By Ibrahim Sourie Mansaray
Reading Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” during my secondary school days in little Jaiama Sewafe, Kono Distric, one striking theme always kept me worried and that was, will Umoufia (a village in the novel) ever speak with one voice against the White men who had intruded their culture? I enjoyed reading the novel to an extent I was always curious to know the outcome of Okonkwo’s action in killing a messenger of the white government. “Things Fall Apart” is a novel of a hero, Okonkwo who finds his village changed by the presence of the white men.
After a convert commits a heinous act by unmasking an elder as he embodies an ancestral spirit of the clan, the village retaliates by destroying a local Christian church. In return, the leader of the white government takes Okonkwo and several other native leaders prisoner and holds them for a ransom. The white ruler humiliates and insults the captives by shaving their heads. As a result, people of Umoufia finally gathered for what could be a great uprising…… The rest is history. Most readers may want to see the analogy of this piece to the All People’s Congress party and their new born- again generation of leaders from Philadelphia, in the United States. Is this the journey of party faithfuls the party has been yearning for? Has the caravan started of faithful started?
The Sierra Leone Peoples Party defeated the All People’s Congress in the just concluded presidential elections. The spirit that once united the APC was torn apart, the fabric was decimated and certain members succeeded in castigating, lambasting the leadership of the party for their poor performance. The SLPP instituted a one sided team of transitional technocrats to prepare a comprehensive forensic audit of the past APC government. A report came out and egregious mistakes were alleged to have been commited, amounting to massive allegation of fraud, misappropriation and embezzlement of state funds. A commission of inquiry was recommended and it is about to take its feet from the ground, though its formation and deliberations has already been shrouded in legal gridlock, with certain players prevented from giving testimony.
At a recent press conference organized by the APC, the National Publicity Secretary expressed great apprehension about the commitment of their party as they are of the view that the commission is a trap to decimate the APC party. With eight months in power of the Bio presidency, many waters had gone under the bridge. The economy is struggling, fiscal management policy is still being espoused by the new government and an uncharacteristic sacking of entire ministries is the latest music in town. It is unheard of, however, there may be two explanations for such actions; either this is a political victimization against alleged supporters of the past APC party or the APC employed all their unqualified supporters into these ministries…. hmmm (time will tell).
The APC has been decimated across the country. The GOP, SLPP now controls the executive branch. They are the dominant political force in the country. The APC built all their strength around Ernest, building the party around the man. It paid off in some way, they did win two back to back presidential elections, but he’s gone. As of now, there is no clue as to who is in charge of the party. This is where a new crop of party stalwarts will make their influence in making resurgence in the political fight.
Notwithstanding all these nightmares, it appears the All People’s Congress party is returning into the trenches to help their party. The night was in Philadelphia, Saturday where the All People’s Congress had gathered to organize a fundraising party. The hall was jam packed, electrified and well dressed party stalwarts in their traditional red dress led by their new president, Abu Sesay who thronged the audience with his inspirational speech. The vigor, commitment and renewed energy on the faces of these new party stalwarts speak volumes. If this fundraising is to send a message, then the APC succeeded . Party stalwarts from far and wide in the United States made speeches of rallying members to uproot their heads from the sand and stand the test of time. A former parliamentary candidate (resident in Maryland) who lost the APC symbol on the ‘two sim’ offside rule, Mohamed Jabbie commonly call Jabs from Maryland summed up his determination by saying, “We lost the elections on technical grounds and not on popularity level, we are still liked by the people of Sierra Leone. He described the political theatre as a movie in Schwarzenegger’s “Terminator movie”, WE WILL BE BACK”. A soldier like the APC party always has the tendency to fight back.
The question is , is this the turning point of the APC party? Even the prodigal lawyer Kalokoh who once lambasted Ernest Koroma gave a rallying call to members of the APC to show their warlike characteristics in confronting the mistakes of the SLPP with heads above sea level. As the outgoing president of APC Chapter in Philadelphia, Kebbie Turay remarked, this should be the sentiment and it should be strong enough for even the recalcitrant APC voter to come onboard and dismantle the fragile support the SLPP gained in the country. As far as a die hard APC loyalist, Kabba Kamara is concerned, APCers should work with the man who sowed the seeds of prosperity until the battle is won.
The composition of the hall in Philadelphia symbolizes unity amongst die hard loyalist of NGC members like Tonyia Musa, Mahmood Jalloh and faithful loyalists of the SLPP like Yayah Kallon, Aiah Pessima does not only signify civility but also strengthens the mantra of living together peacefully even with a different political affiliation.
The APC consider this as a new beginning in their quest to regain power. If this momentum is replicated around the diaspora and in Sierra Leone, then the political dispensation will be a nice movie for the people of SierraLeone.
May God bless Sierra Leone.