Abdulai Mansaray: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 June 2019:
The Republic of Sierra Leone recently celebrated its 58th year of independence. But many have been left wondering whether it was worth all the fuss in the first place. And this is largely thanks to recent events that have unstitched the nation’s political and social fabric.
The highlight of the 58th independence celebrations was the opening of an 80 meter long bridge in Lumley, Freetown. There is no question that the bridge, with its four lane extension has eased traffic congestion to a large extent – thanks to the vigilance of military and law enforcement officers.
Interestingly, the talking point at the time was not only the “record time” in which the bridge was constructed, but also the alleged estimated budget that was quoted for the construction by the previous government. In effect, the mantra was that the SLPP constructed the bridge in record time and for less money. I call it efficiency and value for money, so I heard. If that was the case, I take my hat off to the government.
The name may have been changed for historical reasons. sadly, that was also translated along tribal lines. What a sad state of affairs, that even well-meaning acts are reduced to tribal chinwags. But hey, after 58 good years of trying to determine our own destiny, and if all that we can show by way of celebration is a newly refurbished 80 metre bridge, we might as well go home. Many folks had wondered whether such an occasion required the full presence of the President cutting the ribbon.
Many felt that this was for a local councillor or at best, the Minister of Works to do so. But no. Others may have seen this as a big political statement of intent. After 58 years of trying to figure out what we want, it was logical for his Excellency to be there with all the gravitas it deserves.
Ok, agreed, but as a nation, and if this was our level of accomplishments, the bar has been set so low. The construction of such a bridge was not only overdue, but should be a run of the mill stuff. Call me kill joy, but that jamboree was over the top.
What gave this occasion its gravitas was the fact that , it was done against the backdrop of the “comparison to APC syndrome”. It is rather unfortunate that the ousted APC party appears to be the yardstick of every action or inaction of this government.
It is very obvious that in order to weigh, judge or measure the actions of the government, there is a tendency to compare . But this should not be in all cases. Such comparison has become so prevalent these days, that even our constitution is now interpreted, translated and implemented by the standards of the previous government.
While some use it as justification, others try it as an excuse. But that is the sad aspect in all this. Our country should not be ruled by the evils or mistakes of the past. We should aspire to judge our governments by the standards of other well governed and more prosperous countries.
You don’t move forward by looking backwards. We should not be spending time looking at the door that is closing, for we may not notice the one that is opening. If the SLPP should make any lasting positive impact in the country, should the APC serve as its yardstick?
Many will say that the elections results were a reflection of what the people thought of the APC Party at the time. That should be the simplistic opinion, and I am not asking for your appeals against my view here, for you cannot arrest my opinion with “fake blood”.
But just for discussion sake, let us agree that the electorate chose SLPP because it wanted change, a new direction, new blood, etc. In that case, the expectation is for the incoming government to aspire to higher heights.
Someone should be reminding us about how countries like Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia and many others have turned the corner. It is a really sad state of affairs when a government is reportedly comparing itself to the very political party it replaced, as if that is the standard bearer.
When that happens, the perceived vote for change defeats the object. You don’t aspire to imitate the very person you replace, especially when the electorate voted to oust the APC.
We are all aware of the government’s intention to do things differently. The drive to tackle corruption has been one of the remarkable signatures of the Bio government. We also know that in trying to do so, the ousted APC government has played its part in trying to gridlock the road map.
Unfortunately, and in trying to override the gridlocks, the government has unconsciously become a shareholder in this sad debacle. It is no wonder that many see the SLPP, to all intents and purposes, as an entity bent on payback. Let us take for example the sacking of some civil servants. It is no secret that the civil service is loaded with personnel -appointed by virtue of tribal and political persuasions from previous governments.
Nepotism and favouritism are no strangers in African politics. America is just learning the ropes in this art.
The civil service has always been littered with party loyalists or card carrying members. It is understandable if an incoming government embarks on cleaning up such acts. But in doing so, such feats should be undertaken with all the sensitivity, transparency and accountability that they deserve.
