Published on August 13, 2010 by Cocorioko News · 2 Comments
Nobody can, with any conviction, describe the AWOKO Newspaper Publisher, Kelvin Lewis as pro-SLPP or pro-APC or PMDC. Man, by nature, is a political animal and whether Kelvin supports any party or not is not the question. He has to prefer one of them. He is mortal. The point at issue, however, is that Kelvin Lewis has not shown that he is supporting any party. He is perhaps the only publisher in Sierra Leone who has not shown by his writings or choice of articles that he is politically aligned. AWOKO is perhaps the only newspaper in Sierra Leone that is apolitical and neutral. For this we give credit to a young man who confessed at one time that he was introduced into journalism by the late Roy Stevens (My boyhood friend in Bo ) .
It is because of AWOKO’s proven neutrality that the polls recently conducted by the newspaper on the Sierra Leone political situation deserve to be taken seriously. The part of the polls where Sierra Leoneans complained about the high cost of living should be seriously perused by government and action taken to ameliorate the living standards of the people.Unlike what blandly anti-government newspapers would do to such polls, the AWOKO neutrality compels us to believe that the results of the polls were not tampered with to embarrass the government. They must have reflected the thinking of the average man on the street , though we all know that most of the problems are the result of the global economic meltdown , and also that President Ernest Koroma is fighting tooth and nail to fix Sierra Leone’s socio-economic and political problems en bloc. Conversely, the other segment of the polls provide food for thought . It reveals the fact that if the Presidential Elections are held today, President Ernest Koroma will definitely emerge clear-cut winner. Again, we are sure that AWOKO was not trying to massage the ego of the President , his supporters or members of his government. AWOKO is not pro-APC or anti-SLPP. AWOKO was honestly revealing what the polls reflected.
It is therefore surprising that some partisan Sierra Leoneans are finding the result of the polls difficult to swallow , though ironically, the same Sierra Leoneans had highly applauded and sought to make political capital out of the AWOKO polls on the cost of living in Sierra Leone. Many of those trying to trash AWOKO for the polls on the elections are SLPP supporters and this demonstrates the one streak about the SLPP that makes Sierra Leoneans worry about the future of their country . WHY IS IT SO HARD ALWAYS FOR THE SLPP TO ACCEPT THE VERDICT OF THE PEOPLE ?
Uptill this day, almost three years after the 2007 elections where the APC trounced them convincingly, the SLPP is still blaming the Elections Commissioner , Dr.Christiana Thorpe and badmouthing her for their defeat. The poor woman did a fantastic job to conduct one of the best elections in the world that received acclaim from the United Nations , the African Union, European Union, the Commonwealth and other international organizations and stakeholders who had observers on the ground. The election was free and fair but the SLPP just has this trenchant to never accept defeat. The party did it also in 1967 when it incited the military commander , the late Brig. David Lansana , to seize power ,after it was thrashed in the polls by the APC. Now, the SLPP is trying to create false hopes so that when President Koroma wins again in 2012 the blind zealots supporting it will start crying foul again. What is it with the SLPP and accepting defeat ?
Even right now, the SLPP is deceiving itself by claiming that it will return to power at 12 0 clock sharp in 2012. The situation on the ground in Sierra Leone bears no witness to such vainglorious optimism by the SLPP. President Ernest Bai Koroma is doing so well for the nation that the fact is clear–He will be given a deserving second term by the people of Sierra Leone . With all respect to AWOKO, Sierra Leoneans did not really need a poll to know that . The facts are clean-cut . We still have serious economic and social problems, like all other countries, including the United States, but truthful Sierra Leoneans will agree with us and the AWOKO polls that President Koroma has excelled himself well and will win a second term in 2012. Within a short pace of time, the President Koroma has changed Sierra Leone for the better. He has brought electricity; completed the Bumbuna Hydroelectricity Project ; constructed modern highways linking the capital with the hinterland; introduced pipe-borne water projects ; revived mining activities and launched free medical insurance for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five—all things that the SLPP never achieved in power. The SLPP ruled for 11 years but have nothing to show , by way of developments or improving the welfare of the people. The SLPP failed the Sierra Leonean people.
What is the SLPP therefore banking on to win in 2012 ? Ndorgborwusuism ? Kamajorism ?
What is making the SLPP think that the people of Sierra Leone will ditch such a hardworking, genuine, sincere and productive President who has tangible results to show for a failed party that was in power for 11 years and did nothing for the people ? What will the SLPP use to win in 2012 ?
We await 2012 .
SNIPPETS FROM THE AWOKO POLLS BELOW :
In a recent survey commissioned by Awoko Newspaper titled “what ordinary Sierra Leoneans think” mid way through President Koroma’s five year term in office, majority of Freetownians interviewed have said they would vote for President Koroma if elections were held today.
This is after Freetownians had looked at what the President had outlined in his Presidential address at the State opening of the Third Parliament on Friday 5th October 2007 and had given their opinion on whether he had been successful using a four point assessment scale of Very Successful; Somewhat Successful; Not Successful; and Don’t Know.
Some 840 passers-by were interviewed between March 19th and 23rd 2010 as they walked along 14 different areas in Freetown. (Shell Junction, Kissy; Ferry Junction, Kissy; Up Gun Roundabout; Clock Tower; PZ Junction; Sweissy Area; Model School Junction; PWD Junction, Pademba Road; Cotton Tree Area; St. John Area; New England Ville Offices Area; Congo Cross Area; Aberdeen Ferry Road; and Lumley Roundabout.)
60 respondents were interviewed (inviting 1 out of every 10 passers-by to participate in the survey) at each locat1on, with the experienced interviewers using a questionnaire which drew from the President’s first ’speech from the throne’.
The President’s overall popularity with respondents was further measured by asking respondents two questions. The first was, “Based on his performance so far, if there was an election today, will you vote for him?”, and the second, “Did you vote for him in 2007?”. Their responses are shown in Tables 8 and 9.
The figures show that if there was an election today, and based on his performance, 73 percent of respondents will vote for him, 18 percent will not, and 8 percent declined to answer.
On the question of the 2007 Vote, 64 percent voted for him, 30 percent did not, and 6 percent declined to answer.
A comparison of the two sets of responses suggest that if there was an election today the President would win handsomely, as more people will vote for him today than in 2007.
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