It is important that we all as human beings learn lessons from our past mistakes. But sometimes in life, the quest for power, and the politics of greed, leaves our minds in turmoil and we surrender to the same desires that has brought us defeat and rejection. The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), will in November present to the Sierra Leonean people a mass murderer to contest for the presidency of this West African State. The drama that has preceded this final political episode of a once noble party, is the stuff of hollywood thrillers.
In 2007, after ten miserable years in power, and after a long and lengthy campaign of destruction and mismanagement of our resources, the SLPP suffered the humiliation of defeat at the hands of the then opposition party, the APC. It took time and serious soul searching for them to lick their wounds to healing point. It was a disaster for a party that has entrenched its corrupt credentials in power only to see the arrogance of its hierarchy brought about a complacency that saw the shift and transfer of power, which resulted in infighting and blame-game that this inept political union is yet to recover from.
The SLPP has nothing to show for its ten years in power – and they are once more asking the Sierra leone people to vote them into office. The drama that has been played out in the media since the process started to select a flag-bearer, not only raises serious concerns, but serious questions about the party’s organisational capacity and efficiency to deliver to the Sierra Leonean people. No attempt has been made by this party to explain to the Sierra Leonean electorate why they, the people, were failed. Why they were left poor, as corrupt politicians embezzled state funds that were meant for the welfare of the people – as infrastructures meant to improve on their lives were left abandoned, as contracts to cronies meant incomplete implementation of vital economic delivery of projects.
The chaotic experience suffered at the hands of the SLPP cannot just be dismissed be presenting a ‘new’ face to compete once more for the seat of power. The damage done to our economy, state and people, are insurmountable. The people of Sierra Leone can forgive, but they can’t forget the years and periods of having to endure darkness with no electricity to power their lives and livelihood. How can the people forget when their mothers, wives, aunties and sisters were left on the operating theatre to die because it became impossible to afford the medical bills – as the SLPP were unable to offer free medical care to this most vulnerable of society? No one would want to re-live the nasty experience of poverty at the expense of a few who bathed in the luxury of stolen money that was meant to help the masses. The SLPP is simply a bad example of governance that Sierra Leone will never be prepared to experience once again.
The SLPP has not done enough to convince the electorate that they are now a force for good. In fact what we have witnessed is a corrupt assembly of the most vile group of crooks coming together to mislead the Sierra Leone people to once more vote them into office. Most of them were either part of the previous SLPP government that brought our economy to its knees; or have in the past taken part in the illegal overthrow of a legitimate government in power. In this sort of scenario, its really difficult to convince anyone that you are a force for change or good. In fact the people are no more stupid as the SLPP must be thinking. They know full well what they have endured in the hands of these scoundrels. How can somebody who after taking power by the gun, and then stage a palace coup to dethrone his compatriot, ever be trusted with the leadership of a country? The credentials are just not there, and it is indeed a fatal mistake for the SLPP to even ponder the idea of having someone like this as their candidate for president. The recent spate of violence instigated by the SLPP in what was a litmus test for an election set for November, when a municipal by-election was conducted, is a clear indication that this party’s intention has violence and mayhem right at its center.
There is a credibility problem within the SLPP hierarchy – and it only shows that in selecting a candidate for president, little consideration was given to substance and integrity. But again one should not be so surprised. The intent to take power once more has been shadowed by the very reason why the Sierra Leonean people kicked them out of power: Corruption. The desperation to seek power again have left a serious vacuum: one devoid of consideration. Julius Maada Bio is a criminal who sold our country’s passports to corrupt foreign nationals, a crime he is stil yet to account for. It would have been easy to convince the electorate, if the SLPP had a formidable candidate with a high standing in society, and a track record with a good reputation at the center. But sadly, this is not the case. They are in a hurry to clinch power once more – and everything else really doesn’t matter. They have selected a man who presided over the worst human rights atrocities ever documented in the history of this country, to be their candidate for president. The Sierra Leonean people are determined not to be taken for a ride once more, and are prepared to come out in numbers and express their revulsion.
The changes that have swept across the nation since the advent of Dr Ernest Koroma and the APC government, makes it even more difficult for the SLPP to have a shot again at power. What do you tell the people – that you will do better than Ernest Koroma when your record in government paints the picture of a mafiosi regime in downtown New York? Its even more difficult when all you have shown as a political organisation since losing power to the APC, is infighting, chaos, character assassination and personal vendetta. There is no political union in the SLPP – no one should fool you. The whole process to select a candidate was tainted by confusion and a nasty political agenda right at the very heart of the SLPP machinery. Even die-hard SLPP fanatics had to crumble to acceptance – there are serious problems within the SLPP. Well, these problems are yet to be resolved if at all they will – how can you contest an election when you have disparity in your midst? What will you bring to government?
The failed attempt to present a distorted picture of what is truly happening on the ground has only made things difficult for the SLPP. As those who visit from the diaspora have constantly reported – there is progress taking place around the country. But the shameful lies by the trash-laden SLPP media, have done little to help the cause and agenda of this party. If you can lie to the people that there is no progress taking place just for you to be voted into power – when visible changes are apparent across the country – how can you be trusted with leadership? The rag-tag SLPP media led by the cash-and-carry Global Times newspaper, is now struggling to come to terms with its own identity, as the Editorial team engages in personal attacks on a party it purports to support – as the nasty infighting gripping the party is exposed with shocking revelations of rifts among the hierarchy. The apparent disclosure that the Chairman and other Executive members are yet to account for over a billion Leones of flag-bearer contestants deposits, reveals serious and inept corruption within a political union that wants to regain power once more. This act of extortion is simply a worrying signal of what would happen if the SLPP gains power again. Evidence of criminal activity that will have devastating consequence on our economic state! These episodes have resulted in a number of defections as senior members of the party’s executive switch allegiance to the All People’s Congress (APC) in an apparent showcase of disgust and apathy.
Those who use the international media as a conduit to spread disgraceful lies about our country, should be reminded about their moral obligations to our nation. The damage done to our country’s image by such irresponsible people, would have a devastating effect in our country’s outlook by stake-holders. This directly affects the aid and assistance we may be entitled to as a result of the continued hard-work of our current leadership. The BBC and other media entities like the Guardian Newspaper in London, should have revisited their archives and discover the brutal atrocities committed by Julius Maada Bio and others on the innocent people of Sierra Leone before granting him the privilege of expressing his garbage to an innocent international audience. This act by reputable media organisations exposes incompetence within their editorial staff, who negate serious responsibilities of vetting would-be contributors to their newspaper. In recent times, Africa Confidential, All Africa.com, Africa Review, and a few others, have allowed disgruntled and incompetent journalists to use their mediums for political capital. Some of these media houses have shown they have no clue as to the nasty political agenda of the opposition SLPP. They will be held directly responsible for any tribal acrimony that will disrupt the peace and tranquility of our country, as a result of their publication of material submitted by corrupt members of Sierra Leone’s fourth estate.
First published on Newstime Africa – Jan 22, 2012
© 2012, Ahmed M Kamara. All rights reserved. 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.