BY KABS KANU
I have been in politics since 1966.Though a high school student then, I hand-wrote the FREEDOM NATIONAL newspaper and played a dominant role in the famous 1967 elections . My teachers and fellow students gobbled my newspaper like choice meat. Even ANDREW KEILI , PIOS FORAY, CHARLES MASON, WURIE KAI-SAMBA, DAVID KABIA and all 1960s CKC students on Facebook can admit that. If they admit nothing about me, that they can admit. No to tiday, ah begin political journalism.
I am therefore not a novice. I know the signs when a party is about to lose an election. I lived in Sierra Leone and Liberia and studied the political trends. I watched what was going on in other African countries.
No unpopular party has ever been hailed by the college students, market women, traders, “service man dem”, shoe-shine boys, the bay boys and girls, drivers and slum-dwellers. These are people who do not pretend with their support . When Sir Albert Margai became unpopular in 1966, it was these people who made the nation know. Den bin dey boo en butu pan am. Even Samuel Doe, with all his guns, was booed by them. WHAT WOULD HAVE MADE ERNEST KOROMA OR SAMURA KAMARA DIFFERENT, IF THEY WERE UNPOPULAR ? Grassroots people do not pretend their political loyalty . Unpopular leaders and parties do not get hailed at grassroots level.
The APC , however, presents a classic story. At a time when its detractors are trumpetting that the party has lost its mojo and support with the people, the APC continues to be hailed at the grassroots. The students, the market women, the traders, the Ataya and shoe-shine boys , the commercial drivers and the slum-dwellers continue to be excited over the APC. And these are the voters. These are the people who determine who goes to State House. Wherever President Koroma goes, it is excitement. And now, Samura Kamara has inherited this crowd-thrilling personality . Wherever he goes, he is being hailed.
The facts are clear. The APC is the party of the people . It is the toast of the common and ordinary man of Sierra Leone. The APC is the marvel of the grassroots people and the extensive socio-economic and political achievements of President Koroma and the promise provided by Samura Kamara and Chericoco have concretized the respect enjoyed by the APC at grassroots level.
Let us face reality . The APC is still a formidable and unbeatable force in Sierra Leone. We have not started campaign season yet and the APC has started outdoing her rivals in the aspect of pulling crowds. The 2018 election is their’s to lose. If the APC campaign with efficiency throughout the nation, showcasing President Koroma’s achievements and a magnificent manifesto and road map for a better Sierra Leone from Dr. Samura Kamara , it will be hard to see where the APC will not win again this year. They have a grassroot support base that already loves them.
No resting on our oars. No complacency. No over-confidence. No lethargy. No underestimation of the opponents or the social media. The APC must campaign as if their lives depend on it. If that is done, I can see Samura Kamara swaggering in excitement at State House sometime in March as he mounts the dais to receive the golden fleece and the diadem.