Can the people of Sierra Leone trust this APC government any longer?

Dr. Sama Banya

9 August 2012

I will begin this column with two quotations: “It is regrettable that in spite of the strenuous efforts on the part of government to ensure that peace, security and stability within a truly democratic environment, some ill motivated persons continue to stoke up the flames of chaos and anarchy, thereby exposing peaceful citizens to harm and danger.”

“Once again government strongly condemns violence in all its forms and reaffirms its commitment to take every necessary step, to guarantee that our hard won peace is maintained.”

Readers may recall that both statements were part of a press release from the office of the President, when it received the reports of the two committees that it had set up, albeit after practically being pushed to take action on the ugly incidents in Bo and Kono sometime in 2011.

Of course the outcome of the government’s statement proved that it was not worth the paper on which it was printed.

It would be recalled that the Kono incident demonstrated one of the innate weaknesses of the All Peoples Congress APC party for violence, when it sets off on what I would describe as ‘auto-digestion’.

It was Musa Tarawally – the President’s blue-eyed interior minister, who could do no wrong on the one hand, and the President’s honourable Vice President – Alhaji Chief Sahr Sam Sumana.

Yes, the red sun versus the red sun. In Bo School we called it ‘bone to bone’ and all for the supremacy of his Excellency’s attention.

In the Bo incident, a conceived plan by the southern executive of the APC, when they decided under the chairmanship of the Resident Minister – Moijueh Kaikai to do all they could to wrench the region from the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), was practicalized on the day the SLPP flag bearer officially visited the city.

I would bet my last Leone that, had the victims resulting from the Bo incident not included some members of the APC, the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma would have DONE NOTHING about it, just as the Sam Sumana / Musa Tarawally encounter would not have been mentioned, but for the Bo incident and the pressure on him to do something.

Would the APC propagandists tell me what action has been taken with regard to the innocent involving an Okada rider who was killed during the disturbances?

Would that have been the situation if the victim had been perceived to be a supporter of the APC?

Our police force-for-good would have rounded up a large number of suspects, who would have had their case adjourned – court sitting after court sitting, and all the time the wretched fellows would have been remanded in custody.

Coming on top of that is the financial timbergate scandal involving business associates of the Vice President and by association and extension his Excellency the President.

Was the matter of the re-election campaign funds, which were given to the Vice President and used for the mutual benefit of him and his boss, not a case of “Clean hands, but dirty money?”

And now, we have this latest APC gimmick of wanting to win the November 2012 elections without violence, as in 1973 and subsequent elections by a shameful scheme, which they have hatched with the National Electoral Commission (NEC).

Their aim is to exclude opposition parties, particular those that pose a threat to the APC’s northern regional votes.

O yes, it is intended to be done in such a civilized way that if it is allowed and it succeeds, all the President’s praise-singers, headed by Oswald Hanciles, our press attaché in Beijing John Baimba Sesay – who does not appear to be fully occupied out there, the man of God in New York – the very political reverend Wilfred Kabs-Kanu and the rest of the group, would for the next five years be drumming it in our ears – how peaceful and democratic our elections had been.

Every time these people pour out their hypocritical libations of praise, I wonder whether they go off to sleep when they lay their head on the pillow.

Or do they, as is more likely, lie there for a long time looking up at the ceiling while an invisible voice keeps nudging their conscience?

But is his Excellency listening?

How about Alpha Kanu, I B Kargbo, Logus Koroma and the rest of the President’s men, are they listening to the real voice of the people, or reading what is being said all over the place about their vulgar one thousand percent increase in nomination fees?

To the rest of the citizenry, is the APC the government into whose hands we must leave the destiny of this country beyond November 17?

The Electoral commissioner – Christiana Thorpe and her boss – the President, may have spoken; we now wait for the peoples’ response and verdict.

Today’s quotation:

“Once the toothpaste is out of the tube it is awfully hard to get it back.” (H. R. Haldeman – a Nixon Presidential Assistant to John Dean – a colleague during the Watergate Hearings).

In the meantime Dave Heiligman – the US businessman accusing the vice president of financial impropriety, continues to fire his volleys.


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