“At 47 we’ve not achieved anything and doom awaits us if corruption is not addressed,” said 81 year old Alhaji Mohamed Tejan George another of the possibly only three surviving Founding fathers.
Alhaji Tejan George revealed himself to Awoko just after our publication somewhat inadvertently claimed that there was only one surviving founding father.
“Our expectations were good at the time when we went. We left as a United Front with the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) heading the delegation. We were happy as we were expecting to gain our independence and freedom from colonial rule.”
Alhaji Tejan George was part of the SLPP delegation. With a troubled look on his face he said, “when we went to sign for our independence we never envisaged what we went though all those years after independence. I am disappointed”.
Besides Sir Milton Margai, he said “all those who came after Sir Milton disappointed us in their rule as tribalism, nepotism, favouritism and such odds were rife in the country.”
Asked about what was good he lamented “I have never gained any type of good experience, after we attained independence we should have advanced far more than we are now, but corruption has affected each and every fabric of this society and it is the fundamental cause for our backward state,” he pointed out.
On the present political landscape, Pa George said, “the present political climate for me is not good at all, there are lots of political violence going on in every sector, people are not cooperative they never allow people to express their franchise at their own free will in terms of voting.”
He went on, “Security is not good they are corrupt than anything in this society both the police and the army.”
Asked about his assessment of the political transformation, he said “I’m not going to say I’m happy for the political transformation from the SLPP to the All Peoples Congress (APC) I have to wait and see before making such assessment,” he said.
Commenting on what went wrong after independence, Mr Tejan George said “so many things went wrong after independence; what our colonial masters left, the railway; a strong economy, were all mismanaged and ended up in ruins.”
He went on, “when Siaka Stevens came he de-linked our currency, and since then depreciation crept in – we are faced with constant retrogression every thing went wrong.”
Looking at the future of Sierra Leone and her hopes, the independent father said “If all of us come together and work with one mind it would be better for us; if everybody put their shoulder to the wheel and fight the cancer that is ruining our socio-economic and political fabric we are going to forge ahead but if they don’t do that we are heading for doom,” he stressed.