Sierra Leone’s opposition SLPP is blazing the trail

Dr. Sama Banya

24 October 2012

Last Saturday at their party headquarters in Freetown, the Presidential candidate of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), launched the party’s 2012 election Manifesto to an audience, made up of the international community – including foreign election observers, local election observers, the press, the Political Parties Registration Commission, as well as jubilant party members.

It was said that other political parties had been invited, but I was not able to identify them.

The professionally prepared document was not just the thoughts of the Presidential candidate and his running mate, nor that of the executive council of the party. It represent the views of a cross section of the community, after widespread consultations across the country.

It was a job thoroughly done under the chairmanship of the Policy Review Committee of the party and his very versatile assistant, Andrew Keili and J. J. Saffa – respectively. The manifesto covers every facet of what the country needs and more importantly how they would be financed.

In every section, where there is an ongoing project, unlike the APC – the SLPP acknowledges the fact and then says how they plan to improve on its delivery or substitute it.

As far as the APC is concerned, the previous SLPP government DID NOTHING in the area of development.

The main objective of the Manifesto is to move Sierra Leone in a New Direction, under the dynamic leadership of the charismatic retired young army officer – Julius Maada Bio and his very capable running mate and academic Don – Dr. Kadi Sesay.

 After the very successful launch of the manifesto, the two leaders drove eastwards as far as Calaba Town in the east and back, followed by singing and dancing young men and women in a joyous mood that is characteristic of SLPP events.

Yes, Puawui danced for much of the way, mainly to mingle with the large group of young people whose ambition and hope now is to get their man into State House by the most peaceful means – the ballot box.

There were repeated chants of “na we two normor wuna dey see so, (There are just two of us here) mocking the awareness times publications about the small size of SLPP supporters at their rallies.

The crowds that lined the entire route waived jubilantly. And as we passed by, many of them shouted; “Na dis we want; na so e for be” (This is what we like and that is how it should be). The inference was not lost on us.

On Sunday I saw photographs on Face book of the mammoth jubilating crowds that welcomed the SLPP Presidential candidate in Bo.

It was altogether gratifying and made me wondered at the optimistic and boastful utterances of APC supporters, that they still hope to win seats in Bo or in Kenema. As Siaka Stevens would say; “den faint late.”

APC’s politics of deprivation

I did not have cause to buy fuel last Saturday – the day of the great SLPP rally.

But I learned later with great indignation, that all National Petroleum (NP) service stations in the city were shut down that day, on the instructions of the majority shareholder of the company – his Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma.

The aim was to deprive opposition SLPP party motorists of fuel, as a means of sabotaging their rally.

 I will reserve my comments on this matter until after I shall have done a thorough investigation.  I will then remind readers of the history of the former British business enterprise – British Petroleum (BP), which was later bought by the Precious Minerals Marketing Company, headed by the late business tycoon – Jamil Sahid Mohamed.

Mr.  Joe Amara-Bangali was the Company Secretary of that company, when he was also serving as the country’s Financial Secretary and later Minister of Finance.

What a surprise it was on Monday morning, when I learned that the famous APC rally which was scheduled to take place that day had been cancelled or postponed to Tuesday, 30 October, because the President was away campaigning in Kambia.

 I wondered whether that was the real reason, rather than because there wasn’t enough time to mobilize migrant participants from faraway places like Kafu Bullom, Masiaka, Port Loko and Mile 91.

And then on my way home on Monday evening, an acquaintance contacted me on my mobile phone and said; “Puawui keep your ears to the ground, because the actual reason for the postponement of the rally would be out before long.”

Whatever may be the reason, Puawui will be in and around the famous “KAILAHUN COURT BARRY” to make sure that the APC does not have a foothold in the Kailahun district, an achievement for which misled by Maya Kaikai, Sahr Mokuwa, Lamin Vonjo and their group of deceitful and praise singing characters they have pinned great hopes.

Once again I must ask, even at the top of my voice; “where on earth is the final list of voters?

When does Christiana Thorpe hope to display the list for the public to see, or is it not part of the NEC’s plan to do so? I only asked.

Is it the “either me or no one else” phenomenon?

The honourable Sam May Macarthy was elected SLPP Member of Parliament in 2007, representing constituency 05 in the Kailahun district. He had beaten honourable Agnes Kobba – the incumbent in the primaries.

Mrs Kobba withdrew gracefully and with her reputation and honour intact.

 It must have been obvious to honourable Macarty that he had lost favour in two of the three chiefdoms, which constitute constituency 05. I represented that constituency in Parliament from 1978 to 1986 and I know a lot about the constituents.

Now Sam is seeking an injunction in the courts to prevent his successor- Lawyer Ansu Lansana from campaigning as an SLPP candidate, even after nominations.

 Sam, would you want us to believe that you would rather the SLPP didn’t have a representation in that constituency unless it is you? I would advise you to rethink your action.

The honourable Dr. Brima Kamanda was one of the most eloquent and effective SLPP debaters in Parliament, where he has just completed SIXTEEN YEARS as a Member, the last eleven of which he represented the SLPP.

He lost the primary nomination to another party member. I understand he too is taking legal action against his opponent. “Et tu Doctor?”

Unlike Caesar, the SLPP will not fall by your action. But consider your position and experience Doc and think again.

We practically have the APC by their….throat; do not allow your action to revive their hope in the east.

 

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