By Joseph Milton Lebbie…………………..
I have observed that politics is now playing a major role in almost all spheres of life in Sierra Leone. It seems to have become the determinant factor for almost everything.
Over the years, politics in Sierra Leone has been viewed as one of the fastest and surest means to acquire massive wealth and gain recognition and prestige. Politics has transformed many Sierra Leoneans from poor people to extremely rich people in few years, examples abound.
There seems now to be more politics than governance, our leaders, possibly because of the big benefit in politics, now seem to be concentrating more on politics than governing the country, otherwise, Ministers, civil servants and other top government officials would not be abandoning their offices and official jobs to go on political campaigns.
Many top government functionaries owe their positions to political favor, and not to their merit or ability to deliver the goods, hence, they do not joke with politics.
Our politics has even overshadowed the governance of the country as many of our leaders refuse to take or take certain decisions due to political considerations. Even when it comes to enforcing the law, political pressure sometimes prevents some of our law enforcers to enforce the law to the letter.
Governance is mainly about controlling the citizens and non-citizens of the state, prevailing on them to do the right things and keeping within the law. Government has the supervisory role to ensure that things go according to laid down rules and regulations and people also conduct themselves within such rules and regulations.
Hence when there is massive lawlessness in a state, it goes without saying that there is less governance in such a state.
It is no longer a secret that many governance principles in our country are flouted on political grounds.
We have been witnessing situations wherein top government officials flout rules and regulations and go free due to their political connections and, sometimes, many top government officials who are highly competent are relieved of their duties for political reasons.
Nowadays, you have to belong to the political system before securing certain top government jobs. Such political behavior has been having a very negative impact on our governance system as it has been leading to the placing of many square pegs in circular holes.
There is need for our government to draw a line between politics and governance and to concentrate more on governance than on politics and not allow politics to pollute the institutions of governance many of which have been highly politicized.
Even when it comes to making laws, I have been observing that our successive governments are inclined to make laws that protect their political interest, not the interest of the masses.
There has been more politics and less governance as evident in the fact that whenever politics is at play, many governance institutions and government officials become highly involved to the point of abandoning their functions.
The trade unions, the colleges, the schools, the Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been politicized to the point that most of their functions and decisions have been dictated by politics.