By Moisa S. Keikura
Many people would not know the actual reason why the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) manipulated and bent last year’s flagbearer election to go in favour of Retired Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio.
Looking at the list of very mature and distinguished candidates that stood against him for the flagbearer position – in terms of their intellect, their work experience and their commitment to the development of the nation – not the SLPP and its followers – Maada Bio does not come a distant second. But there was a reason why the SLPP conclave of ‘Alagbas’ and even their ordinary membership opted for Maada Bio to stand against President Ernest Bai Koroma.
SLPP leaders like Maada Puawui Banya, John Oponjo Benjamin, former Secretary General “JJ Blood” of “Fire for fire” fame and their militant illiberal members have an outdated conception about the mentality and attitude of the ruling All Peoples Party (APC)-that the APC is a violent, lawless party inhabited by thuggish leaders and illiterate, uncivilized followers who are very unruly and always ready without any provocation to attack SLPP supporters.
As example, the SLPP point to the Honorable Minister of Internal Affairs, Musa Tarawallie, as an example of a very violent APC member, who they allege has in several places around the country caused violence to be unleashed on SLPP supporters; as if Musa Tarwalie, or for that matter, any other citizen is above the laws of this land.
Through their propagandists, many in the SLPP have been indoctrinated into falsely believing that the APC, when in power, has always brutalized the SLPP and its followers. So this time around, the SLPP should be prepared and ready for any “gbos gbos” – hence the choice of Julius Maada Bio the former coupist, and Military Head of State as their flagbearer.
Maada Bio, the SLPP believes, has the bravery and daring to confront any aggression from the APC, both as a party and as a Government. This bravery and daringness they exhibited with impunity for the Sierra Leone Police when SLPP supporters burnt the houses of the APC Chairman, ‘De Pa e yai’ and that of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) Member of Parliament, in Bo while they falsely told the world that an APC supporter had thrown a stone that landed on Maada Bio’s head.
Instead of resorting to the law, SLPP supporters in Bo, including Hon. Foday Rado Yoki, decided to take the law into their own hands and made Bo violent and ungovernable for several hours on that fateful day.
The SLPP doesn’t need to harbour such unfounded fears about the APC under the leadership of His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, party Secretary General, Victor Bockarie Foh, democrats like Hon. S.B.B. Dumbuya, Hon. Ibrahim Bundu and other seasoned very gentlemanly APC politicians who would ever be parties to even their own party behaving outside the constitution and the rule of law as SLPP did in Bo.
However, notwithstanding the fact that before, during and after the November elections, a troublesome SLPP hell-bent on inducing a state of anarchy in the country should warn its supporters to desist from.