The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines the word “negative” as an adjective ‘expressing denial, refusal, or prohibition’ or simply ‘to refuse to agree to a proposal or request’and “breed “as a ‘variety of animals within a species’, amongst other definitions.
I have tried to delve into the definitions of these two words because they aptly reflect the inner core of the content of this presentation as captioned in the title it carries.
Of course“animals” in the definition of “breed” refers to the categories of species in the Higher Kingdom to which we human beings belong.
Juxtaposing these two definitions, thenegative breed in our midst thereforerefers to those human species of the citizenry who, either by their utterances or actionsfound itdifficult to accept change of whatever dimension. They are always found precariously perched on the negative branch of the tree of history and sway comfortably with it along the line of least resistance. Their general actions and utterances connote negativity in its absolute entirety.
It is they who always harbour a distorted perception and negative mindset about the positive and progressive issues confronting our societies even when it seems glaringly apparent in the eyes of everyone that the issues they oppose are, or will be,quite beneficial to the development of our country as a whole. These uncompromising set of people abound everywhere from one corner of the country to the other. They are ten-a-penny in our midst and it is to them that I refer to as the negative breed.
A close study across the years of individuals engaged in such negative thinking have confirmed that it largely constitutes of those on the other side of the political divide, particularly in this part of the globe where God, in His infinite wisdom, has chosen to plant us and, where too, politics is practiced on regional and tribal lines. They perceive absolutely nothinggood and worth praising at all in the policies and well-laid-plans of another political party that is not of their own choice.
They always even out pray Jesus Christ in ensuring that nothing of substance comes out of the otherwise magnificent policies and plans advanced by an opposing party that would be fundamentally geared towards the uplifting of its citizens from the abyss of abject poverty to the pinnacle of national enrichment, once implemented accordingly . They would love to see and enjoy the poor masses continue to wallow in massive poverty in order for them to gain sympathy from the electorate and pave way for a political comeback of the party of their own choice. This is mainly characteristic of supporters of many Sierra Leonean or, should I say, African political parties hungering to cleave stubbornly to the tempting clutches of power, not really for the good of the country but for their own selfish gratification.
The actions of these backward-looking individuals have never yielded fruitful dividends in various undertakings in our country year-in-year out, especially in our quest and passion for economic independence and equality.
A case study to substantiate above fact can be related to several schools of thought overheard from several quarters at the time of the introduction of the Free Quality Education by no less a personality than the President of the nation, Dr. Julius Maada Bio.
Prior to its introduction tongues wagged ceaselessly of the possibility of ever succeeding with such a laudable and ambitious venture, the first of its kind since Sierra Leone stumbled into independence. To those on the other side of the political divide, it was quite impossibility. And thereafter when it was finally introduced and launched, the narratives from the negative breed took a rather different dimension. “Now that it has been launched”, they argued, “any hope and conviction that it would be maintained and sustained”.
This trend of negative procurements from such people who ought to have been better poised to grasp the advantages of education and the vast opportunities it offers unnerved me altogether and corroded into my inner being time without number. I had anticipated to hearing positive and fruitful debates on this issue as it was then on-going whatever the challenges, but alas, it proved quite the opposite!
Did it ever dawn upon these negative breed that the benefits of the Free Quality Education were not only going to be reaped by the present generation but by generations born and yet unborn?
What was then wrong giving it their fullest support and approval?
Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, the first President of the Independent Republic of Zambia, in one of his books,” Letter to my Children” made it abundantly clear that “it has taken the world a longtime to realize that the wealth of any nation resides in the trained minds of its people”. And let us don’t be blinded by the fact that only through education can the minds of a people be trained.
Someone has said that the man of learning lives even after his death while the ignorant man is dead, while still alive.
Sierra Leone needs educated manpower at this material point in time to rid it of the shackles of illiteracy.
So brethren, let us shelve all our political ideologies and differences aside, embrace the President’s flagship programme of the Free Quality Education with open arms, and help push this nation of ours to the glorious heights hitherto undreamed of.Afterwards there is no treasure like knowledge and the realm of knowledge has no bounds.
This would not be attained through the exchange of verbal attacks spiced by political indifferences on each other, nor through the downgrading of the policies and ideologies of opposing political parties, but through one and only one weapon – education.
Another case study where the actions of the negative breed trample upon the peace and quiet of the country is in the unnecessary hoarding of fuel, be it petrol or diesel or other, each time there is a lingering rumourof an anticipated increase in the prices of such products.
The mere act of hoarding these products under dubious circumstances mostly for their own selfish gratification ends up paralyzing thenormal transportation system particularly in both the city and provincial towns.
The resultant effect is to end up seeing extremely long queues of vehicles and other means of transportation at petrol stations, thereby paralyzing or bringing to near paralysisboth official and non-official work programmes throughout the country.
Overall, whether the actions on the part of these negative breed are politically motivated or not, it remains clear that this singular act will continue to spell doom for our country and equally derail the processes of development as well.
In furthering this discussion, we should not forget to haul the mud too at those of our kind who engage in both local and international trading in our country.
An infinitesimal increase in the exchange rates of foreign currencies like the dollar in particular provides them ample room for exploitation of the masses.
Just at the break of dawn before the bulk of the masses realize what is happening, the prices of our basic commodities grow wings and reach skyrocket proportions, all in the name of “the dollar don go up”. And what is more lamentable in this whole drama of exploitation is that even when the exchange rate of the dollar shall have been normalized, these prices almost always remain the same, static, unalterable. Not until when hyenas grow horns will they be reduced again to be at par with the prevailing exchange rate of the foreign currencies. Is this action on the part of those involved in these devilish engagements not a disservice to this nation?
The list of activities indulged in by the negative breed in our midst is inexhaustible. Suffice it to say, however, that most of these problems are not beyond redemption or tend to defy solution. They are quite surmountable if, and only if, the Ministries, Departments or Agencies directly concerned take track of them and implement appropriate measures accordingly in order to have them reduced to a minimum, if not eliminate them altogether.
Ing. Yayah A.B. Conteh.
Director of the Mechanical Service Department (MSD)
Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA)
Tel. no: 076640364/077718805.