It should be a just and meticulous affair. But the speed with which this was implemented has left many accusing the government of ethnic or regional cleansing, which in itself could be suggestive of nepotism by the previous regime. But is that the level to which our political system has sunk? Has it been reduced to a relay event or pass the parcel?
The irony is , if you try to raise a critical eyebrow to such perceived behaviour, there will be no shortage of historians to remind you about similar deeds of the previous government. It is no secret that the APC took a scalpel to the bowels of our constitution when among others, Sam Sumana was sacked.
The SLPP is now replacing Parliamentarians who have purportedly lost their positions, thanks to recent ruling by the courts. But should the “winners” be sworn in, when there is still a legal option to appeal the decision of the courts? Should the vanquished not be allowed to exhaust their legal right to appeal first? But you can bet your bottom dollar that the historians will quote you a precedence as if that makes it right.
So how do we expect to grow politically when our two main parties seem locked in this kind of political gymnastics. Our political landlords have fondly been referred to as “Alusine & Alhassan”, suggestive of two peas in a pod. But Sierra Leoneans should be able to tell the difference between these two parties, not only by their names or their unfortunately perceived tribal nomenclature, but by their very essence to the people.
We cannot afford an “eye for an eye situation”, for it will only make the nation go blind. Sadly, this is what most Sierra Leoneans believe they are facing today. Where such a situation is prevalent, the people become the first casualty. When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. And it is this kind of feeling that has set tongues wagging and questions asked about whether it is about time for Sierra Leoneans to choose a 3rd party.
When two political giants remain determined to mimic each other in the race for bad governance, the electorate will be short changed. Should Sierra Leoneans start looking elsewhere for redemption?
As calls for a 3rd way continue to grow louder, is it time for Sierra Leoneans to move the debate from “poda poda talk”? With the APC party increasingly presenting itself as a party that is bent on making the country ungovernable on the one hand; and the SLPP party increasingly being seen or accused as tribalistic, the stage seems set for a ‘Paopa vs Gbagbati’ debacle.
This kind of brinkmanship that is being served here is nothing short of unpalatable to the political taste buds of the electorate. The APC is on record for saying that it will not allow its members to be subjected to a kangaroo court.
During the opening of Parliament recently, the APC made a partial appearance, only to boycott the main business of the day. Funnily, a lot of fun was poked at the party, that it boycotted parliament only to go home to watch it on TV.
When the APC, like all other stakeholders was invited to the Bintumani 3 conference, a gathering that was supposedly aimed at promoting national cohesion, the APC officially refused to attend. Some of its prominent members like Ahaji Alpha Khan attended the conference as an individual representing himself.
In the meantime, social media podcasts were doing the rounds, showing the APC Secretary general, Alhaji Yansaneh asking the party’s foot soldiers if they should attend. The response was a resounding “No”. That is how you get a party policy, right?
The APC may have its own reasons for its stance on many political issues. Unfortunately, the party is unconsciously making itself look like doing all it can to gridlock the SLPP government. On the other hand, the majority of people that have come under the SLPP hammer, appear to have a specific denominator. That is why the government has been accused of fuelling the flames of tribalism.
This piece is not aimed at adjudicating between these two political landlords. But if truth be said, there is a blatant disrespect for the electorate here. It seems that the majority of the parliamentarians forget that they are there to represent the people. Most of these decisions may not be reflective of the wishes of the electorate. Their egos and lack of foresight kick in, even before they conclude their searing in ceremonies.
With these two political demagogues eyeballing each other, is there an argument for a 3rd political party, proper? To all intents and purposes, is the country descending into a “you do me, ar do you” musical chairs?
Many have accused the APC of refusing to accept electoral defeat, while others believe that the SLPP is dividing the country along tribal and regional lines. And if Sierra Leone is to have a 3rd party proper, should asset declaration be a pre-requisite for membership?
As Sierra Leoneans, there is no running away from the fact that our country has never been so divided. But equally, it will be preposterous to conclude that such a division happened overnight. From time immemorial, our politicians have successfully governed on this basis. Power has never been equitably distributed. The national cake has always favoured the usual suspects.
