By Abdul Rahman Swarray.
Lecturer USL 076-687-223
I have read with great pleasure all the encomiums more so the platitudes showered on the recent appointments in both cabinet and other public sectors by the New Direction leadership.
I have also come to the realization that most of these appointments are based on political consideration rather than competence looking at some of those individuals appointed to serve as cabinet ministers and their deputies.
If one should strictly go by the Sierra Leone Peoples Party manifesto of a New Direction, one is left with the impression that the New Direction should embrace all and sundry as “One Country and One People”.
Again, after a thorough perusal of the New Direction Manifesto, “A Democratic Development state is one that not only embodies the principles of electoral democracy, but also ensures that all citizens participate in the decisions that affect their lives as well as the development and governance of the country… “Therefore, the bane of this above quote should dispel this perception of overhauling the state in key sensitive positions to be replaced by SLPP stalwarts in a form of compensation.
The New Direction should not mean, appointing political cronies at the expense of competence.
There are certain key positions that are sensitive and the individuals serving in those positions are not only Sierra Leoneans professionals but they are also secured by their tenure of office. For now, everybody is now clamoring for the replacement of the Anti-Corruption Commission boss, Ady Macauley and the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Conteh. These two individuals were definitely appointed by the past government but I believe they should not be replaced in a hurry. Party Stalwarts from the Sierra Leone Peoples Party are lobbying to served in these positions hence the question is what is this New Direction? Is it about a change of mindset or a direction for only recognized SLPPers?
The New Direction is not much different from the APC Attitudinal and Behaviourial Change, it is about changing the mindset of the people to a more positive mindset in moving the country forward.
I have read in recent publications in local tabloids justifying the replacement of all parastatal board members to compensate those in the New Directions, yes I am not averse to that with the conviction that it should be done on merit rather than were compensation by putting square pegs in round holes. This will not take us any where, if we are to go strictly by the new direction mantra of the SLPP. There are still competent Sierra Leoneans who are still serving in very sensitive positions but they should not be viewed as remnants of the last regime, but as Sierra Leoneans who are younger and still have the professional proficiency and energy in them to serve.
Let the New Direction be for competent Sierra Leoneans regardless of their perceived party color or affiliation so that the SLPP becomes more inclusive especially in righting the wrongs of the past government.
“One Country, One People”
“Paopa Salone For Betteh”.