The APC is caught in a web of its own making

Dr. Sama Banya

25 August 2012

The ruling “new” All Peoples Congress Party (APC), like its predecessor, has always boasted of ninety-nine ways with which they would win elections.

Like I have stated over and over again, violence has always been an integral part of that practice and worked to their advantage in the past.

Such tactics even succeeded in the local government bye-election in the Soro Gbeima chiefdom of Pujehun district.

The then resident minister – now security minister, Musa Tarawallie, a former Member of Parliament of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), who finally landed in the APC through the PMDC route, had led the onslaught on the poor people of that chiefdom.

He had frightened the wits out of the people, forcing them to abandon the election process and take to the bush. While this primitive pattern of violence has received national condemnation, the APC party continues to pull other rabbits out of its bag.

Their refined method of bribery, concealed intimidation and collusion with the national electoral commission to cheat, have become the order of the day. And even as we continue to call attention to the evil of this latest attempt at winning power by the back door, nemesis is also catching up on them.

During the registration exercise preceding the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the APC imported large numbers of residents of Port Loko district – particularly from Marampa and Kaffu Bullom to vote in other constituencies.

Those people registered in the place of the large numbers of former displaced people from other parts of the provinces who had since returned home. As a result, it is no surprise that the western area had over a million registered voters for the 2007 elections.

That high number has now been reduced by 50% to a little over six hundred thousand because of the biometric system of registration.

We have also been informed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC), that during the voter registration verification exercise in Brussels, which was witnessed by party representatives, a large number of multiple registering was identified.

People are now wondering why NEC has up to this moment in time not released the list of that irregularity. Could it be because such publication would embarrass the ruling party?

Of greater significant is what we can deduce from the more realistically reduced number of registered voters and its effect on the APC votes in the western area, with its 19 constituencies.

While the APC are agonizing over the negative effect of their NEMESIS, can we also deduce that the Almighty God has answered the call of ordinary citizens by producing a more level playing field, as a result of the new reality? It is indeed a very interesting possibility.

Let this then be a warning of similar consequences, for what the party has done during the biometric registration process.

The recent decision by our Ambassadors in Liberia and Guinea to send truck loads of migrant voters to register in the border towns of Gondama and Kambia respectively, may yet rebound in their face.

In the meantime, the APC leader continues to demonstrate his widely acknowledged generosity, by lavishly splashing large sums of money here and there – both in Freetown and in the provinces to curry votes.

Would someone be bold enough to suggest to the young “Pa” that his gesture is leading to wide speculations about the source and quantum of his personal wealth?

Never in the history of Sierra Leone has a sitting President been so generous, not even the great Siaka Stevens. And all this is taking place in an atmosphere charged with news of bribery and corruption, while the vast majority of our people live below the poverty line.

Is it another example of ‘Clean hands and dirty money?’

The American businessman – Mark Heiligman continues to insist that he is telling the truth and nothing but the truth, in his allegation of business deals and loans between him, his partner – Dave Kloeber on the one hand, and our honourable Vice President and his boss on the other.

As for this 82 year old young man – Puawui, the political prostitute and chameleon, I refuse to speculate on the outcome of all these funny stories on the election campaign itself.

In the meantime, Christiana Thorpe – the NEC boss, continues to withhold publication of the voters list, while she issues a deadline of September 7 for political parties to submit the names of their prospective candidates for the local government elections.

I just can’t wait to join the campaign in the Kailahun district with Maya Kaikai, Lamin Vonjo and Sahr Mokuwa combined for the APC. The Kailahun court barray will remain defiant.

But I am getting a little bored with threats from prospective SLPP candidates, who are threatening that they would go APC, unless they receive the party symbol. What impudence.

I would have thought that the essence of the exercise was for any candidate to be the choice of their people.

Posterity would not be kind to any selfish individual who would put obstacles in our march to victory in November.

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