Does politics in our country today require adult supervision? Or should the electorate start dreaming of an alternative party? Have the APC and SLPP been in charge for far too long that they have become symbiotically different?
Are they just mirror images of each other? Have they been around for far too long? Are they really different? Or is this just a whole new ball game of some political mirage? Chew on it.
MARTIN LUTHER KING ONCE SAID, “I HAVE A DREAM”. “I MAY NOT GET THERE WITH YOU, BUT I HAVE A DREAM”. Back then, the word was “IMPOSSIBLE”.
In my opinion, I believe that Sierra Leoneans have been presented with another opportunity to make sustainable development when the people decided to vote the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) once more in power. Based on their ideology of One Country One People, they are the Adults that our country needs because their original foundation was built on solid rock which was sincere leadership and truth.
The reality on the ground before independence was the Creole domination, since they were the well educated and economically vibrant community even though they were not the majority. So the SLPP was formed by the protectorates and some liberal creoles to counter the then creole dominated political machine, which dominated our then colonial politics.
Unfortunately, the PNP was formed when Siaka Stevens incited and manipulated Albert Margai to break away from his brother through deceit, lies and manipulation. Stevens later formed the APC party by breaking away from the SLPP, which eventually bought our country to its knees, and we became the least developed nation after 28 years of APC misrule.
The formation of a third party should be grounded in honesty and sincerity and not manipulation, which is the problem our country has been facing, because the ideology which is the only means of changing our nation is not based on sincerity and truth. Most leaders only form their party after they have been rejected by others, which I believe is synonymous with an impotent man saying he wants to practice celibacy.
Now I believe that the country has been united than ever before, since the heads of the 3 branches of our government are from different regions- The Executive (President Maada Bio and Vice President Juldeh Jalloh) are from the South and North, the head of the Legislature (Dr. Abas Bundu) from the North and the head of the Judiciary (Chief Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards) is from the West.
The reality on the ground is that the SLPP’s base will always be the Southeast, while the APC base will always be the Northwest. Political loyalty and ideology are paramount in achieving your manifesto that was presented to the people during an election campaign. And the reality is that, even in the USA and Great Britain, “The Winner takes all“.
What we can all agree on Alusine Fallay is the fact that the SLPP won and the APC lost. So, I endorse your last statement and quote – ‘The Winner takes all’. The winner will take all till 2023. PERIOD!
GOD BLESS YOU.
Mr Tucker, your observations are always delightful to my ears – your criticisms make me laugh,and now also your approvals are making me smile. I thank you for your kind words. I’ll do my best to always remain inspiring,well- balanced,and even handed whenever I participate in discussions on this platform.
But I cannot guarantee that I will be polite and courteous at all times, because, a situation may arise that demands for me to unleashed hell in order for me to make my point and position very clear. Strive to stay resolute and focused in all you do, and be good – Take good care of yourself….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Mr. Sahr Matturi, thanks for the request. You state: “Are we going to be arguing about the past till the next elections? Who will benefit from all this?”
Sahr Matturi, Well governance is a continuous process, which means that a government that ignores history is doomed to repeat it. When Siaka Stevens ruled Sierra Leone, he engaged in a pattern of predatory accumulation and brutality that did not only bankrupt the economy but also left an indelible psychological scar on Sierra Leoneans. Stevens’ hand-picked successor, Joseph Momoh, ignored Stevens’ transgressions. The result was a brutal civil war.
Historical antecedents influence governmental processes and allow for the formulation of policies that can move a country forward. Slavery ended in the United States centuries ago, yet it is still being talked about and taught in schools as it is regarded an unjust mode of production that destroyed generations of Americans.
I would not want to draw a parallel between slavery which I consider a repugnant and inhuman pattern of accumulation and the now customary and destructive APC looting of Sierra Leone’s national treasury. However, I believe that the vile and revulsive legacies of Stevens, Momoh and Ernest Koroma must be kept in the mainstream of national discourse for years to come, so that future generations of leaders would learn from the horrendous governmental formations that were instituted in Sierra Leone under those three leaders.
