Commander Bai Koroma
Every year on April 27th, Independence Day, Sierra Leoneans are expected to tune in to the radio or TV or go to an expesively staged managed event to hear the president give his independence day speech. Though there has been some memorable independence day speeches in the past, most have been repetitive, dull, uninspiring, excuse filled and easily forgotten. It is difficult to find examples of very memorable Sierra Leone Independence day speeches with the exception of few from the 60s, 70s and after the war.
President Koroma has the singular distinction of giving some of the most memorable speeches in the history of Sierra Leone. A good reason why his speeches can be remembered is that he was president when the Internet finally took hold and matured in Sierra Leone. The main reason however that makes President Koroma's speeches ever so memorable is that for the first time in the history of the country, we have a president who will boldly look in the face of the people and not even give many excuses for his catalogue of problems, but straight out lie to them with ease and conviction. If there is one thing EBK will be remembered for during his tenure, it will not only be for the degree to which he has exploited deep seated divisions between the people of Sierra Leone, but for the share audacity with which he presents his unrealistic and almost delusiona fantasies to the people, while completely disregarding the fact that in this age, any idiot can go on the Internet and look up information for themselves.
President Koroma Looking Great
To have a president who is comfortable with looking his people straight in the eyes and lying to them in this age of information is not only painful to see, but represents a significant disrespect by the president for the people he leads. The president must expect that as long as he has pseudo journalists like Sylvia Blyden and other praise singing journalists who can back his statements with long articles steeped in logic that is convoluted even for their own understanding, he can just go on deceiving the people. How can you look a hungry man straight in the face and tell him that his belly is full. This what the president does year after year, and it is not even funny.
President Koroma surrounds himself by yes-sayers,friends and average characters who will tell him that all he is saying is true, even if he tells them he saw a crocodile swallowed by a rat in his village. His speech writers should however be acutely aware that in this day and age, the worst thing you can do is underestimate the intelligence of the average Sierra Leonean. Afters years of war, education, satellite TV and life experience, we can look at an iguana and know that it is not a crocodile. In essence Mr. President, you are lying not to the people, but to yourself. When you give these fantastic speeches, people clap not because they believe what you say, but for the simple reason that Sierra Leoneans know it is proper to clap when they are speaking, even if what he is saying is as far from the truth as Segbwema is from Tokyo.
I am not even going to go line by line through president Koroma's fantastic fable that he delivered on Independence Day this year, but will just look at some of the main points he stated to let him and his handlers know that though the government is trying to be very smart, they are not being very clever.
The People not so great
President Koroma, as has become his pattern since his 90 days electricity Income Electrix 419 scam, blames every failure in the country on either the opposition or globalization, but takes 100% credit for the anemic and few and far between successes the country occasionaly achieves. Everybody knows that world prices of fuel and rice have increased since 2007, but to have the president state that the prices of these items are lower in Sierra Leone than in neighboring countries, implies that either the president and his speech writers have a new definition of the term neighbor or may think that the prices they are charged in the 5 star hotels they lodge in when they travel, are the actual prices of goods in that country. Mr. President, hotel prices anywhere in the world are at least 5 times higher than prices on the street. Petrol price in Liberia is $0.98 per litre, in Guinea it is $0.95. The price in Sierra Leone is $1.14 per liter, so except where somebody tells us that APC has developed a new definition of the term neighbor, then the president and his team may be folding the truth to fit in their pocket. Except where the meanings of high and low have been interchanged in Sierra Leone, with 1 being high and 10 being low, EBK needs to go back, rewrite his speech and read it again to the people, without the pomp, pageantry and ceremony with which the latest round of untruths were delivered. President Koroma, we know a vulture when we see one, and it is definitely not an oversized chicken!
The Dear Leader
President Koroma we are all aware that in 2008 there was a massive increase in the world price of rice, but producers rose to the challenge in many of the significant rice producing countries and rice prices have on average been on a downward trend between that time to 2012. Why has there been no downward trend in the price of rice in Sierra Leone, is it because all your own close acquaintances are in the business and using the opportunirty to continue to drain the little money the poor people of the country earn? Or are you starving the people so that you can feed them just enough in November to go back and let you lie to them again for another five years? I have heard of fattening the pig for the market, but is seems that in Sierra Leone, we are rubbing lipstick on the mouth of the pig and hope that people buy it because it looks beautiful.
The president stated that they, meaning the The APC, have moved as a government to ensure that food prices do not rise as fast as they are doing in the world market. In 2008 the price of a single cup of rice was Le 800.00. In 2012 it is now Le 1200.00! So if they are moving to ensure that the prices do not rise as fast, one wonders what would have happened if they had not moved. The price of a cup might have been one month's salary. What is the president even talking about? Well it could be that there is a secret price of rice for APC supporters and a different price for the rest of the country.
The common people
EBK also states that 2012 is the first year of his vision of a journey into the future in which he and the members of his government have vowed collectively for Sierra Leone to become an advanced economy and a donor nation. All I can say is that before we become an advanced economy and a donor nation, let us first try to stop the decline of the Leone that is killing the common man everyday. If we cannot feed our own people what are we going to donate to other people, hunger? How are we going to be an advanced economy when schools are failing, education is declining, certain educated folks are being discriminated against because they do not go around wearing red ties and red shoes, corruption is increasing and those close to power are going around taking bribes from investors and behaving like third world gangstars. Are the Momoh Kontehs and Alex Mansarays of APC the guys that are suddenly going to help us become donors, or are the likes of sycophantic journalists turned Charles Taylor sympathiser, Sylvia Blyden who now tells APC what to do, going to write stories that will make us believe that we are now an advanced nation, even when our streets are filled with mountains of garbage and jujumen sit in street corners selling fortunes on the streets. If the person that writes the president's speech went to school, I hope it was not any of my own alma maters, because this is a speech read by the blind to the deaf! The only way these things are going to happen in the current state of affairs is in a dream and Mr. President, you and your handlers may be dreaming, but the people of Sierra Leone cannot even afford to sleep, let alone dream!
The New Sierra Leone Slogan
President Koroma, deep is his fantastic fable made the outrageous claim that the Sierra Leone economy is set to grow by 35% this year, the fastest rate anywhere in the world no doubt, and Sierra Leone has been named amongst the top ten reformers in the world! Who named Sierra leone to this prestigious position Mr. President, Cocorioko? Good grief, after all the war and suffering, why did God curse Sierra Leone with this type of leadership? Dear Almighty God, what have we done again! We pray for your help to deliver us from these fairy tales and put us on a part of reality and rationality; please god please, we take tem beg you!
Sierra Leoneans must be under no illusion, this APC cabal has failed us, totally, completely and horribly. Four more years of this and we will be fighting with goats for orange peels on the street of Freetown. If APC wins again, we can as well as lock up the country and throw away the key. This was supposed to be the country of Davidson Nicol, Milton Margai, Sanusi Mustapha, Bai Bureh, today is is the domain of leartherboot and Foday Sankoh's nephews, may god one day have mercy on Sierra Leone. This may be the reason why APC feels that the only way they will win election this year is through the importation of deadly weapons. Mr. President, putting gun to people's head to force them to vote is not democracy, it is rebel pattern!