Playing cheap politics…Sierra Leone’s opposition SLPP party’s continued fanning of tribal acrimony

Julius Maada Bio - Trouble-maker

I keep asking myself, where is the SLPP that used to thump its chest as being ostentatiously tolerant, graciously endowed with the highest number of intellectuals and a purveyor of good governance? I do not mean that SLPP – the one that prides itself in self conceit, deceit and pneumatically brimming with pretentiousness. I also do not mean the SLPP that’s capable of fomenting violence and preaching doomsday conspiracy theories, especially under the current leadership of Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. The truth is if you don’t think this current crop of SLPPians are playing cheap politics, then who is?

The SLPP hierarchy insists that all they are doing is exposing the true happenings on the ground under this government, but the bigger message is not about the truth at all. It’s about fanning tribal politics and umbrage, particularly among South/Eastern voters. It’s about regaining power “Pa O Pa” (at all cost). It’s about undermining the re-branding efforts of this very responsible, foresighted, astute and transformative leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma.

How much does this political posturing by the SLPP contribute to the ongoing debate on the way forward for this country? What good does it hold for the people of this country when it’s inexcusably meant to achieve nothing other than reversing the gains already made by President Koroma’s government? These are very serious questions to ponder as we rapidly approach the November 17th elections.

The SLPP has both arrogance and gall, both powerful combinations in the dynamics of politics in Sierra Leone. But all to what end? The people of this country have seen how the SLPP continues to invoke Armageddon all because of power, totally oblivious of the clarion call by the people for sanity in the quest of political parties to lead the country.

Unfortunately, what the SLPP is doing is diametrically opposed to the expectations of the populace who pine day-in-day-out for good governance, honesty and decency to prevail. Politics of lies and misinformation doesn’t work that well anymore and the sooner SLPP goons realize this, the better.

According to an influential member of civil society, the SLPP is perfectly redolent of conservative radicalism and unconsciously doing the things that could well benefit the APC during the November elections. “If they are not concocting false information or making mountains out of normal government activities like the purchase of arms for the police, they are drumming up war songs to the chagrin of those fence-sitters who are yet to make a decision for whom to cast their votes come November 17th”, he said.

What is glaring though in all of this is the fact that the SLPP has lost the November elections even before they started. The ongoing posture to condemn anything and everything done by President Koroma’s government, despite visible and unmistakable signs of progress and transformation taking place all across the country, irrespective of which political party bastions they are done, has left very many Sierra Leoneans wondering what has happened to objectivity and nationalism.

“The APC under President Ernest Koroma is not 100% perfect. But the ongoing painstaking efforts to re-brand and restore investor confidence aimed at changing the fortunes of the people of this country could only have been ushered by a meticulous, hard working and visionary leader as President Koroma”, observed a former SLPP stalwart who has now joined forces with the current leadership of the APC to take the country to the next level.

For the SLPP to continue to turn a blind eye to the ongoing massive development and transformation in every district, region and chiefdom, even in their own so-called stronghold, is absolutely chilling. That the SLPP continues to give the impression that the APC has done nothing to move the country forward clearly portrays the dark side of a political party that once thrived on the truth and nationalism.

Is this how the SLPP wants to be perceived by first time voters as well as fence-sitters as a party that can’t deal with reality anymore? Sierra Leone today is a reality-based society where people see, feel and appreciate development no matter how small the gain let alone the ongoing unprecedentedly massive development and transformation taking place nationwide.

But when the main opposition decides to be insensitive to the plight of the people and seizes every little opportunity to play politics with the development and growth of the country, you begin to imagine whether the opposition understands the sacred role it is expected to perform to turn around the lives of the people and the country. Opposition should not just be for the stake of opposition. It should be constructive and well-intentioned for the benefit of all, regardless of who is in power or who takes the praise. This is what democracy is all about and it behooves the SLPP to take heed or be damned by the electorate whose patience with their brand of opposition is inevitably waning thin.

© 2012, Jarrah Kawusu-Konte. 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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