Njundu Drammeh

Nko [I say], as for I all that matters is the ownership of the $900,000,000 which featured in the Panama papers. At least we know that money is alive and kicking somewhere in an offshore bank. And has the same or other name appeared in the Paradise papers?

Are we learning anything from the Janneh Commission? Are our standards, systems and processes getting tightier, better, more foolproof than they were? Are we now observing due diligence in our financial transactions, across all levels? What about our transparency level now? Very high and clearer? Accountability is ineffective without transparency and there cannot be meaningful transparency without access to information….

Are we learning from the Janneh Comnission? Jammeh set up the Alghali(?) Commission and others but ended up “eating up” all the recommendations and learning no lessons. He hired unconscionable, spineless and rudderless men and women who only asked “how high should i jump”. Why they should jump, they never questioned. “No one dared question the Angel of Death” they now are wailing but forgot those days when they were “lords and ladies” and dropped the name of Jammeh to have their ways.

It is not just about the absence of standards, processes and procedures or their neglect in the greater part which we should enhance and jealously guard. We can strengthen these and put iron grids around them that men and women may not easily tamper with.

Regardless, we cannot fully protect these from men and women whose avarice for power and self aggrandizement are insatiable. To ensure probity, prudence and propriety, we need as “guardians” of the public treasury and people, men and women who do not have their prices; who would owe allegiance to the country, God and their conscience.

A people without a vision perish, say the Bible. So it is true for an organisation, a group or a Government. Vision, and being visionary; eyeing the horizon and not the bottomline, is what distinguishes leaders from followers. That ability to see farther than others…. But what is a nation without character  or rather one whose men and women of high social, academic, professional, political, economic and religious standings are destitute of integrity, morally bankrupt and absolutely rudderless? What is a nation whose gatekeepers of public offices and trust are spineless and can betray their trust for their own end or kow tow before their political superiors to deceive? What is a nation whose whose people place “I” first before “We” and where it is “Us vs Them”

Select wisely the men and women who should guard the laws, policies, procedures, standards and systems to bring about financial prudence and professional propriety. They can make or mar, build or destroy, strengthen or weaken. The recycling or retention of men and women of tainted past, of moral turpitude and professional insincerity is a sign that we might not be learning too much from the Janneh Commission. Beware the men and women who guard your inner gates.

And yes the evil that men and women do will always live after them; nay will pursue them here on earth and in the grave. Most men and women think this cliche is outworn and moth-eaten. It is not. It is standing the test of time, history and justice. For this, I will prefer a good name to riches, character to reputation, integrity to position. Time tested values and principles that continue to survive even after one’s death.