Why is the legacy of the late president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah never attacked? Also, wasn’t a commission of inquiry established by Ernest Koroma in 2008? Didn’t former SLPP officials cooperate with the inquiries? And were they all not vindicated of any wrong doing? Did we see SLPP supporters on the streets challenging the police to a duel?
There are forces in Sierra Leone that want to silence people who dare raise the issues of bad governance and injustice under Koroma and the APC. And I dare say that the main issue that APC apologists have against president Bio is that he blindsided them by establishing the Commissions of Inquiry.
APC leaders don’t want to give an account of their ten-year stewardship. So, they have resorted to a pattern of obstructionism that is centered on lawlessness. Amid this, their critics continue to attack the president and calling him a tribalist. Interestingly, APC activists expect the president to wave a magical elixir to undo their party’s prolonged damage to Sierra Leone in just one year in office.
So, what is the way forward?
The way forward is not to ignore our historical errors, as we will be doomed to repeat them. But we must respect the rule of law; and there must be transparency and probity in government and national life. The APC and the SLPP don’t have to be best of friends for Sierra Leone to be properly governed. The Democrats and the Republicans in the United States are at each other’s throat daily. Yet the respect that these two parties have for the rule of law and democratic governance is sacrosanct.
Thanks to all those who answered my question with honesty and civility. This is how all of us on this PLATFORM and any other social media PLATFORM should behave to one another. Disagreeing on issues, does not mean that we are enemies or should use rough language. If I don’t understand what someone says or writes, I just write and ask politely.
On this occasion, I thank Maxwell and David for their candid response. I also thank Emmanuel for agreeing with me this time. By the way Emmanuel, I always reply to anyone’s concerns or questions over any of my comments. As you know, sometimes, I forget because, I am human. Thanks to everyone and the sky is not the limit.
Dear Sahr, there is no need to finding solutions for politicians in Sierra Leone after the whistle has been blown. The game is over, the winner is running the nation. Sierra Leone is not at war, Sierra Leone is not fighting deadly disease, Sierra Leone is a peaceful democratic developing country. We have duelly elected a president through the ballot box.
The president is doing his duties and finding money for the numerous problems left behind by bandits of fomer APC government. This president is the first to bring down petroleum prices ever in this country, the first to bring free quality education, first to realize funds from corrupt former employees of government, you name them. But everyone has enemies, so is Dr Bio, President of The Republic of Sierra Leone not exempted.
Either the losers of past election, especially APC partisans follow the president to correct the mess they left behind or they simply get out of the way, the solution is found. But as long as they keep planting seeds of evil for this nation and indeed they said ” we will make Sierra Leone ungovernable” which is what they are bent on, God will punish and distroy them till generations to come.
The country is on the right footing. There is no shortage of food or fuel, children are going to school, people are going about their normal business, salaries and pensions are well paid and on time, there is a high reduction in child mortality, there are drug in every hospital, sanity has returned to accountability.
Above all our country is OFF toward serious development. Those who think they can bring mayhem on the people of Sierra Leone, let them try it. Let the educated fools continue their unnecessary talk. We are not scared.
I highly extoll the writer of the article titled by the editor – DO WE NEED ADULT SUPERVISION OR A THIRD PARTY. The author illustratively and comprehensively envisage a political idealism citizens of Sierra Leones must potentially embraced, heading to the next general elections.
Currently I am a non-partisan to any political party entity of Sierra Leone. Was I before? The answer “YES” but having rigorously gone deep back re-examining the analogical trail of Sierra Leone economic development after fifty year plus of independence, where are we?
Sierra Leone has been ruled by two political parties stationed at a cross road junction without a knowledge of a route way out. Instead of building Sierra Leone to a great nation, they resulted into convulsion of tribalism as the main stay of administration.
Before independence, Sierra Leone used to be the epicenter of education that educate all African nations south of the Sahara. What went wrong? Too many political blunders to count. One of the other commentator to this article mentioned that there is no way Sierra Leone can have a third party because America was always ruled by two parties.
