Sierra Leone opposition SLPP party delegates vote under pressure as coup-conspirator Julius Maada Bio is selected as presidential candidate

Julius Maada Bio - Took part in the overthrow of a democratically elected government

To become the Head of State  of a country in some ways, is not only a divine calling, but a serious call to serve your people with integrity and utmost honesty. One that should be taken seriously by those who assume the office and those who elect them to that office. Julius Maada Bio, is a trained soldier who took part in a coup d’état to overthrow a legitimately elected government. According to international law, it is a criminal offence to take part in the overthrow of a democratically elected government in power. The International Criminal Court is yet to investigate the ensuing alleged atrocities that took place after Bio and others assumed power in Sierra Leone. In this small West African state, the opposition SLPP party has just elected Julius Maada Bio as their flagbearer and candidate for the upcoming presidential elections due in 2012. Bio and those who staged the coup in 1992, looted the country’s coffers to a stagnating point of economic disaster. They introduced school boy politics and their style of leadership was a concoction of womanising and a booze and jeep culture that saw the complete transformation of our country’s social life into a blitz of reckless endeavour by those who were supposed to be in control of the mantle of state.

Instead of running a government, the barracks boys who took power were busy establishing a rookie empire that involved drug abuse, splashing foreign currency bills that made our Leone feel worthless in the hands of the poor; and grabbing every light skinned woman they could find on the highways of Freetown, irrespective of their marital status. Sierra Leone was turned into a small socialite haven where only the ruthlessly powerful soldier hold all the stakes. A lifestyle that we all fear would resurface if Julius Maada Bio is given the opportunity to once more hold power in our country. By selecting BIo as Candidate, the Sierra Leone People’s party have shown how reckless they have become. It exposes a party that cares little about substance. If the reason to elect a flag-bearer for 2012 is anything the SLLP have taken very seriously – the selection process would have been done with utmost recognition of what is seriously at stake. The decision itself to select BIo can only mean that the SLPP have been finally confined to the political history books of our country. This was a golden opportunity for the SLPP to have transformed itself into a force for good, but alas, the idiot syndrome once again struck at the very  heart of a party that has become reputed for its shambolic decision making.

In a recent publication by a strong SLPP-aligned newspaper, the Editor wrote: Julius Maada Bio “is a lawless man who believes in VIOLENCE. Such a man is a menace to the society in which he lives”  – This goes to demonstrate how insignificant the SLPP delegates view the comments of its most important ally in the media. They were not influenced at all by a newspaper that claims it is the most influential in the country. The past year has seen the SLPP media turned against one of its own, with barrage of insults and vilification that would make satan look like a saint. But it was not without reason. the SLPP had reasons to worry about Bio clinching the flag-bearer-ship: he would be up agaisst a man who has already secured for himself a track record of not only making things happen, but delivering on the aspirations of his people.  President Ernest Bai Koroma has managed to change the economic landscape of a country that has only known poverty for most of its recent history. The SLPP are fully aware that electing Julius Maada Bio as their candidate for 2012, only spells disater at the polls for a party that is still licking its wounds after a devastating defeat by the All Peoples Congress party in the last poll. But the SLPP has a record of disregarding the will of the people. They also have a record of lying to the Sierra Leonean people. The desperation to win in 2012 must have blurred the vision of this once credible political entity. The ultimate end is nigh for this party that has been taken over by a bunch of hoodlums whose interests has apparently been showcased as personal rather than national.

The SLPP has shown they have no respect for the welfare of the people of Sierra Leone. And as delegates make the choice of an incompetent radical, to lead them once more into failure; albeit after most of them have been pressured or influenced by alleged bribes; a man who took part in atrocious acts of human rights abuse; a man who on exit as Head of State along with his military colleagues raped the vaults of our country’s central bank and looted what truly belongs to the Sierra Leone people, as funds were diverted to personal bank accounts that were used later to purchase mansions in the United States – it is a sad day for politics in our country. The SLPP has once more attempted to mortgage our future as a country into the hands of a coup conspirator. They want the hard work of the current Koroma-led administration, and the development process taking place across the country, to be squandered by a man whose flamboyant lifestyle could once more lead our nation to economic stagnation.

The ruthless and tyrannical regime of the NPRC is still an era in the minds of many Sierra Leoneans. It is not only an insult to many of those who became victims of this barracks-oriented administration, but it is also daring for the same person who connived and presided over the  biggest embezzlement of state funds Sierra Leone has ever experienced, to even contemplate holding office in that country again. During the NPRC regime, it was classical Hollywood sensation, as the evening offices of members of the regime were the bars and nightclubs of the sandy Freetown coastline engraved with the footprints of members of the oldest profession known to man.

Sierra Leone is definitely not ready for another Bio-Style leadership; nor its women another breakdown of their marriages; nor its coffers another outright rape of its contents. The NPRC chapter has been closed in the political history of Sierra Leone. The SLPP now seems to have been converted to an extension of the NPRC as its current Chairman served as Chief Secretary of State after allegedly sponsoring, aiding and abetting the coup itself; and the selected candidate was himself at the very helm of power. It would be difficult for the SLPP to shake-off its NPRC affiliation. Most of those who were at the heart of the NPRC government are themselves now directly or indirectly involved in the politics of the SLPP. This fact alone is sufficient to deprive them of any chance to once more assume the leadership of our country. The SLPP has disappointed thousands of its grassroots members who were hoping lessons of the past would have been well noted. Some have vowed to teach Maada and co. a lesson by voting red in 2012.


© 2011, Ahmed M Kamara. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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