Septimus Kaikai's Appointment: Inclusivity or Tokenism?01.24.2010
ERNESTO B MALAMANGO, FREETOWN:
Since he assumed the mantle of state, President Koroma has etched his name in history (at least among supporters of SLPP and people from the South and the East) as the most divisive, rabidly tribal and extremely nepotistic president Sierra Leone has ever produced. He and his APC party wasted no time in unconstitutionally sacking citizens from their jobs just because of their political views, ethnicity and region. What is more alarming is the fact that there is a gallery of sycophants who with the use of their broken record sounding bull horns would sing his praises for such tribal sackings. Human Rights organizations and groups that study conflict in Africa have given numerous warnings about the dangers of introducing such rabid tribalism in politics. Ernest Koroma like the true tribalist he is, turned deaf ears to wise voices and seemed to have listened to crazies and tribal hegemonists. Fortunately for Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma and his failing cabal of ministers and followers held a donors conference in the UK. The message from the donors was loud and clear, change the way you govern or you will not receive one red penny from us. One of the concerns of the donors was the polarization of the country by Ernest Koroma. It therefore comes as no surprise that Ernest Koroma is now scrambling to hire the very people he had declared to be very corrupt. Inclusivity or tokenism, that is the question.
Tokenism is the practice of appointing a small number people or a single person from an under-represented group with the sole aim of deflecting criticisms of discrimination. As Mary Daly once said, "tokenism does not change … social systems but works to preserve them…” The appointment of Septimus Kaikai is just a ploy to deflect the glaring tribalism that has been practiced by Ernest Koroma. Readers would remember that a BBC interviewer embarrassed President Koroma when asked about his tribal sackings and appointments. In the whole government, President Koroma could only name one person from the South and the East in high level position. Now he has two to name and these two folks are from a region that makes up 53% of the population and responsible for 85% of the country’s wealth. In short, it would be an insult for anyone to refer to Septimus Kaikai’s appointment as a gesture of inclusion. Sierra Leoneans must reject President Koroma’s lame attempt at hiding his rabid tribalism and Septimus Kaikai should have rejected the job on principle or at least write an open letter addressing the tribal and partisan sackings that have become modus operandi of APC.
Septimus Kaikai should be aware that there are people who lost their jobs because APC and Ernest Koroma thought they either supported APC or are from the Southeast. That means these folks lost their jobs because they supported the political career of Septimus Kaikai. So to just accept a token job of that nature is tantamount to helping APC hide the egregious act of tribal and partisan sackings they have since adopted. Septimus Kaikai is now an official token of the APC and some are wondering aloud whether he would allow himself to be used, eventually misused and then refused by a cabal of tribalists parading as a political party? Septimus Kaikai has an obligation to all those professionals whose careers were cut short by an incompetent president and government. As we speak Kailahun district is being stripped of major government institutions and their citizenship.
The Southeast as a whole and SLPP party members have lost their citizenship since APC assumed power. SLPP members and Southeasterners are no longer protected by the state. In fact, the state has systematically persecuted them. State security officers have raped SLPP party members, “buff case”, SLPP radio station was shut down by the government, “buff case” and Dr Lawrence Kamara lost his job illegally just because he is from Pujehun. Septimus Kaikai, do you have any conscience? Would you allow SLBC to announce the ills of this government? Would you hire based on Limba hegemony as Ernest Koroma desires or would you use qualifications as your yard stick? WOULD YOU REMEMBER THOSE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS BECAUSE THEY SUPPORTED YOUR GOVERNMENT? IF YOU DO, WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS A TOKEN USED AS A TOOL TO COVER-UP THE PERSECUTION OF YOUR PARTY AND REGION? WOULD YOU SEPTIMUS KAIKAI?