Comparing America to Sierra Leone is politically incorrect. Yes America is being ruled by two parties but guess what, they provide for the needs of the people. And during the course of each party administration, if a political mishap occurred either economic or social, they will be put aside at the next election.
David samura and Maxwell Bakarr, you all are just repeating the same thing the author had laid out. Stop this idea of apc this, slpp that. Rather, read the author’s note carefully to understand why these problems are happening on both sides as laid out here and give reason why this is happening and then give advice or suggestions you think will help the current administration in handling the situation. At least for the benefit of us all. But the back and forth of the same “ton am gi” point you guys are pinpointing here is really irrelevant!
The great Hindu mystic and spiritual Master Pantajali, once wrote in his Spiritual Classic – the YOGA SUTRAS “The whole of life is an open book, a scripture” Read it, learn while digging a pit or chopping some wood or cooking some food. If you can’t learn from your daily duties, how are you going to understand the scriptures? ” A million thanks to the ancient Master! Awesome!
Pantajali is my kind of guy: pragmatic, simple no-nonsense and unsentimental when speaking the truth. Those words from an incomparable spiritual guide would be of great help to the people of Sierra Leone if studied, pondered upon and put to practice.
A brutal war came and went, and like a merciless Spartan sword slashed off hands and limbs. Ebola galloped in and ruthlessly snuffed countless lives away. Terrifying mudslides creeped and slithered in, swallowed and ate their own share; yet the mindset of our people remained shockingly the same – unfazed, unchanged and unimproved.
Pantajali was right. If we can’t learn from the events interwoven in our lives, then no amount of piety,fasting,and prayer would yield dividends or meaningful results in any of daily endeavors. I would like to emphasize to Mr Mansaray, that initiating a third party will be a wasted effort, a fruitless venture because our people cannot and are not yet able to think critically for themselves.
Almost all Sierra Leoneans make their most important plans and decisions based on considerations, responsibilities and obligations, closely attached to tribal and political influences. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. I think some wise politicians like the late Great Old Stevens and Kwame Nkrumah understood that very well, and so also does Koroma and Bio.
Despite all the noise and ruckus being caused by both sides, only a small percentage of Sierra Leoneans are sincerely seeking for genuine change in our style of governance. Deep down in their beings, most people are contented with the way things are, because of the strength, support and reassurances they receive from tribal and Political structures serving as formidable pillars to lean on.
It has always been this way and it will always remain so, because the length of time people have spent being rooted and embedded in the trenches of Tribalism and Nepotism has been way too long, causing them to become convenient, stuck and fixed in their respective positions, like glue on paper.
Contrary to what many think, these two Political giants at odds with each other, present us with a tremendous opportunity to change things for the better if only we knew how to do so. It is said that the Chinese word for ‘Opportunity’ is the same word that is being used for a ‘Crisis’. Why is that so? Because in every situation, that is seen as problematic, there also lies a hidden solution.
But in all such matters, eyes are blind, one must look with the heart. What we need are God-fearing leaders from both parties, with mutual respect for each other, who are deeply patriotic, who humbly understand, that a magic wand has been entrusted to them to bring people together and not drive them apart.
There is no other way. It has to start with the leaderships, otherwise forget it, no hope. Sincere, kind and genuine-hearted leaders are what we need at all levels of governance in order to rid ourselves of hatred and tribalism. The Chinese philosopher Confucius once said to his students “A leader is like the wind and the people like grass; Wherever the wind blows there also will the grass lean”. Ingenious!
Clearly, it all starts at the top and then like a glass full of the finest wine, starts gently overflowing and trickling down to the bottom. I totally agree with the Great Confucius! Its time for Mr President to heed prudent suggestions and advice, and become a genuine, transparent, catalyst for lasting and sustainable change…Ya heard me! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Good day brother. I was reading your comments – spinning my head and my heart full of joy. It is very fantastic and amazing for us to use our Intel to give positive solutions to our country’s problem. I have been a critic of you on this platform but sincerely I was touched with this particular comment.
If we continue approaching issues like this, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. You were frank and I support you on this. For a third party to prevail in our country, it will be a tough call. Thanks for your comments and I hope you will continue like this instead of always being party Pekin. Thanks bro.
