Why Are Sierra Leoneans Bad-Hearted?

 

By Sheik Sesay

Sierra Leoneans who genuinely loved the Green White and Blue flag and pray and hope every living day that the country grows better and prosperous, simply cannot understand why many of their fellow citizens do not like the country they were born in and hate their fellow Sierra Leoneans with intense passion.

Sierra Leoneans do not like each other and that is perhaps why foreigners come to this country and prosper whilst we continue to languish in abject poverty; that is why when we see others trying very hard to succeed in what they are doing, we do all that we can to pull them down. Try to help yourself and your fellow Sierra Leoneans will talk about you, gossip about you and say all kinds of bad things about you to discourage others from coming close to you or helping you.

When you look at it closely, our problem is not political. We are bad-minded; full of malice, envy, jealousy and spite for others. We do not appreciate good people. For example, sympathetic to the burden that millions of poor parents in the country bear to educate their children and give them opportunity to live better lives, there are some people who are praying and wishing fervently that President Bio’s free education project fails.

But what we fail to understand is that Bio’s free education is not exclusively for his people in Bonthe or his tribesmen or the political party that he belongs but for the betterment of children of all Sierra Leoneans. Accordingly, all Sierra Leoneans, regardless of tribe, region or political party affiliation must be happy for the President introducing such a worthwhile project as it is for the good of the entire nation.

Let us say the free education project fails. Who will it affect? Will it affect Bio? NO! Will it affect Juldeh Jalloh? NO! Will it affect Chief Minister? N-O! Will it affect Ambassador Wurie? NO! Will it affect Alpha Timbo? NO! It is because these people have the resources to educate their children abroad but it is in consideration of their less fortunate brothers and sisters who find it very hard to educate their children that as a government they decided to introduce the free education scheme. So why do we have to be resistant to something that will benefit our children?

I keep saying that politics is not the problem in this country. It is lack of love for our country and each other that is the real problem. Let us understand that development is a cumulative process. Siaka Stevens did his own bit; Momoh did his and so is Pa Kabbah and Ernest. Now is Bio turn to do his. If you do not favor the free education, do not enroll your child in it. Leave it for the children of the poor groundnut seller, the poor trader who sits under rain and sun to earn money to take care of his/her home and to provide his children with education that will enhance their chances of escaping poverty.

Look at our society. It is full of hate and malice for each other. How can we hope to thrive as a nation in such a hostile environment? We are happiest when we hear bad news about our country. Why should Sierra Leoneans pray for ‘algbalao’ to befall their country? There are some among us who for example would want us to wake up one morning and hear that the ship providing us with electricity has caught fire and the country returned to darkness. There are some among us would want the whole world to be told that there is no water, no food, no nothing in this country. When such things happen to Sierra Leoneans that is when they are happiest.

That is why I do not believe in any political party but individuals who bring development and progress to the country. I maintain that APC, SLPP, NGC, C4C, etc, are not the answers to the Sierra Leone problem but us as citizens loving the country and doing the best we can for its advancement in whatever position, profession or occupation we find ourselves. That is what will push forward Sierra Leone’s development more than going around beating one’s chest proclaiming that I was born in this or that political party and will die in it.

Another thing I deplore is the attitude of some people unreasonably criticizing others who God has favored in one way or the other by contemptuously asking: who is he or she? What does he or she know?

We are quick to praise foreigners but reluctant to recognize and praise our fellow Sierra Leoneans that are doing well. Even when our darling Leone Stars plays other national teams, there are some Sierra Leoneans who pray for the team to lose. For these fellow Sierra Leoneans, all what they want to hear about the country is that Sierra Leone is backward, underdeveloped and useless.

Look at neighbors. Our neighborhoods are full of malice, jealousy, envy, spite and meanness. Some neighbors talk to you, laugh to you but secretly in their heart pray that calamity of one kind or the other befalls their neighbor. Even in the field of journalism, there is a lot of bad-mind for each other. In order to curry favor with the powers-that-be, some journalists go around politicians telling them that so and so journalist, so and so newspaper does not support you and your party just to create bad blood for that person or press.

What a frustrated Pa Kabbah called “bad hart” runs deep in our veins in this country for each other and our leaders. Sick and confined to his home, many people who Pa Kabbah had helped during his time as President for one reason another, did not visit him to say ‘orsh.’ Sierra Leoneans can be very ungrateful.

It could be recalled that people in Kono at one time lied that former President Koroma was ill with terminal cancer and would die at any moment. Then quite recently, people on social media said President Bio had been struck by stroke and had become paralyzed. How would you as a family man with your loved ones to take care feel if people went about praying for you to be terminally ill or to be struck by stroke?

Look at politics. Some people still go around harboring grudge and malice for each other long after the 2018 elections are over. There are a lot of bad minded Sierra Leoneans that are praying for ‘algbalao’ to befall the country just because others won and they did not win. But what we fail to realize is that we are all programmed by God for what we are meant to be in this world. Who God Almighty has blessed, no man can bring down and to fight against that person is to fight God. So those of us who fight tooth and nail to bring down others because we hate them are only wasting our time.

We are talking about development; we are talking about moving our country forward; we are not talking about party but the country. If Sierra Leone is to move forward progressively like Rwanda, Botswana and others, our mentality has to change. Attitude towards each other and the country has to change. We must be receptive and kind to each other. As a nation, we have to adopt the disciplined mentality of the Chief Minister whose entire focus is how to diligently and prudently put in place the governance mechanisms and structures that will push the country’s development forward robustly and dynamically. That is the kind of mentality we have to adopt in the public service if we are to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of Mama Salone.

It is time to love our Sierra Leone unconditionally and wholeheartedly like the Ghanaians and Nigerians do. When we travel outside the country, we travel with a passport with the seal of Sierra Leone or it. It does not say you are Themne, Mende or Krio but Sierra Leonean. In abroad, instead of coming together to protect and serve each other, we snitch on one another. If your fellow Sierra Leonean is living under the radar whilst struggling to regularize his/her stay; it is his/her fellow Sierra Leonean who will call Immigration and tell them about his/her status. Then when the person falls into trouble, it will be the same Sierra Leoneans who will call back home and report that our man is in trouble and waiting deportation.

Sierra Leoneans – Let us leave “bad hart” behind and think how to move our beloved Sierra Leone forward by embracing each other and willingly cooperating and working with the government of the day to push forward the country’s development.

A word for the wise is quite sufficient.