Monday March 20, 2006
News reaching this well-circulating newspaper from all works of life is the speed with which people are desrting the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party led by President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to join the People’s Movement For Democracy ( PMDC ) headed by Mr. Charles Margai.
Despite the recent statements by former Sierra Leone Ambassador to the U.S , Mr. Ernest John Leigh , insinuating that the PMDC smoke was just a big hype and the party had not eaten into the power base of the SLPP , this newspaper has seen and heard a lot to rely on the former Ambassador’s assessments.
The Ex-Ambassador is a man of integrity and we respect his perceptions and judgements , but is there something that he and those who are insisting that the PMDC is just a magic-shadow show they are failing to see ? All around us, in the diaspora and back home in Sierra Leone, people are renouncing their support of the SLPP and declaring for the PMDC . What is really happening ?
The SLPP is Sierra Leone’s most premier political party. It is not only the oldest and seemingly the most durable; it was the party that led Sierra Leone into the lofty heights of Independence. The SLPP also controls the key South/Eastern region of Sierra Leone.
When a big tree starts to fall , villagers too start taking precautions for the aftershocks and after effects for a big tree never falls without impacting on the lives of the people around it. While it is true that political loyalties are the most untrustworthy and they change with the wind, there is reason for every Sierra Leoneans to take note of the changes going on in our political landscape.
Sierra Leoneans should take note because in the same fashion that the SLPP seems to have been destroyed , it is the same manner that our social institutions have been damaged by those we are cursed to have as leaders. They have destroyed our schools, colleges and universities .
Sierra Leone , once the Athens of West Africa and the Beacon of Light of Africa , is now a pale shadow of her true self in the field of Education . Our education no longer has the qualitative bite it once commanded. Graduates from our academic institutions are as ignorant and dumb as a door bell. Our educational institutions no longer give good learning and this is manifested in the quality of graduates we are now producing. Whether they are university or high school graduates, their quality is dreadful. They can hardly write not to mention express themselves logically and cogently in public. One has to hold his breath whenever one of our graduates is speaking English in public. Present day graduates from the University , which has become generous with Honors degrees just cannot get their sentences right. This paper holds our politicians accountable for the rot that have settled around our schools, colleges and universities.
The same people have also destroyed our radio station , the SLBS , which was once West Africa’s leading radio station , apart from being the oldest and the pace-setter in the sub -continent .They have also destroyed THE SIERRA LEONE DAILY MAIL, a media which not only led the fight for West African political independence in the 1950s and early 1960s but was the model of Fleet-Street -styled journalism in this part of Africa. .Journalism in Sierra Leone today has degenerated into the recourse for every manner of social and intellectual misfit. The quality of our newspapers is so poor that you would be embarassed to display them where Ghanaian, Kenyan, Nigerian and Ugandan newspapers ( For example ) are being showcased. This is what happens when social institutions are run for private profit by megalomaniacs.
Everything has fallen apart in the country and now it is the political parties that they have turned their attention to –To destroy. This paper is concerned about the destruction of our parties because we need strong, vibrant political INSTITUTIONS for democracy to flourish in the country. When we cannot talk about the once-ruling and now opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ) without being encumbered by a sleuth of recriminations for the chaos that has split the party asunder . , it is very sad. As at now, we have no political party that one can honestly identify as a political institution that is seriously growing and flourishing. Both the SLPP and APC are now rent asunder by chaos.
When a nation cannot boast of one strong and serious political party, what happens is that the door is swung wide open for political chicanery and thuggery. It should not surprise any if politicians embark on a mission of bold-faced rigging and intimidation of opponents to steal votes during the 2007 General Elections. When political parties have no strong support base among the people from whom they are supposed to get the votes , stuffing of ballot boxes, with stolen votes , hijacking of polling stations and other criminal electoral practices are the only recourse .
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and his cronies owe die-hard SLPP supporters an apology for the way they have ruined the party.