Mr. Abdulai Mansaray’s article must be read carefully and taken seriously. I do not know how he came to the idea of writing an article that should be written in 2022. Two years into President Bio’s rule, people have started discussing what should be discussed in 2022.
Just watch what is being said both inside and outside Sierra Leone. You do not need to be a political scientist to judge for yourself. Are we in ELECTION CAMPAIGN MODE? What I admire most was, how CAUTIOUS Mr. Mansaray was in writing this piece. He did so because, he does not want people to take his article out of context, but I get it Mr. Mansaray.
Why did the almighty GOD ask you for whatever reason to write this article, I don’t know. Only the future will tell. What I do know is that, change is on it’s way. How? You guess. I have a very simple answer to your question and that is, we do not need a third party at the moment because, it will be difficult to convince the electorate to accept a third party. Time is also not on our side. You know the mentality of people very well.
There are two ways to change the political map/situation and bring about the start of a third party at the moment.
1. POLITICALLY ENGULFING SIERRA LEONE IN A CIRCLE and
2. The IRREGULAR POLYGON(4 SIDED) POLITICAL STRATEGY. Read my thoughts or crack the puzzle.
Let us leave it like that for the time being.
I would not say much at the moment because, our (DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL MOVEMENT, is still in it’s organizing stage) STRATEGY will be made public. However, we will continue to give our candid opinion on the issues and support the President and his government to make them succeed. Whether they listen or not, remains to be seen. But in 2022, we are going back to BASE and see our STRATEGY THROUGH. E GO BEE MA!
We will come sometime in the future very aggressively to make the best of this very important article by Mr. Mansaray. I pray that another article will be published by Mr. Mansaray to make people make their case to the SIERRA LEONE ELECTORATE during the free for all campaign year. We will for now be noting the failures and giving suggestions and solutions to them.
At the moment, let us rally behind the president to make sure that his GENUINE PROJECTS and PROGRAMMES for the good of the PEOPLE and the COUNTRY succeeds. Congratulate/praise him when he does a good job and criticise/correct him when things go wrong. That is how Sierra Leoneans are, I reckon.
Thank you very much Mr. Abdulai Mansaray for your foresight at all times. GOD BLESS YOU .
Thanks Mr Matturi. You are too kind. If it is the will of the people, we’ll make it known, loud and clear.
David, only the wise men can understand your comment. You really put it very clear to the block headed educated fools that roam Sierra Leone. Special thanks to Maxwell. Many people in this country want to see us (Sierra Leoneans) going down hell. But as God will have it, those wishing us (Sierra Leoneans) evil will be punished by the Almighty God to their generations unborn. God bless well meaning Sierra Leoneans to govern our lovely nation.
A very thoughtful piece by Abdulai Mansaray. Indeed. a 3rd non-tribal-based winning party should have evolved in Sierra Leone not today, yesterday or the day before, but several years back. The question however is how such a 3rd party can emerge and ultimately wrestle power from the two dominant tribally entrenched parties when the overwhelming bulk of the country’s electorate are nearly equally distributed between these two parties which have largely continued to succeed each other in governing the country since independence, except for brief interregnums in between?
Another question is, given that APC and SLPP voters/partisans view their respective parties virtually as their religions, which tribally neutral leadership would successfully take away a significant voting bloc from each of these parties and add these voters to a sufficient number of ‘independents’ (if there is truly any such voting bloc in Sierra Leone) to defeat both APC and SLPP?
Meanwhile a sub question to the preceding one is: What political ‘miracle’ will enable such a non-tribally and non-regionally based 3rd party leadership to choose a nationally acceptable and charismatic leader to serve as it’s flag bearer without risking questions/doubts about the regional or ethnic affiliation of such a leader?
Yet another question would be: Is it possible, if not probable, to identify such a 3rd party leader, who will be seen as tribe and region blind sufficiently enough to weave a political tapestry that will evenhandedly embrace all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of tribal and regional identity and religious denomination?
