By Alhaji Kamara and Tony Bee: APC Australia National Publicity Secretary 1&2
As the Sierra Leone Peoples Party concludes its chaotic delegate convention, it is crucial to reflect on their present political inefficiency and in-built destructive practices during the past decade.
The practice of identity politics has been entrenched in the core principles of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party. Rather than bonding over a common political objective, SLPP leaders primarily focused on exploiting tribal devotion to promote patronage, cronyism and personal interests.
Due to such factionalism, the party has struggled to resolve internal conflicts and to promote political cooperation. The defection of numerous senior SLPP members in Kono, Freetown and the resignation of KKY shouldn’t be a shell-shock to people of Sierra Leone. The dogmatic and closed-minded attributes of SLPP, forced them out of the party. It will take a real polling catastrophe to convince SLPP elders that Bio’s leadership and political approach (characterise by tribal alliances) has fundamentally undermined the party’s existence.
With the increasing threats of violence from Bio’s supporters, it is essential to discuss some of the cold-hearted hostilities carried out in the name of tribal synchronization. Tribal phenomenon have played a heightened role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of Africa and the widespread armed conflicts across the continent. The perpetuation of extreme violence in Somalia and South Sudan, the 2007-08 post-electoral violence in Kenya and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, have revealed how tribal politics undermined liberal democracy and endangered the lives of innocent civilians.
Although the decade long civil conflict in Sierra Leone cannot be exclusively characterise by tribalism, tribal practices occupied the vacuum created by the deficiency of robust democratic institutions in the country. This was evident in the establishment of numerous ethnic auxiliary forces such as; the Civil defence forces or Kamajors during the civil conflict.
The scale of brutality and vicious atrocities carried out by the warring factions, are still lingering in the minds and souls of many Sierra Leoneans. Therefore, the threats of violence from Bio’s supporters and the chaotic SLPP Delegate Convention, may have negative impact on the chances of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party in the 2018 National Election.
By examining the present political trends in Sierra Leone, it’s rational to profess that the SLPP might be heading for its worst performance at a general election. As a main opposition party, SLPP has been crumbling and too weak for any chances of replacing the Powerful ruling APC Party. Although according to my Radar, they are seemingly depending on the NEC Chief Alie Conteh for their overnight miracle of wining the elections because he is their Kenema brother at the expense of the nation.
One of the semblances of such hope is that, the SLPPers who are well known for their cry-babies, especially for certain political ISSUES which they normally think they are not in their favour you always hear them crying all over the country and on to international level. But this time around is not the case one hardly hear them crying. Instead they are praising the NEC Chief Alie Conteh with all the heavy state election data blunder. Because they seemed to have hope through the NEC Chief to declare them winner of the upcoming 2018 elections which they might NOT deserved.
Whiles for the interest of efficient democratic principles, good governance and human rights, Sierra Leone requires an active opposition party. Opposition parties have to be the voice of broader segments of society, thrive as political watchdogs to foster transparency, accountability and to wipe out administrative red tape, in order to effectively participate in a liberal democratic process. But not with the self-destruction toothless SLPP opposition in the country that depend on overnight miracle and violence to win the elections.
In view of such impotent attitudes and behaviours, how can the SLPP ask Sierra Leoneans for a vote of confidence, when the party has been toothless for the past decade and incapable of demonstrating the abovementioned attributes of an active opposition party? The in fighting for political supremacy, tribalism, regionalism sentiments’ attitudes and behaviours have completely made them to become impotent for the past 10years. A good decade gone they cannot function as a formidable opposition in the country because of self-destructive interest.
According to my observations, the resurgence of SLPP, as a Party capable of competing for political influence and control will be based on a fundamental socio-political transformation. These include:
- The prerequisite to resolve existing conflicts amongst party hierarchies and thrive as an active opposition party.
- Acknowledge internal political competition as a resourceful democratic means of resolving political problems, not as a blood sport.
- A radical shift from tribal and regional sentiments identity politics to the adaptation of conventional standards that allows integration of tribal diversity, ideologies and political visions.
- Form a political environment that is driven by modern ideals, economic and infrastructural development. But not self-destruction development
- Gain the trust and confidence of all Sierra Leonean.
A prosperous political transformation process is traditionally slow and methodical. As a result, the SLPP should expect some difficult challenges ahead. For the next couple of years, All SLPP members must get use to the echo of the APC Party Victory Song.