary.

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