This Is Serious By M-Yusuf Bah

This Is Serious 1 - First Published in Marsh 2015

When was the last time you saw, read or discussed the CONSTITUTION of your country - be it the US, the UK, SL, etc., etc.? If you are in the US, there are countless mentions or invocations of the US constitution and the rights there-in afforded the citizenry on a daily basis across all lines.

How is it that the knowledge of an existing document as important as the constitution is extremely higher in some places than others? The fundamental basis of any State/Country, government and the mere existence of the people must be footed on the constitution for success and good governance to prevail for all.

The US constitution is 226 years old and is held and maintained with utmost respect by all because of its living powers in the people it guides and governs. The SL constitution (Act No. 6,1991) which was recently amended ( Nov.2013) is young (even the older version of the 1960's after the 1961 Independence move) but nonetheless, rarely discussed in the manner and respect necessary.

The Civics or Social Studies lessons - in SL - as I and many if not all of my peers remember them never discussed or mentioned the constitution in my primary schooling years. The subject of government is introduced in the mid-secondary years.........., was this or is this a calculative and strategic effort by the Education Ministry and the Government-of-the-day to keep the citizens of SL somewhat aloof regarding their rights? WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT !! The US constitution is introduced (in some form or another) to ELEMENTARY -early primary- students at the 2nd grade level (Class 2) and is expressed, exercised and put into practice in schools (and other places) daily. In the US, you'll hear the phrase "RIGHTS" by US citizens based on the constitution. In SL, it's "YOU GET MIND"......In the absence of CHECKS and BALANCES from the top, the level of accountability is compromised and diminished. WE CAN CHANGE THIS !! WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT.

We need to bring comprehensive change that will influence the approach to the ideas that are present and that can guarantee success for the people of Sierra Leone. I hate to add to the outcry that we are a wealthy people and nation with all the natural resources present in the country, yet ranked one of the least developed. It's time to stop this. What's your take?

This is Serious II

Back in March (2015), I asked the question “When was the last time you saw, read or discussed the constitution of your country?” A few weeks later, the worst evidence (yet) in abuse of power and the constitution was in play at the office of the president of the Sierra Leone – we saw the expulsion of a co-elected Vice President from the post and party. The issue and its recent updates or possible resolution is questionable. The presiding officer in the person of the Acting CJ citing sections 40and 41 of the constitution of Sierra Leone to uphold the actions of the president. More to come on this.

There is so much going wrong in the world and Sierra Leone today, so many negatives and a lot of blame to go with it. We can continue to play the game day after day, year after year with no change in sight or we can change our approach and look for positive effects. Here is my take: There are so many great acts of patriotism laced with unblemished ethics by some of our people in the public sector (government and sub-government) and much more in the private sector – past and present –who did and some continue to do much more (positive)than what the society asked of them. Let’s look for the GOOD in one and another, highlight and celebrate that. The HUMAN factor is the most important asset in any society, for any advancement to take hold a code of conduct and ethics must be adhered to and the PEOPLE must feel valued.

I want to encourage you to highlight as many Sierra Leoneans as you can (dead or alive), see how far it goes and the effects it will have on you and the people around you. My celebs to highlight are: My parents (Ahmad & Mariama) for instilling immense discipline in our family, Pa Bah (my uncle –Alhaji Mohamed Texaco) for being the Patriarch he is, the late Hon. Juma Sei (former MD of NDMC SL) for standing up to the government on the STAR of Sierra Leone issue, the late Alhaji Sheku Taylor Koita for giving much more than we know, Mr. Kallah Bah (former Head Teacher), Sulaiman Ahmad Bah for being selfless and upright, David Sengeh , Momodu Jalloh (EF Hope) Maseray (Kai Kai) Young for your life changing projects (building Schools, orphanages and youth services) in Sierra Leone, Talabi Lucan for your extended arms in promoting education, Prof. Joko Smart, Alphajoh Cham for exemplifying ethics and discipline. Thank you for your influence.

Have your say……………

Keep well.

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