A leader whose cabinet and other appointments will reflect a rainbow coalition in which virtually every Sierra Leonean will see himself or herself represented?
These are but few questions that may have to exercise the minds of well-intentioned Sierra Leoneans like the author of this 3rd party concept (Mr. Abdulai Mansaray). Given all the solid points raised in the writer’s piece, there is absolutely no question about the urgent need for a viable 3rd party polity in the country. But with the prevailing SLPP-APC tit-for-tat, winner-takes-all and cut-throat political dispensation, the 3rd party may as well remain an ideal concept without any actionable possibility to bring it to fruition in the foreseeable future.
It might become a realizable alternative political situation when, among other variables, a large number of active voters and supporters of both SLPP and APC become sufficiently enlightened and patriotic to put country above automatic partisan / ethnic / regional considerations.
How and when such a desired outcome will subsequently materialize remains in the realm of conjecture at this point. But who says some dreams are not realizable!
Thanks to God all the men you called by their names and tribes are not Mendes, most of them are Temmenes or Creole. These guys are senior men and Professors, Again thanks for identifying them with their qualifications.
Mr Mansaray, in my humble opinion I don’t see any way by which a 3rd party can even gain grounds, let alone win a general election in Sierra Leone. No way! Sierra Leone like the U.S.A, a 3rd party has never gain grounds. Sierra Leone is divided into green and red period!. Supporters of each of these parties are stuck.
Brother Mansaray thanks for your input but you’re sure and do know that when it comes to politics in Sierra Leone, the APC and the SLPP will not and will never budge in for no one. Their supporters just don’t see themselves changing stance for no one.
Doing that is like committing suicide. They (APC / SLPP) will allow any one they think is going to play by their rules to run under their party ticket and become president. But anything outside that is really difficult if not impossible to happen. The likes of TEJAN KABBAH AND ERNEST KOROMA are living testaments.
So,in my opinion, Maada Bio as I have always stated in my responses on this platform, should have used this opportunity given to him by the people of Sierra Leone wisely, by playing strictly by the rules to not only create a change for the Sierra Leonean people but leave a lasting legacy by which successive presidents will follow suit.
But his failure to set the record straight was clearly self-shooting on the foot. Especially this ideology of tit for tat and making reference to the past govt in justifying wrong doings. And that has handed a political victory I will call it, to the APC party.
For we all know, the apc will surely use it as an escape route to running away from justice and accountability. Bod wan flai u go shek tik… wetin u expekt?…Had the SLPP stayed in its lane and walk straight with it’s “new direction” agenda of fighting corruption, education, economy, health and human rights, with the correct regulations, trust me by now we all could be writing something very different from what we are writing about now. To God bra!….
Sometime in 2008, the Hon. I.B. Kargbo of the All People’s Congress (APC) was asked why the cabinet of Sierra Leone was predominantly Northern (about 85% were northerners). Hon Kargbo responded that the men in the cabinet were folks that were ready to govern. What a cryptic response!
Before the end of 2008, Dr. Moses Kapu and Mr. John Saad, both, PMDC Southeasterners, were shown the exit door by president Ernest Koroma. That was in addition to dozens of Southeasterners that had been fired by Ernest Koroma from public service. The list included Dr. James Rogers (Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone) and Dr. John Karimu (Commissioner of the National Revenue Authority (NRA)). The phrase, Northernization, was coined by the government’s critics to reflect the northern hegemony that was being foisted upon Sierra Leone.
Yet to say that it was only job losses that Southeasterners were suffering at that critical time would be an understatement. Not long after the victory of the APC was announced in 2007, an out of control mob dressed in red APC regalia stormed Unity House, SLPP’s headquarters, beating up SLPP members and raping women on the premises.
Those that are criticizing the SLPP today may have been APC cheerleaders on the sideline celebrating APC’s reinjection of hooliganism and barbarism into Sierra Leone’s political process. Interestingly, president Koroma did not utter a single word in reference to the atrocities that his followers had unleashed on their countrymen. In fact, as it came to be learned later, one of the president’s bodyguards, Idrissa Kamara, AKA Leatherboot was one of the mob leaders.
