The main opposition SLPP party in Sierra Leone is in total disarray as the country prepares for another general election in 2012. The party, made up of a combination of old stooges from the previous administration and a loose faction of a breakaway PMDC group of politicians, has seen its fortunes take a serious setback as infighting grips the inner core of the party in a desperate move to find a suitable candidate to take on the popular APC ruling party, headed by the dynamic and well respected president Ernest Bai Koroma.
The SLPP’s problems are abounding and incomprehensible but not surprising. What you have within the make-up of the party’s hierarchy is a combination of corrupt politicians who presided over the worst economic disaster the country has ever faced, and human rights abusers who staged a coup d’état that overthrew a democratically elected government. And when it comes to PR, the SLPP has not only got it wrong but the employment of notorious and controversial journalists and conduit PR consultants has meant the party’s credibility is at its lowest, as this can only lend mockery to an already destabilised political union.
It is also interesting to note that every week, a new candidate is showcased by the party as the favourite to lead them into political victory or should I say political oblivion. It seems the corrupt party hierarchy changes its choice for leadership every time someone comes along that outbids the previous contender in the race to choose only the candidate who is willing to part with the biggest brown envelop their bank is prepared to make available to them.
Even though this party was rejected outright in the last polls, there is still the illusion that it will regain power again. What most in the party fail to realize is, the very reasons why the electorate voted overwhelmingly for change. The Sierra Leone electorate witnessed how their economy was battered by a group of criminals turned politicians who raped the country’ coffers and left the bank vaults gasping for help and the country on its feet, requesting for immediate financial assistance just to survive.
With all the mineral resources the country can boast of, the previous SLPP-Kabbah-led administration was unable to even provide the basic human services to its own people. There was no electricity and no healthcare available to a mass of people that were not only underpaid but that were deprived of what was truly theirs: a decent standard of living. Salaries of teachers and civil servants went unpaid for months as hunger griped a nation that could afford to feed itself. The people were helpless in the face of corruption at the highest helm of government. After they witnessed the country’s finances plundered by the NPRC regime headed by Julius Maada Bio, they had hoped that the constitutional elected government of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah would bring them respite and restore the economy to at least a sustainable level.
But this was never to be, as the Kabbah government did renegade on each and every one of their manifesto promises and took the country down to its lowest economic circumstance in decades. It was indeed unforgivable as the people’s expectations turned to misery as families were left without the ability to even feed their own children as the country’s currency took an unprecedented fall that it has not been able to fully recover from since. Families were left with the unenviable option of having to rely on relatives abroad for their survival. The economy was mismanaged, roads and hospitals were left unattended to as civil servants awarded contracts illegally to those who paid the heaviest bribes and cared less how projects paid for by the tax payer were implemented.
This was indeed a sad chapter in the political and economic history of a beautiful country like Sierra Leone. And now that the country is recovering from this abysmal past, the ever corrupt SLPP-oriented media, want to hijack the dawn of a new era as the country rediscovers its potential and witnesses the continued supply of electricity and free health care for its most vulnerable and under-privileged. These journalists are equally culpable in their support for a political party that should hang its head in shame at the pain and misery it has inflicted on its people.
The SLPP PR partnership is a disgraceful composition of the worst journalistic abuse of ethics our profession has ever witnessed. And the SLPP’s continued reliance on these media miscreants can only spell their doom as the country prepares to embrace a second term victory for a leader who has shown so much courage to steer the country out of its economic and political mess; a man who all Sierra Leoneans can only be proud of calling their president. A man who has brought back dignity to a country that has suffered unquestionable humiliation at the hands of the SLPP.
Even in the face of an unprecedented and orchestrated volatile media campaign by these corrupt journalists on the Head of State, Ernest Bai Koroma, this leader has held his head high and delivered on his promises and now the country has 24 hours electricity, and a free health care, and good road networks, and a 25 percent increase in diamond exports, and the biggest investment in the mining industry, and the largest number of tourists ever to visit the country, and the timely payments and increase in civil servants and medical staff salaries the country has ever seen. There has been a 200% increase in the wages of employees of the country’s medical sector. Investors are lining up to take advantage of the new security measures the government of Ernest Bai Koroma has introduced and the removal of red tape that has hindered the registration process of would be investors.
The Sierra Leonean people should be very proud of what President Ernest Koroma and his government has achieved . They should also remember that all these transformation took place in a period of two and a half years. One can only imagine what could be achieved in the next political term as all the signs are showing that President Koroma is not about to slow down in his quest to deliver on his promises to free his people from political and economic bondage!
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