Ruling party’s last few desperate days trying to cling on to power

Dr. Sama Banya

13 November 2012

It is not often that I am visibly angry, but last weekend I was, although it was not for any length of time.

A couple of years back there was a huge outcry, most of which I have to confirm was hypocritical, when Sylvia Blyden our only female but super informed extra-successful female publisher, had a cartoon in her Awareness Times newspaper depicting President Ernest Bai Koroma with TWO horns protruding from his head.

Although President Koroma has never locked up any journalist, the woman was kept for questioning for an inconveniently long time, which provoked international press attention.

To me it was a lot of fuss over nothing, because it is quite common for cartoonists to take the mickey out of world leaders. And here we are today with his praise singers referring to him as “World’s best.”

But last Saturday my attention was drawn to a big poster photograph of his Excellency – all done up, wearing earrings in both ears and beads round his neck. The photograph carries an acrostic covering each letter of the Presidents full name.

Could anything be more ridiculous, suggestive and degrading than that?

And yet it had been published by the party, which appeared to be more interested in the flattering acrostic than in the lurid suggestion, which the photograph conveys.
But that is APC for you and they are fighting much so very hard for re-election.

On Monday I called my nephew – the Paramount chief of Luawa chiefdom and he surprised me when he answered from Segbwema, that he was on his way to Talia. I could only think of Talia on the Kenema to Segbwema high road, until he corrected me that it was Talia in Yumbekeh chiefdom of Bonthe district.

I was flabbergasted when he added that he was on his way to attend a meeting of paramount chiefs. My body “went cold” when he said that the meeting was of “ALL PARAMOUNT CHIEFS WITH HIS EXCELLENCY ERNEST BAI KOROMA”.

I crossed checked with other Paramount chiefs in and outside Kailahun district and they all confirmed chief Banya’s story.

Here we are with only a few days to the polls. So what on earth would the President want to discuss with chiefs, who have lost every political influence over their people’s choice of president and other political office holders?

I sincerely hope that in his desperation, this president is not going to ask, coax or coerce those powerless people into attempting anything that may result in the further loss of prestige or power to chieftaincy.

We would have known the results by the time this column is with my readers.
Paramount chiefs should and must support government in every way, but they must not be associated with a political party like the chief Banyas, Benyas, Mohamed Kannehs, Kanagboros, etc., have been doing.

There may yet be another reason for his Excellency’s last ditch meeting with the chiefs before polling day on Saturday.

Someone has actually suggested that the real reason may be that the soothsayers, ‘alfa men’, coupled with the combined prayers of 873 pilgrims who had free sacrificial lambs in Mecca, plus the 179 Imams who were personally sponsored by the president, may not be enough to prevent his defeat at the polls.

And so the chiefs may be moving a resolution to annul any result that does not confirm their man as president for a second term.

However, the president is advised to remember what is reported to have happened to Ambassador Eddie Turay and our national flag last Sunday in the Solution Solving Cathedral of Evangelist Ajasafe.

Ah yes, what a clean human rights record in deed!! Our president in his five years never jailed any journalist. it is only his security men like leather boots who rough them up a bit, beat them up and seize their cameras and other valuables. even in the enclosure of state house right under their boss’s very nose.

The constituency 05 story so far

The honourable Sam Macarthy lost the confidence of his constituents in seeking a second Parliamentary term, and so he went to court and was granted an interlocutory injunction against his challenger – the SLPP and the National Electoral Commission, which the court granted.

However, even before the court judgement  the former MP had declared his support for President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC. And he has come down with two bus loads of his supporters to reassure the APC leader that he – Sam Macarthy, although he failed to win the primary nomination, has enough supporters to give his Excellency and the APC victory.

To be sure, as is usual with the world’s best on such occasions, Macarthy’s expenses will be refunded and each delegate will have his or her palm greased as a result of the declaration.

It is now widely believed within the district that he had planned to withdraw his nomination, if he had won in order to sell the constituency to Ernest and the APC. What a character, should the allegation be true!

A party of meaningless slogans

They began with what became the party’s motto, Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) and devoted a lot of resources to the Secretariat, a good proportion of which was squandered.

Now the voting public is being wooed with yet another meaningless platitude labelled Agenda For Prosperity. Do these people take the people of this country for fools?

Why would they not start with a review of the ABC‘s influence on our society, beginning with the leadership of the party? What has changed in the last five years?

Have we witnessed less corruption and a drop in the number of kleptomaniacs in the government?

What has changed within the APC in the area of national divisiveness?

Have they got rid of nepotism, regionalism, ethnic bias, violence, intimidation and coercion?

What about selective vindictiveness against members and sympathisers of the opposition SLPP?

Has there been an end to armed robbery?

With all the failures looking at them straight in the face, they now begin to bamboozle us with their so called Agenda for Prosperity, which can only mean more prosperity to them and to their family and circle of friends.

In short we are neither impressed nor amused. The people will give their verdict on Saturday.


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