By Pa John Baimba Sesay in China
Sierra Leone’s political make-up has over the years been dominated by a selected few who have always had the erroneous thought that the governance of this country is their exclusive preserve. The coming to power of President Ernest Bai Koroma in September 2007 was therefore seen as a big blow to those who think power should always remain in their hands. And because the people of Sierra Leone have again demonstrated their readiness to re-elect President Koroma, we have seen how few people have started conspiring with each other to create political unrest in the country. But that will not be achieved.
The 2007 election results are a clear demonstration of the power of the people. If while he was in the opposition he was able to get hundreds of thousands of votes what will happen now that he is power and going for re-election? He will definitely get a clear landslide.
When you toy with the will of the people, you are bound to fail in your political endeavours. This is a practical experience that former Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP)M bigwigs like the Solomon Ekuma Berewas et el will always share with those now running the affairs of their party. Today, just within four years of the Koroma led Government we can boast of sustained electricity supply, we can boast of having made great success in the fight against corruption, in locally generating revenue for the infrastructural development of the country, among other gains.
At the international level, there has been a lot said of President Koroma’s success. “The Ernest Bai Koroma administration has also garnered praise from international funding organizations as well as business and political leaders worldwide, including former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who has described Ernest Bai Koroma as “an exceptional President who will lead his country to a bright future,” and billionaire George Soros. The Soros Foundation recently announced that, thanks to its confidence in President Koroma’s leadership, it would launch a banana plantation project in Bo, Sierra Leone, which will be budgeted at around fifty million Dollars (US$50 m) about thirty six billion four hundred million Leones (Le36.4 m) and will generate up to ten thousand jobs…”(http://www.european-times.com/sector/government/president-dr-ernest-bai-koroma).
To all intents and purposes this is an impressive report on a President who has today remained locally and internationally recognized for his outstanding leadership, and these are the gains that are about to be destroyed over-night just because some people think power should now change hands.
Political propaganda has been utilized to discredit President Koroma’s standing. That has failed. Now violence has become the other tool following the pronouncement of the Plan A and B by Mr. Charles Francis Margai, the Leader of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). Militarism won’t work in securing political power. We have indeed seen the trademark of militarism in display in the country leading to the general elections since the SLPP elected (or better put selected) their flag bearer, Mr. Julius Maada Bio in July last year. Sierra Leoneans are now witnessing violence in the form of stabbings, as in the case with Lansana Fadika at Fourah Bay, (http://www.awoko.org/2012/01/16/slpp-wins-but-) or violence in the form of killings, as in the case with Bo when an Okada rider was killed for power. We have also seen a new twist in the body polity of the country in the form of false political propaganda.
But there is one peculiar issue that should not, even if for the sake of national cohesion, be left to die a natural death. This has to do with Charles Margai’s pronouncement of a Plan A and Plan B for the pending elections. It is unfortunate that Charles Margai has not tried to demonstrate his relevance in Sierra Leone’s political make-up, for each time he acts or talks, he is most often than not, not appreciated, even by the party he thinks he has control over. When he went to the SLPP Convention and spoke of a possible support for the SLPP by the PMDC, the party was quick to refute such a statement (http://exclusivepress.net/app/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4485&Itemid=37).
But the point is when thoroughly analyzed, Margai’s Plan A and B is closer to his determination to cause political unrest for the country. What we have seen the SLPP doing in recent times, with particular reference to the Fourah Bay bye-election is an indication that the Plan B that Margi was talking about was to ensure violence be used in the coming elections so as to intimidate voters.
As rightly put by one Samuel Ben Turay, a Sierra Leonean Journalist, “Just imagine, Margai spoke about his plans on 30th July, 2011 and on 9th September 2001 the first violence happened in Kono between the Internal Affairs Minister, Musa Tarawallie and Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana and on the 17th September 2011 the second violence took place in Bo between supporters of both the ruling APC and the SLPP and the hottest one is the boycotting by Members of Parliament from both the SLPP and the PMDC during the State Opening of Parliament…” (http://allafrica.com/stories/201112122369.html). Margai’s plan B is to see how violence could be used prior to, during, and after the elections. It is therefore even encouraging that President Koroma has alerted the International Criminal Court (http://www.ernestkoroma.org/3101.html) to take note of political developments in Sierra Leone for further action as and when necessary.
Let me draw the attention of Sierra Leoneans that since Charles Margai made his statement of Plans A and B last year, there have been series of political upheavals in the country. Logically therefore, one will conclude that Margai’s Plan B is political violence, knowing that President Koroma will win the November 2012 elections. His Plan A is to get Maada Bio elected and that he has succeeded in doing. They must be working on the full implementation of the Plan B. I have the strongest conviction that many people will hear but never see the coming elections if they continue with what they have started by provoking political unrest.