Another five years of APC misrule – divisive, ethnic and regional inequalities would exacerbate

Dr. Sama Banya

8 September 2012

The leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party has stopped at nothing in order to cling to the Presidency and control the Parliament of tomorrow. And, like I have persistently called attention, they have gone from one dishonourable path to another, in achieving that goal.

It began with the poaching of opponents from the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and those of the party which helped them to win power in 2007 – The Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC).

The ruling APC Party continues its naked bribery of unemployed youth – street car washers, okada riders, Sweisy and Belgium traders, and Imams.

They have intimidated or threatened opposition party members working in the public  establishments or in self-employment to join them or else.

But realising that this strategy has not improved their chances of re-election in November, they have now adopted the immoral method of pre-vote rigging, in collusion with the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

They are planning to deprive a whole lot of people in the country from challenging them at the polls. They raised the nomination fees for election contestants to astronomical heights.

They of course have the means – acquired by all methods necessary, to pay the nomination costs for all of their party’s candidates at every level.

The announcement by the NEC to raise nomination fees by over a thousand percent in some cases, had sparked a storm of protests – both here and abroad, and the figures were grudgingly reduced, but to a level that is still too high.

The NEC was then pushed into a corner by the revelation that it had no authority to increase the nomination fees, and that only Parliament had the legal authority to raise taxes of any kind. The proposals were then laid before Parliament.

The opposition SLPP demanded a parliamentary debate, but the APC leadership instructed its members of Parliament to scuttle any such debate.

Consequently, when Parliament assembled last Thursday, the APC leadership moved a motion for the NEC proposals not to be debated.

The ruling party used its parliamentary majority with the support of the cowardly Paramount chiefs to pass that motion.

The NEC proposals are of such public interest that any government, boasting of its democratic principles, its respect for, and concern of the citizens, would have allowed a full debate in parliament.

But not this APC government, whose sole interest is to hold on to power. And this is a sign of worse things to come, if this President and his APC party are allowed to win the November elections.

The Freedom of Information Bill, which the same APC government had promised the world and especially the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) that it would enact in this their first term in power, will never see the light of day. The reason for that is not far to seek.

The government shall never give public access to records of its mining agreement with African Minerals Ltd., which was rushed through Parliament under a certificate of urgency, despite the economic importance of such a Bill to this country.

The same tactics – not a transparent process, will be used in all future agreements with oil drilling companies.

The President and his men would never give public access to records of all the assets they have acquired, since coming to office in 2007. And the present Anti-Corruption Commissioner would never have the guts to request them to do so.

This country would slide back into an APC dictatorship – with the rich getting richer, while the poor get poorer, and the majority of our people living below the poverty line.

It is in our power, as voters, to prevent this government from continuing to abuse its powers and the intelligence of the people – not by force of arms, but by the simple process of voting for the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

Divisive, ethnic and regional inequalities would be exacerbated with another five years of APC rule, while the police would become even more biased against the opposition.

And let those hypocrites and paid praise singers tell the rest of us: where lies the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change? The future prospects for unity and a fair deal for this country, lies in our hands, and neither thugs nor bullets must be allowed to take it from the people.

Aren’t we getting tired of it, what about the others?

Since before and especially after the election of Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio as the Presidential candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), the Awareness Times newspaper has in addition to its vilification of the gentleman, mounted a crusade on behalf of the families of the 29 people executed by the NPRC in December 1992.

As a habit, the newspaper now refers to both the regime and the executions as Maada Bio’s responsibility – not Strasser, not SAJ Musa, Kambo, Mondeh, Arnold Gooding, Franklin Kargbo, Karefa-Kargbo, Tom Nyuma, Falla Sewa – and many others that are now serving in this Koroma government.

Yet, the newspaper continues to refer to Maada Bio as a murderer. And it has turned the whole affair into a personal vendetta and crusade.

Frankly speaking, the people of Sierra Leone are getting tired of the tactics, which lacks any sincerity, apart from the self- satisfaction of revenge.

During the murderous and infamous AFRC regime, which no one recognized except the likes of Victor Foh, Joe Amara Bangali, I B Kargbo, Colonel K I S Kamara, late Oshor Williams, Chernor Ojuku Sesey, Seaga Shaw and others like them, about twenty miserable young men were picked up at random by the regime and taken down to a spot on the beach.

Each was given cannabis (jamba) to inhale before being shot in the back, as he was told to keep walking.

That regime videotaped the entire sanguine scene for their primitive viewing pleasure. The publisher of the Awareness Times has made very scanty – if any mention of the affair, let alone to take it up as a crusade.

There can be only one reason, which is that those hapless victims had no families to speak of and the AFRC regime did not have a Julius Maada Bio among its membership.

Such blatant hypocrisy!

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An Open Letter to the Leader and Presidential candidate of the PMDC Party

Dear Charles (Margai)

Please tell us what has happened to you? What has led you to yet another transformation? What will you now tell all those PMDC supporters – especially of the south and countrywide?

How would you now describe the APC to them after barely two months?

Has I B Kargbo by mutual consent, withdrawn all those damaging descriptions of you; referring to you as extortionist, blackmailer who goes amok every time he needs money from Ernest?

What has happened to your accusations against those who conspired to deprive you of the SLPP leadership in Makeni in 2005?

I am reserving my comment on the behaviour of the PMDC Parliamentarians who voted with the ruling APC last Thursday, until I hear from you Charles.

Is it true with you, that in politics there is only permanent interest and no permanent adversaries?

Please answer me Charles, I am anxious to know.

PUAWUI

 

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