We remember Grandpa and Uncle Alex. May their Souls Rest in Peace.
A Time to Work and a Time to Rest
Much of my book (What Life has taught me) has dealt with what life has taught me. At 78 I am glad to claim that I am still learning in the school of life and sometimes hardly receiving passing marks. Those who feel that they have nothing more to learn, or are tired of learning, are most probably tired of living. I am certainly not a member of that club, but I am aware of the limitations resulting from increasing age.
The leadership of a country like Sierra Leone is a very demanding job, combining responsibility for the day-to-day affairs of the country and planning for the future with diplomatic work and the performance of ceremonial functions.
Moreover, the African tradition being what it is, our people expect their leader to be also the father of the nation, to hear personally complaints and suggestions, to settle disputes, including personal ones, to attend functions, to relieve cases of hardship and often to represent the country abroad.
|Sierra Leone Remembered :: Amazon Esther Megill had an extraordinary life experience in Sierra Leone as a medical technologist-extraordinary in the work she did, in the work|
I found these picture of GP on the web.
“…Sierra Leone under former president Siaka Stevens once tested that socialism road. Albeit president Stevens did not openly declare this country a socialist state, most if not all of his policies had their roots in socialism…the corruption that permeated the political landscape of that time showed that socialism as a system of governance would never be a panacea for this country’s political salvation….the half-assed socialist policies of Siaka Stevens which were continued by ex-president Joseph Saidu Momoh are some of the reasons why this country is at present in a pretty prickle…”
October 26th 1908 Lady Rebecca Stevens was born in Mange Bureh. We remember you on what would have been your 101st birthday.
Jamil Sahid Mohamed (born 1936 in Freetown, Sierra Leone) is a Sierra Leonean businessman who made millions of dollars in diamond trade. He was exiled from Sierra Leone twice amidst accusations of a coup plot in 1987 and later for war profiteering. Mohamed built his fortune smuggling diamonds out of Sierra Leone during the 1970s and 1980′s. He is widely regarded as the father of the Sierra Leone blood diamond trade. As a result of his activities he became one of the richest men in Africa. Along with Siaka Stevens, he is widely regarded to have played a major role in the destruction of the Sierra Leone economy, leaving a senseless legacy of death and poverty in his wake. Jamil Sahid Mohamed was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone to a Sierra Leonean father of Lebanese descent and an indigenous Sierra Leonean mother from the Mandingo ethnic group
Jamil Said Mohamed used Siaka Stevens, just like he did with everyone else he was associated with. Yes, he was given favours and access to lucrative business contracts, but Siaka Stevens never profited from it. Siaka Stevens gave Jamil some of these contracts because he thought he (Jamil) was helping the country.
The following has widely been written about the association between Siaka Stevens and JS Mohammed:
Mohamed found a kindred spirit in President Siaka Stevens who was equally keen to exploit Sierra Leone’s gold and diamonds resource for personal gain. In Sierra Leone’s post-colonial era, Siaka Stevens association with Jamil Sayid Mohamed would have a dramatic effect on government policy. Both of them would, for a time, count themselves among Africa’s wealthiest men.
The alliance of Stevens and Mohamed was one of convenience. Stevens had access but as a head of state he was prohibited from engaging in commerce.
And so Mohamed became a beneficiary of the kleptocracy established by President Siaka Stevens. His stewardship of the president’s personal finances made him the second most powerful man in Sierra Leone.
Together they plunged the economy of the fledgling nation in to a state of economic chaos. Mohamed encouraged Stevens to ally himself with the Lebanese merchant community who controlled a portion of the official diamond trade and also ran the majority of the unofficial diamond trade. Stevens supported illegal diamond smuggling so much so that on November 3, 1969, $3.4 million dollars worth of the Sierra Leonean government’s monthly production of diamonds vanished, allegedly at the order of Stevens and Mohamed.
The president granted Mohamed’s National Trading Company a monopoly to import more than eighty-seven commodities.And Steven’s turned a blind eye as Mohamed become the foremost smuggler of the country’s rare gems and minerals, raking in over $ 30 million dollars. Mohamed was christened the “Diamond King”.
In December 1987 Stevens was in London recovering from a stroke. He was to later learn that Jamil had not kept his side of the bargain in all the years they have been associated. In fact the house Stevens was living in, in West London was supposed to have been bought for him by Jamil Said. It turned out this was not the case. It was reported that he told Stevens, he had not put his name [Stevens] on the house to protect him. Stevens reminded him that this was two years after he had resigned from office. Stevens was reported to have confided in his grandson living with him at the house as follows: “that man has used me”. “God go pay him”
In 1964 Dr. Karefa-Smart hoped to succeed Sir Milton Margai as Prime Minister on the death of the latter. On this occasion, the SLPP in its wisdom and within its constitutional rights voted for Sir Albert Margai in preference to Karefa Smart refused to accept this democratic decision. He resigned from his party and started courting a relationship with the Opposition Party of Siaka Stevens, the All Peoples Congress (APC) as from that day. At the same time, he wrote to all the Paramount Chiefs of the Northern Province informing them of his new political relationship and urging them to transfer their allegiance to the Opposition Party. Karefa-Smart claims to have affinity with the Northern Province, of Sierra Leone. He did not relent in his efforts to revenge against Albert Margai until the latter fell from office in 1967.
When Siaka Stevens eventually became Prime Minister, Karefa-Smart hoped to be appointed to the vacant post of Governor-General as his reward for his support for Siaka Stevens. When his effort in this regard failed, he engineered a coup against Siaka Stevens in 1970. He escaped from custody to the United States where he remained until Siaka Stevens left office in 1985. His fellow coup plotters were tried and convicted. Some were executed. Others including Cpl. Foday Sankoh received terms of imprisonment. His present affiliation the coup of 25th May 1997 is therefore nothing strange to his nature or the people of Sierra Leone.
the African tradition being what it is, men from villages who have achieved prominence in the capital thanks to the support of their fellow villagers, would be expected to reciprocate the help received from their rural constituents, at least by feeding them and looking after them when they arrive in the big city. Frequently, they would also be expected to help them financially, support their applica tions for jobs or favours and provide some presents for their families. Continue reading
|Informal Institutions and Citizenship in Rural Africa: Risk and Reciprocity in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics) :: Amazon This book challenges previous assumptions about institutions, social capital, and the nature of the African state by investigating the histo|
I sincerely hope, however, that our people will adopt the multi party parliamentary system when the long and painful process of fully integrating and unifying our nation has been successfully completed; wher national consciousness has become firmly rooted; when the vast majority of our people have become educated to the point of becoming not only literate but also trained to understand the economic, technical and other issues involved in running a modem state; when the country has become economically viable and self-sufficient in food; when divisiveness can no longer jeopardize its very existence; in brief, when such a system offers the prospect of being really meaningful.
A multi-party state which, as I believe, will become not only feasible but also be put into practice when the social, economic and cultural gaps between the majority of the people and their political leaders is substantially reduced; as it is both in the western world and in the traditional African society where the life styles of the rulers and the ruled can at least be measured on the same scale.
“I do not expect that detainees will be kept longer than is really necessary,” declared the Prime Minister in the House of Representa tives at the time of independence. “As soon as we are satisfied that the country is out of danger, we will let almost all of them out.” Although the state of emergency was not lifted until August, 1961, the moment when we were apparently no longer considered to be a threat to the security of the State came on May 18th, when I and the last fifteen of my fellow detainees were released from Pademba Road prison.