By Kabs Kanu
Pa Sama Banya has left no doubt that he is a no longer a useful and valuable commodity in the socio-political life of our beloved nation. Since I started following up his PUAWUI column, nothing has exemplified this senior citizen more than his penchant to support and promote criminal citizens and unpatriotic and lost causes. When he is not defending and justifying the corruption by the irredeemably corrupt Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Government of former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, he is endorsing and promoting the murderous past and criminal enterprise of the SLPP Presidential candidate, Mr. Julius Maada Bio, who is presently swimming in the putrefaction of shame and disgrace after ex-President Kabbah exposed his million-dollar racketeering with Sierra Leone’s passports and helicopter parts. Maada Bio is shameless and so are his ardent supporters.
Dr. Sama Banya rose to the level of Vice-President and Foreign Minister, which was a commendable feat indeed (never mind the fact that he was alleged to have spent man hours sleeping in OAU and UN summits and, as a former Foreign Minister, he does not even know the difference between a Councilor and a Counselor at a diplomatic mission. He has even re-christened me Wilroy Kabs-Kanu, which is taking “Njagbeyism” to a new level-no laughing matter here .This old man has become senile and must hang up his boots now).
Given the high-profile positions he has occupied, Pa Banya is one of the senior citizens this nation would have benefitted from a lot. His political experience and wisdom (of the aged) would have provided valuable guidance to our young politicians and government functionaries. At a trying moment like this in the history of our nation, Pa Banya should have been somewhere enjoying the valued status of an elder statesman, and being relied upon by us for advice. But this could have been possible only with a Sama Banya imbued with moral principles, sincerity, honesty and patriotism. Unfortunately, Pa Banya has aged into one of the nation’s most insincere and unpatriotic elder citizens.
As if supporting and justifying that the SLPP’s corruption, incompetence, unfitness for purpose and criminality are not enough, Pa. Banya has another insidious preoccupation– BAD MOUTHING the honest and patriotic people of the land.
It hurts the moral conscience to see Old Man Sama Banya open up a new front of antagonism with the much-respected and internationally endorsed Chair of the Sierra Leone Elections Commission, Dr. Christiana Thorpe, all because this woman of honour and substance has consistently decided to do the right thing. If this is the kind of depraved and Kafkaesque society that our nation has degenerated into, where the good , honest and patriotic citizens are unnecessarily and petulantly defamed by those with unpatriotic agendas and a defiled conscience, God bless Sierra Leone.
Only criminally-minded people would call Christiana Thorpe a dangerous woman. But again, Pa Sama Banya may be right. Christiana Thorpe is a dangerous woman in a sense. She is a dangerous woman to criminals who want to subvert our electoral process and destroy our much cherished multi-party democracy. Christiana Thorpe is a dangerous woman because she is an impregnable defender and protector of constitutional democracy and the rule of law and to nation-wreckers that is dangerous behaviour. Dr. Christiana Thorpe is a dangerous woman because she did not allow the criminal voting exercise that took place at the Kailahun Court Barray during the September 2007 elections to stand.
In his latest diatribe against his quarry, Madam Thorpe, Dr. Banya, the wise old man of our community, who is supposed to be one of our elder statesmen guiding us to make our nation a better place, says that Dr. Christiana Thorpe has introduced a bill in Parliament that will empower her to nullify votes in constituencies where over voting takes place and he is asking Parliament to reject it at first reading because the bill is not necessary.
Don’t laugh. This is serious. Can anything be more stunning and perverse? His argument is that, “It is a dangerous more especially in the hands of a callous woman. We have just gone through biometric registration which is supposed to be fool proof against such malpractices as double voting and impersonation, so why does Christiana Thorpe want this extra authority?” Can you believe such an asinine statement from an elder statesman?
If Dr. Banya is afraid of anything that would help to make the forthcoming elections really free and fair, do we need his experience and supposed wisdom of an old man? The aged doctor is patently wrong to say that because the biometric registration is supposed to combat election malpractices, Sierra Leone does not need a bill that will checkmate incidents of over-voting. Doesn’t he know that technology, however reliable, has imperfections? Christiana Thorpe is trying to put in place every available measure to ensure fair and conflict-free elections on November 17. She knows the depths election rogues can go to steal an election. She wants to create a system that will withstand the most criminal manipulations. Unless the SLPP does not believe in credible elections, Christiana Thorpe’s gesture should be applauded by all men and women of good intentions. But oh dear, not everybody puts the national interest first.
Sama Banya even goes to the extent of invoking the much famous fable of the RAT TRAP, which exposes his unreasonable fear that the bill would target the SLPP more, another example of paranoia built on unnecessary mistrust and selfish thinking.
Sama Banya, if he is an old man of substance, should be crediting Dr. Thorpe for her purity of purpose, honesty and devotion to free and fair elections. Sama Banya should like people like Christiana Thorpe who want to make Sierra Leone a stronger and better nation.
Sama Banya cannot stop lamenting Christiana Thorpe’s patriotic action in 2007 when she nullified votes in 407 constituencies in both SLPP and All People’s Congress (APC) strongholds because of grave electoral malpractices which included over-voting. In his miscued mode of thinking, Sama Banya is saying that Christiana Thorpe should have allowed the votes to stand, thereby making a mockery of the electoral process. In Kailahun alone, over voting was 100%, way in excess of the total registered voters. If Madam Thorpe had made these votes stand, what integrity would have been ascribed to the elections and our commitment for multi-party democracy? Why does Sama Banya support criminality all the time?
The reason is that Dr. Sama Banya has outlived his usefulness to the nation and it is time for him to hang up his political boots. His thinking patterns are not in line with peace. He is very divisive. The old man’s mode of thinking is promotive of a rogue political system and culture that we Sierra Leoneans are running away from in our new dispensation. His thinking is inimical to the Agenda for Change, which has transformed Sierra Leone from a pariah state to a United Nations success story. Sama Banya’s integrity, respect and credibility are in tatters because of his wrong pieces of advice to the SLPP and the nation and he must do damage limitation now and quit the scene before it gets worse. He has lost his “mojo” and relevance in Sierra Leone’s politics. He must retire to his farm at Kailahun, where the honourable and supportive Banya family can be relied upon to take care of him and ensure him of his regular ”buly” of torkporloi and diet of jakitomboh and gpangulaiye rice, as age and senility continue to get the better of him. This will be good for him and for the nation.