Friday, January 11, 2013

Let President Koroma Do What Makes Him Comfortable.

Evil Counsel
The president of any country on the surface of the earth does not rule alone. No single man can adequately carry out all the tasks that are necessary to ensure the efficient functioning of  a big village, let alone an entity as complex as a country. Each and every president may therefore depend to a large extent on a close group of  advisers or subordinates from whom he either seeks counsel if he is a democratic leader,  or who he depends upon to carry out his desires if he is an autocrat. Sometimes a president may have the best intentions, but if those close to him are more interested in protecting narrow personal interests at the expense of the greater good, then the narrow interests have a way of being presented to the leader as if it is what is best for the greater good. This strategy is Machiavellian, but very effective because of one philosophical truth "wrong is easy and right is hard"
Niccolò Machiavelli

Every president in the history of Sierra Leone came to office promising to develop the country; to reduce poverty, create jobs, increase food production, fight corruption and increase national unity. Every President knew that was the right thing to do, but over 50 years of independence, no president has been able to achieve even 30% of these promises effectively, despite years of trying. Which simply means that the right thing to do is also the hard thing to do.

On the other hand, all the things that are wrong are abundant in Sierra Leone.  Sierra leone has more than its fair share of poverty, illiteracy, prostitution, lack of electricity, poor health care and general destitution.. Though all of the above things are wrong, they are plenty because of a simple philosophical truth, the wrong thing to do is always the easy thing to do

One of the most trusted advisers of the President of Sierra Leone and the intellectual leader of his propaganda brigade is the editor of the pro-government Cocorioko online news outlet Leroy Kabbs Kanu, aka Reverend. This fellow also happens to be a minister plenipotentiary in the government, safely operating from the comfort of America. This morning I woke up to read an editorial in Cocorioko entreating the president to do what makes him comfortable to perform his job well and giving the president some advise to do this, which he, Kabbs, believes is in "the best interest of the nation"
The Face of Trust-Ben Kargbo

The gist of Kabbs advise to the president is as follows. Governing he say is delicate, the government is like a soccer team. The president is the goal keeper, the ministers are the defenders and they must work well together, otherwise even if the forward line is doing great, the team will not do its optimal best if the goalkeepers and the defenders do not understand each other as they will keep leaking goals. In other words those calling for the president to include youths, women and diversity in his new government were wrong, as in Kabbs Kanu's opinion, the President should only work with people he trusts, regardless of age, sex or background, as by doing so he will work better in the interest of "the country"

Anybody who has read Machiavelli's, "The Prince" will be amazed at the parallels between the letter to the Prince and Kabbs Kanu's advise to the president. Those who have not read "The Prince" should do so, as it is the sycophant's Bible. Kabbs is essentially asking President Ernest Koroma to "do evil so that good may come"

The article which Kabbs has promised his readers will have a part II, is wrong for Sierra Leone in every single aspect, from the first paragraph to the conclusion and we will wait to read and analyse the part two, maybe he will better be able to elaborate on his insane advise to the President.

In the first place if we are to take the soccer analogy, the President of a country is not a goal keeper, but the team captain, ensuring that every member of the team is effectively positioned at all times for victory. Or if it were to be a particular player, the President will possibly be the leading striker, scoring goals to ensure the team's victory, while his team mates at the back ensure a strong and robust defense. Even if we are to take the APC's own stated campaign position that President Koroma was the "world's best,"  then he is more like Lionel Messi than Victor Valdes. But if running a country was like running a soccer team, Sir Alex Ferguson would have long become the King of England.

The irony of Kabbs Kanu's advise is that for five years, President Ernest Koroma has been working mostly with people he trusts. The net result has been a plethora of scandals, an increase in poverty, a decrease in national cohesiveness and an increase in lawlessness. Just in the past week,  insiders are now accusing the former Information Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo who was up til this month one of the President's most trusted advisers of having always worked in his own interest and not that of the President.Now the president is being asked to do even more of the same, hoping to expect different results. What a load!

If you think that running a country is just about doing what is good to maintain your party in power at the expense of everything else, then President Koroma should listen to Kabbs Kanu's advise, sack all of them that are currently working with him and appoint members of his own family. Surely,who can you trust better than members of your own family? If you view the Presidency as a defense against your opponents then Kabbs Kanu's advise may be reasonable, but unfortunately the President, once elected, becomes not the president of his party, but the President of the country, even the opposition and he must learn to work with everybody, friend or foe, for the interest of the country. The American minority leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell once famously remarked that his main goal during his first term was "to ensure that Obama becomes a one term President." But for the progress of America, president Obama has to listen to the opinion of even a political adversary like McConnel, before he can make any important national decision.

If President Koroma is genuinely interested in not always listening to the same choir, if he wants an influx of new ideas, if he wants a government that is truly representative of the country, then he should discard Reverend Kabbs advise,  look beyond just those close to him and find remarkable youths, women and even political opponents who are formidable,  knowledgeable and interested in achieving genuine national progress, not just the progress of a close circle of allies.

What A Strange Sheep
The irony of Kabbs advise is that this man is supposed to not only be a political journalist, but a Reverend! But giving the role of the clergy in the propagation of Hitlers Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide, it is apparent that among the clergy are many wolves, quietly masquerading in sheep's clothing. With close advisers like Kabbs Kanu and Sylvia Blyden, Satan himself will be proud of Sierra Leone.

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