Today, president Julius Bio is being admonished by the literary perfectionists to govern without the benefit of precedents. In other words, Bio must pretend that history does not exist. Otherwise, he must be a tribalist.
It appears that it is only tribalists and regionalists that dare look at how historical processes work in government. Ironically, Bio’s critics had expected him to accept and maintain the northern oligarchy that he had inherited in government from Ernest Koroma. But once the president started changing the guards to ensure a level playing field in government, all hell broke loose as his critics started labeling him a regionalist and a tribalist.
Other complaints that have been heaped on Bio deal with policing and law enforcement. Demonstrating the party’s internal contradictions, APC operatives have openly bragged that they would make Sierra Leone ungovernable. Additionally, several Diaspora Sierra Leoneans have been making threats on the president’s life in the name of APC.
Yet when the president tightens security while the nation’s police force discharges the duties for which it was legally constituted, the president is attacked for maintaining an aggressive police force. Amid this, there is no mention of the fact that the present police force was inherited from Ernest Koroma.
Ernest Koroma presided over a police state that harassed and humiliated his opponents. Opposition party members like the current deputy Internal Affairs minister, Lahai Lawrence Leema, were dismissed from the military and locked up at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on several occasions.
Importantly, it must be noted that had Bio fired the upper echelon of the police and replaced it with his own men, his critics would have labelled him a tribalist.
Correspondingly, when the police cracks down on lawlessness, it is not the Inspector General of police that gets criticized. It is the president since it is assumed that the police are micromanaged by the president.
So, what do the critics of the president really want? They argue that Sierra Leone is divided yet when they are invited to a peace conference, they refuse to go. They complain that ‘di gron dry’ yet when the president establishes Commissions of Inquiry to go after corrupt elements, they say that the APC is being singled out.
Was it not the APC government that preceded Bio’s government? Have we not heard about APC crooks entering into agreements with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to pay restitution on monies that they stole while in office?
I think it behooves president Bio’s critics and all other literary perfectionists to reflect on the fact that no government can govern in a vacuum. Notwithstanding this, history does not proceed in a straight line. Accordingly, Bio’s critics must understand that the APC that they are covertly fighting for has demonstrated time and time again that it is incapable of governing Sierra Leone.
Sure, the APC can use its 99 tricks to steal elections as we saw in 2007 and 2012 but when it comes to governance, the party is both inept and devoid of morality. It follows that if we are to have a Sierra Leone that is productive domestically and competitive internationally, we must not have a government that is fronted by crooks and depraved characters who have perfected the art of recklessly plundering state resources.
Thank you very much Maxwell for saying very NICE things about the SLPP and giving a dark picture of the APC. DISCUSS. Correct me if I am wrong. I think we should try at the moment to tone down the RHETORIC and bring people together. Are we going to be arguing about the past till the next elections? Who will benefit from all this?
My question to you is this – HOW SHOULD WE MOVE FORWARD AS A NATION? Do you have IDEAS to share with us? After all what you have said and all what have happened, the writer, on his part, is asking us how to move forward I reckon. Again, correct me if I am wrong. GOD BLESS YOU.
SLPP is indeed tribalistic. I will cite few examples. They removed SB Dumbuya a Limba from the speaker of the House position and replaced him with Abass Bundu a Theme. They maintain N’fa Conteh a Themne as head of the Electoral Commission. They forced Justice Cham a Themne to resign his post only to replace him with justice Babatunde Edwards a Creole.
They maintain Bragadier General Tarawalie a Kuranko in his position. They retain AIG Moigbe a Kono in his position. They removed Mr. Mohamed Koroma a Themne from Statistic Sierra Leone only to replace him with Professor Osman Malam Sankoh a Themne of lower pedigree. The High Court ruled for eight PM of Themne and Limba origin only to replace them with Themne and Limba.
Thank you very much David for your comment. I don’t get the logic of SLPP being TRIBALISTIC according to what you have told us.
Where you explaining to us about SLPP being NEPOTISTIC? Thanks David and may GOD BLESS YOU.