Alan Luke – KKY Movement (UK&I) Communications Team
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 December 2015
Political parties usually undergo a period of soul searching, after a bruising encounter with the electorate. And the SLPP’s dismal showing in a swathe of bye-elections on the 14th of November, 2015, has triggered such introspection.
This was evident last weekend, with news of a leaked Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) campaign documents for the presidential election in 2018.
The document was significant, because it included the names of a number of SLPP stalwarts, who it would appear, were not merely endorsing KKY as the SLPP flagbearer, but were also lending their support to the campaign to ensure victory at the presidential polls.
This news would have caused consternation within PAOPAville. Predictably, Michael Jack Muana poured scorn on KKY, accusing him of arrogance and suggested that some of those listed in the document would be disassociating themselves from the KKY campaign.
We waited patiently over the weekend and to date no one has come forward, disassociating himself from the KKY campaign. It seems that the tectonic plates within the SLPP are shifting.
Last Friday, KKY arrived in Bo, after the Inspector General of Police, faced with a potential legal challenge and unwanted attention from the international community, backed down and removed the unjustified prohibition that the APC led government had imposed on KKY, under the guise of the emergency provisions which were in place during the Ebola epidemic.
It was heartening to see the SLPP Chairman – Chief Somano Kapen demanded that the police provide KKY with protection, because he is an SLPP member and flag bearer aspirant.
Another character who tried to make a last stand was Jacob Saffa. I understand that he spent two days in Bo trying to discourage and in some cases intimidate people from welcoming KKY.
But these unsavory moves only serve to strengthen the resolve of the people of Bo in particular and the south-east in general.
KKY’s successful visit to Bo, which included a visit to the site of the new party office, a meeting at the Bo Tennis Club, an early morning run with the youths of Bo last Saturday; and attendance at Mass at the Immaculate Heart Church on Sunday, sent shock waves across PAOPAville.
It has demonstrated that the violence threatened by Bio and his thugs can be challenged, and can be described as nothing but hot air.
This also indicates that SLPP has started to do some soul searching. The party is waking up to the fact that the divisive message of south-eastern hegemony peddled by Bio, has been rejected by people from the south-east.
Kailahun, an SLPP stronghold, rejected this message at the bye-election, as did the people of Freetown.
The people of Bo came out over the weekend to support KKY, and this also represents a rejection of the divisive politics peddled by Bio.
Party members are gradually coming to the realisation that Bio has failed to show loyalty to the SLPP, by lending his support to candidates who were not selected by the SLPP, and who then chose to stand against official SLPP candidates.
He has also been unashamedly opportunistic, meeting with President Koroma and publicly endorsing Koroma’s failed policies as “effective”, while at the same time embarking on a political campaign, in the guise of Ebola sensitisation and doing so, in exchange for cash.
They can also see that his assertion that he is the only person who can stand up to Koroma and the APC machine, and if necessary will meet fire with fire, is nothing more than bravado.
So KKY’s campaign marches on – “Ain’t no stopping us now, we are on the move…’ So far, KKY has dealt with all that the APC and Bio have thrown at him, and he has done so with magnanimity and in a statesman like manner.
Now that these hurdles of membership of the party, visit to Unity House and the SLPP heartland of Bo have been overcome, KKY will now turn his attention to addressing Sierra Leone’s Post Ebola Recovery.
Unlike Bio who masqueraded himself across the country in a failed attempt to re-launch his campaign under the guise of Ebola sensitisation, and doing so in a brazen alliance with Ernest Koroma, in a desperate bid for cash to stem potential bankruptcy, KKY will now turn his attention to setting out his vision for Sierra Leone.
KKY will also be putting forward clear policies to take Sierra Leone to a better future and to secure sustainable economic recovery.
About the author:
Alan Luke is a member of the KKY Movement (UK&I) Communications Team