SLPP is failing to step up as a credible opposition in Sierra Leone

Alan Luke

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 August 2015

salone poverty1

This party of which I am now officially a member – the SLPP, needs a reality check and the National Executive Council ought to realise that the party has spectacularly failed to hold the ruling APC to account precisely because of the divisive,  regionalist and South Eastern hegemonic policies it has pursued over the past few years.

Because of this very narrow focus of its polity, it has consistently failed to address the aspirations of the poorest communities, including those communities in the south east, which the elites and strongmen in the party would have us believe they represent.

SLPP’S poor performance as an opposition is happening, despite the massive economic downturn, increased unemployment and poverty, the Ebola epidemic with its resulting deaths, and loss of education activity in the country for a whole academic year.

Added to that, there is the rampant corruption of the APC, exemplified by the Busgate and Ebolagate affairs and the flagrant abuse of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, evident in the sacking of an elected Vice President, who in turn was replaced by a person of unenviable notoriety.

One would expect the SLPP to take the opportunity of seriously representing the concerns of Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad, and identify the right talents to craft its future policies and strategies to change the course of Sierra Leone for the better.

SLPP bigwigsInstead, the SLPP remains a party that is constantly looking within – insular and consistently sending out a message to all Sierra Leoneans, that unless you are from the South East, it wouldn’t give a damn about you, despite the constant refrain of “One People, One Country”.

Even the representation of South Eastern interests is a damn lie.  It is just a con trick and a way of manipulating the uneducated and uninformed.

No wonder the apparatchiks are consistently failing to see the opportunity that a Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella candidacy represents – for this party, but more importantly for the hopes and dreams of all Sierra Leoneans.

The Leaders must understand that through the KKY Movement, SLPP can mobilise a critical mass of support, which cannot be stopped, no matter what road blocks are put in the way. No matter how many “rah ray” boys occupy Unity House.

No matter how many times they try to deny that Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella is a fully fledged member of the SLPP, the truth cannot be denied.

The people of Sierra Leone have had enough of the politics of patronage – they have realised that it doesn’t work for them, only for a few.

slpp musical chairsThey are fed up of waiting for the elites to drop a few crumbs on to the floor, before they could eat.   They are now demanding to sit and eat at the table. They have a right to sit and eat from the table, however poor or illiterate they may be.

They have a right to earn a livelihood and income.  They have the right to wear brand new clothes – rather than shopping from ‘butu-pik’.  They don’t want their children to be running around naked or barefooted any longer.

They don’t want their young girls to aspire to prostitution. They don’t want to exist – they want to flourish.  They don’t want to be on the wrong side of every socio-economic and deprivation index.

They know that this is the change that Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella represents, and that’s the change that the elites in both APC and SLPP are resisting.  They have had the opportunity in more than 50 years of independence to sort the country out, but have failed woefully.

It has been a long time coming, but change is going to come and it will in 2017. So the SLPP National Executive Council should take a reality check, because they cannot stop the unstoppable.

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