The opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is still licking its wounds from the disgraceful defeat it experienced at the hands of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party at the last elections held in 2007, as they were removed from power by a resounding victory handed over to the current ruling party by the electorate who were totally fed up of the lies, inept governance, corruption, and the lack of an effective development agenda from Sierra Leone’s oldest political party. Since that shameful defeat in 2007, the SLPP has been unable to restructure itself as a formidable political force once again.
Several attempts have been made by those who make up the hierarchy to re-invent the party’s image, but to no avail. Everything in the political books have been tried by the SLPP, from drafting in coup-conspirators and human rights abusers, to raising non-refundable money from application costs paid by 50 aspirants for the party’s flag-bearership, a process that was refereed to by analysts as shambolic; and from hiring corrupt cash-and-carry journalists to fabricate the most bizarre political stories about the government in power; to arranging pep-talks at international public functions for their presidential candidate who happens to be a mass murderer, but nothing seems to have changed the dynamics on the ground. The SLPP is still the same today as it was 10 years ago: made up of thieves who are now lurching in the corners waiting patiently for another opportunity to declare war on the country’s finances
You simply cannot present a man who has committed the most despicable crimes ever endured by a people, and one who has stolen state funds to fund his lavish lifestyle as your presidential candidate, and expect the people to be daft enough to vote you into power. That just would not happen. The merits to contest the next election with honour have all been squandered by the nasty political agenda so foolishly implemented by those who man this travesty of a political organisation. And it is unthinkable that they will ever have a shot at power again.
The SLPP is no more the political entity it used to be. Since the convicted criminal, Ahmed Tejan-Kabba was allowed to slip through the net and assume the leadership of the party and ultimately became Head of State, Sierra Leoneans have witnessed reckless governance unseen in the political history of this once solid economic base in sub-saharan Africa. The SLPP converted a productive economy into-a self-service delivery machine that catered for the few who held power, and their cronies who benefited from dirty contracts. The country’s financial capability was ripped apart by nefarious politicians who cared less about the suffering masses. The SLPP has nothing to show for its more than 10 years in power, but has spent the last 5 years in opposition witnessing a dramatic transformation of the country’s infrastructures and they do not have the courage to commend the current leadership, but have instead engaged in acts to demonize them and the government as a way of camouflaging their disgraceful performance in power which still lingers in the minds of many, as the vast differences in comparison stack up so vividly.
It is difficult to repair damage that was done with impunity. Sierra Leoneans can forgive but cannot forget what they have endured under a government that had the opportunity to change their lives but did nothing. The SLPP came to power at the height of the brutal civil war that drew unprecedented international attention and an unwavering commitment from stake-holders and aid agencies to support the rebuilding of the dilapidated infrastructures inflicted with savage intent by the brutal actions of those who maimed and killed their own people. The amount of direct financial assistance and material support offered could have ended the misery of this country’s people and position the state for unparalleled economic prosperity, considering its abundant natural wealth, if those who manned the state were not a reckless bunch of criminals who made squandering the state’s wealth their most qualified profession. We are talking about thieves who were not ashamed to steal what belongs to the poor people of this country. Criminals who were evidently aware of the widespread suffering that emanated from the civil war, where some lost all their hard-earned savings and properties they have worked so hard to acquire.
But the SLPP showed no mercy. Instead of managing the resources for the benefit of the wider masses, they were busy enriching themselves, and foreign-funded projects were left abandoned, and state institutions ceased to function effectively, and the civil service became the most vile corruption-breeding ground to have emerged from within the governance structure of this country.
The past five-years has seen all this changed. The APC-led government has taken on society’s worst enemies and tackled them head-on. The most draconian anti-corruption agenda was introduced with zero-tolerance right from above – and a new system of accountability and performance threshold has seen government ministers facing tough questions about their performances and delivery targets. There has also been attempts to create an equal distribution of the country’s wealth as the Head of State himself touring each district presenting direct assistance and material support that will engage the communities in projects like farming and thus ensure self-sufficiency and thereby reducing poverty. Each district can boast of ongoing development projects under the current APC-led administration of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
In 2007 the APC fielded Dr Ernest Bai Koroma and Chief Samuel Sam-Sumana as their candidates for the leadership of the country. And it will be the same winning team that will face the electorate once more in November, presenting an outstanding report card that shows Sierra Leone is moving rapidly from a donor-driven economy to one that can effectively manage itself and offer more to its greatest shareholders: the people of Sierra Leone. The SLPP would have no choice but to lick its wounds once more!!
First Published on Newstime Africa – 30th May 2012
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