I was almost going to change the headline for this political discourse, especially given the talk these days about the would-be commission of enquiry, to be set up by the government to look at the activities of the past government, in relation to state coffers and the fight against corruption.
But one thing is very clear; people need not hesitate because, when once an individual occupies state office, he or she is expected to give account of his or her stewardship, especially given the need to fight against corruption; a disease, believed to have accounted for our present predicament as a nation.
In Nigeria, it is believed that, corruption costs the country some four hundred million dollars and that is believed to be the equivalent of about two-thirds of all aids to the whole of Africa since the 1960’s [Courtesy Timeless, February 2008]. Corruption has accounted for Sierra Leone’s downfall, and one of the causes for the civil war in Sierra Leone was corruption, which became the order of the day during the days of the first APC government.
And surprisingly though, when ex-president Kabbah recently briefed a local tabloid that, Britain failed to fight corruption in Sierra Leone, I was perturbed and frustrated to learn and accept such words, because, Kabbah himself is to blame for this, and not Britain’s failure to fight corruption in, not Britain, but Sierra Leone. Should the British come and tell us what to do in the fight against corruption?
So, this even justifies why there should be a commission of enquiry because, if that is not done, current ministers will be tempted to be corrupt, and perhaps, even more corrupt than what used to happen. This is not an APC commission of enquiry that aims at “witch-hunting” past SLPP Ministers or officials, as believed by many, but rather, a way of setting an accountable system in place. At the same time, any attempt by the government to use the commission of enquiry as a political tool to destroy perceived political opponents will meet strong criticisms from the independent Media.
But to the topic proper, soon political parties shall be having their national delegate conventions, when party officials shall be elected into various positions to mann their party affairs. Political party by my definition, is a group of people seeking to gain political control of a state, and in this direction, it is often through election.
Candidly, there is the need for parties like the SLPP and APC to give chance to the younger folks to have a taste of what leadership entails. This, Sama Banya of the SLPP may not accept but it should be the case , because, looking at the way elders have taken over the party, with perhaps, just JJ Blood being a fine young fellow, as Secretary General, there is the burning desire among other people to have a taste of things.
From the view point of our geopolitical arrangement as a nation, we must now begin to look at the possibility of the APC conducting their national delegates convention in a place like Kailahun, believed to be the traditional stronghold of the SLPP, and the SLPP having theirs in a place like Mambolo, a predominantly APC stronghold indeed. This is the case because; the manner in which the two leading political parties have divided the geopolitical setup of the country leaves much to be admired.
This should be the case because, these two political parties have demarcated certain areas in the country they perceive to be theirs Today the APC hierarchy will boastfully, though disgracefully in my opinion, claim that the north and western areas are their stronghold and that they see no need for SLPP to go and campaign there. The SLPP will tell you likewise for the south-east, to the extent that, people are now classed to be members of a political party, depending on their place of origin, and this is absurd on the part of both parties.
And this trend has continued even with the SLPP in power, and a continuation of that trend under an APC led government is not farfetched. Therefore, it is only when the APC decide to conduct their party affairs in a perceived SLPP strong hold, and the SLPP doing likewise in their opponent’s stronghold that we could take these two parties seriously.
The calamity of this country could largely be blamed on the SLPP and the APC. It was under the APC one party rule that we witnessed this country almost becoming a failed state, and not only that, when the SLPP came, they almost, in my opinion, legitimized corruption.
But even the coming of the PMDC, a party I would refer to as the Third Force, has not yielded the much change that was expected from a political landscape. The point that, Margai is now referred to as a political dictator sends wrong signal, for a party that is trying to capture national attention. I need not deny the fact the, it was as a result of the political gravity of the PMDC that we saw the fall of the SLPP, but they should not have stopped at that, the PMDC must be seen righting the wrongs of the APC. A case in point being the recent attempt to secretly increase the salary of the President and vice, much to the detriment of the populace
In fact, even when the current government wants to investigate the misdeeds of the recent past government, the PMDC as a party, but Charles Margai, would not want that to happen just because, they have this mentality of “na we south-eastern brother dem, make we nor allow that for happen”, so you see how the geopolitical south-east, north-west divide has further divided us to the point that, national concerns are toyed with for party and regional interest.
And the APC, for fear of being seen as talkative, would keep threatening people with this commission of enquiry unto their demise from political supremacy, and perhaps, it is only at the eleventh hour that they would hesitantly want to do what the people mandated them to do.
And also, even for the sake of good governance and a transparent people’s will, the APC were so hesitant to remove a single person from office, just because of the manner in which the nation’s political arrangement has divided us along regional lines. Port Loko is APC; therefore removing Kemoh would be against the interest of the party. This is the case.
But even with the formation of the PMDC, there is still a big regional divide to the point that, in Bonthe, everybody is expected to be PMDC, and of course, Bonthe until recently was [email protected] is my email By John Baimba Sesay