A commentary by Ahmid C Jalloh,
Director of YARDO-SL.
I, like thousands of young Sierra Leoneans, spent the whole of Monday attentively listening to the parliamentary debate on the notion for or against the establishment of a commissions of enquiry to look into the activities of the previous government.
What I made of the fierce debate is the fact that with the help of TV channels most Sierra Leoneans were opportuned to watch the live program and make a good sense out of this important decision that the government proposed.
Some months ago, I wrote a piece about Accountability; urging young people to embrace it in order to push our beloved country forward.
So in my humblest opinion, I had always supported the Commissions of Inquiry. Not because of party color or whatsoever, but because, like I always to told my friends, this commission will not only bring economic justice to our poor citizenry but it will also serve as a warning for all current political figures who might be tempted to embezzle public funds.
This commission comes in a time when people are making it a habit of deliberately misappropriating the country’s money in their self interest. So there is no better time than now to curtail this corrupt plague that has crippled our country for so long.
Come to think of it, despite all the natural resources Sierra Leone is amongst the poorest nations in the world. Have you ever pondered the reason why? Corruption. Corruption is the reason why we are suffering everyday. Corruption is the reason why there is hardship in all corners of the country.
We are tired of the sufferings, we want a country that fight corruption like an enemy. And believe me, corruption is our biggest enemy. The enemy to our national progress. The enemy that enriches only the greedy few and suffers the masses.
This piece is not meant to call names, but honestly, we have all witnessed the rampant corruption of former government officials as outlined in the Auditor General’s report in 2016 and 2017. It is rather unfortunate but quite understandable to hear a parliamentarian scoffing off this commission by stating that it was made out of jealousy. How honorable? No one is hating anyone for their success, but how will you use monies meant for the general public just to buy a house in hill station? Why use public monies to buy Jeeps for personal comfort when that money can build six clinics in marginalized villages? How can you be having Le4,000,000 daily lunch allowance when youths are dropping out of college because of fees? How can you impose austerity just to deprive young people jobs, yet splash all kind of monies for political campaigns? Until we manage our resources efficiently, we will remain poor! Living on debts and donor funds.
Just as I supported this commission from the start, I also stand with concern of justice. Let the commission be fearless yet honest and unbiased. Let there be no sacred cows and let this commission not be used a political intimidation tool but rather as a way of regaining all our stolen wealth as we plan for a brighter future and let it also serve as a stern warning to all the ‘borbor bellehs’ and ‘kokobehs’ having bad plans out there.
As we move along the new direction, I can see the youths are very impressed with the president’s intention to overcome our greatest enemy, corruption. We hope the plans are judicious implemented for the interest of mama Salone. Countries like Brazil, South Korea and even South Africa have all held their former leaders accountable. So it is not a new practice, as long as the judiciary system is for all Sierra Leoneans, I believe those who have no wrong doings have nothing to worry about.
So we (youths) will be watching as the commission starts its mandate to make sure the interest of the nation is adhered to during the process. And we shall also be noting down names of current corrupt government officials for the next Commission of Enquiry.[°°°°]