27th May 2017
'Masses' Pre-Elections & 'Asses' Post-Elections: HR Activist Says
By Mohamed K.E. Kanneh (17/03/17)
Sierra Leone is presently gearing up for the forth coming elections in March 2018, thanks to President Ernest Koroma's announcement.
The political whistle has been blown; some first half players had been replaced; few second half players who had energy in the field of play are still kept in the pitch by the Coach; some second half players who are tired are leaving the pitch without been changed; and those loved by the coach are begged to force the play until the end of the match. (Pictured: President Koroma and the Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari).
Africans and electors around the world alike, are easy to forget; so also are my country men and women in the “Land that we love” (Sierra Leone). Our politicians are very crafty; when they want the votes of the common men and women, they refer to them as the “Masses” but when they win the votes of the common men and women, they remove the “M” and “Masses” become “Asses”. Thus, not thinking of the relevance of the common men and women until when another election is closer.
In the words of musical star Bono, “You can’t fix every problem; but what you can, you must”. Unfortunately, it appears those we trust and elect to fix our political and socio-economic problems end up twisting the table in an inverse so that we end up solving their very problems.
With the election dates been announced, I see a lot of politicians bridging friendly relationships they had once broken. This brings to mind the security slogan “Once an Officer, Twice a Civilian”. Our politicians should understand that Election Day is not a day citizens love to just senselessly stand in long queues, but to exercise their franchise for those they think can represent them well.
Very soon, our politicians will be highly visible in using the media (both mainstream and social media) and our educational institutions as in the words of William J. Federer: “The COUNTRY is controlled by LAWS; LAWS are controlled by POLITICIANS; POLITICIANS are controlled by VOTERS; VOTERS are controlled by PUBLIC OPINION; PUBLIC OPINION is controlled by the MEDIA and EDUCATION; so whoever controls MEDIA & EDUCATION, controls the COUNTRY.”
As substitute players who have been on the sub bench for the past years warm up to get to the pitch of play due to massive resignation by intending aspirants, we must be ready to open our eyes for a Country that we want. Interestingly, politicians have now started constructing bridges where there is no river or stream and roads where there is no bicycle.
Senselessly also, I see our country men and women referred to as Masses in large numbers of political colours rallying for various would-be-aspirants. The interesting thing about this is that, all the intending aspirants visiting the different regions and districts are pulling the same crowd and it appears the same faces rotating support.
The questions remain, Who Owns the Crowd? Who is Fooling Who? Are Our Country Men And Women Now Over Conscious?
As we move towards the election dates, beware of those who call you the “Masses.” Politics is tactics! With all of these, the new political slogan remains: LEH WE DAE GO NORMOR. I hibernate
Courtesy: Mohamed Kwak-English Kanneh Youth - Human Rights Activist and Debate Coach