By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
The manner in which the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) is running the country, at present, could be compared to a man who is masturbating with caustic soda. And if a man decides to masturbate with caustic soda, I don’t think any sane person may want to witness the ejaculation!
Except those who love lewd blood sports. And I could understand the revulsion or grimaces of those so-called morally upright Sierra Leoneans to the metaphor employed above. But the point is: sometimes, graphic imageries should be evoked to present the would-be ramifications of would-be actions.
I could have borrowed Wole Soyinka’s imagery, in “The Man Died”, of exhorting Sierra Leoneans to ritualistically waking up every morning and throwing their breakfast slops at a “pinned-up photograph of the symbol of power” because of the current “insupportable system” in Sierra Leone; but since the government of Julius Maada Bio is still see-sawing with the Public Order Act of 1965, I think the safest bet from being roped for “seditious libel” is to use an imagery that everyone knows about but will be ashamed to use it publicly because of its supposedly lewdness.
And talking, sorry writing, about the Bio administration still see-sawing with the Public Order Act of 1965? I could bet my only eight-year-old Toyota Camry that President Bio has no genuine intention to expunge a law that was the creation of Sir Albert Margai whose method of statecraft he seems to be copycatting. Despite, on 5 December 2018 at his inaugural “Media Cocktail” at the Radisson Blu Garden in Freetown, President Bio promised journalists that he would obliterate the Public Order Act of 1965 from the law books of Sierra Leone, yet his government is more than eager to use it against the All People’s Congress (APC). And also on the general citizenry of the country as it was copiously quoted by the Sierra Leone Police before last Christmas Season to restrict or box-in citizens’ merriments.
As I noted in one of my One Dropian droppings of late last year, President Bio seems to be creating a split personality of himself. In the morning he would be Dr Jekyll and at night he would be Mr Hyde. Whenever he meets journalists, he would tongue-cheek about the Public Order Act of 1965. And when it comes to the APC “his” police would gladly invite that party’s executive members to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to answer to charges of “conspiracy and seditious” under the same Section 33 (1a) and (1c) of the Public Order Act of 1965.
But I would be surprised if you are surprised at the double-standards of the SLPP government of President Bio. For how could the Sierra Leone Police invite the APC Secretary General and other top executive members, last Wednesday and Thursday, on allegation of conspiring to “…publish an inciting Press Release which has the tendency to raise discontent and disaffection (among the populace) and to bring hatred or contempt and excite disaffection against the Government of Sierra Leone thereby threatening the entire peace and security of Sierra Leone”, and did not do the same to the SLPP whose policies are evoking fire and brimstone among the populace?
Probably that police personnel, who wrote those words in that invitation letter to the APC, might be a true believer in verbosity. Or s/he may be living outside Sierra Leone. Or better put: s/he is living in a phantasmagorical world. If not, s/he should know that it is the divisive policies and politics of the SLPP that now have “…the tendency to raise discontent and disaffection (among the populace) and to bring hatred or contempt and excite disaffection…. thereby threatening the entire peace and security of Sierra Leone”.
While former Vice Presidents Solomon Ekuma Berewa, Dr Albert Joe Demby, and even Victor Bockarie Foh are enjoying adequate armed State police security; Alhaji Chief Sam-Sumana’s have been withdrawn for the unspeakable crime of him visiting former President Ernest Bai Koroma at his Makeni residence in northern Sierra Leone (though the Police’s letter to Mr Sam-Sumana, dated 9 January 2019, didn’t state so explicitly but its undertones conjured up that inference!).
Well, in the political idiom of the SLPP: What is good for Berewa, Demby, and Foh shouldn’t be good for Chief Sam-Sumana. And any Sierra Leonean who has the knack for scratching surfaces will realise that the thread of commonality, which runs through those three, is selectively not threaded in Sam-Sumana’s needle! Now, don’t you think such selective treatment of former Vice Presidents might breed “discontent and disaffection” among Mr Sam-Sumana’s Coalition for Change (C4C) supporters who might show “contempt” for the Government of Sierra Leone (as they reportedly did last Friday in Kono during their clash with SLPP supporters over the “chairlady” imbroglio) “…thereby threatening the entire peace and security of Sierra Leone?”
Again, by it repeated actions the Bio administration is subtly telling “The Others” (to borrow that phraseology from the American drama television series called “Lost”) that what is good for the Maadarites cannot be good for non-Maadarites. Well, what might be edible for the goat will give the sheep a running stomach—so we seem to be told by the actions of the Bio administration!
And as if to add spice into the cauldron of heavy-handedness, APC supporters in Kenema town (as reported by the Cocorioco online newspaper) were said to have been given the hemlock of the SLPP’s intimidation tactic when they were allegedly arrested by the Sierra Leone Police for some undisclosed reasons. Even some Imams, in that township, are not spared from the SLPP’s intimidation tactic. A Press Release, from the United Council of Imams-Sierra Leone dated 10 January 2019, alleged that, “our Imams are forcefully conscripted (into the Poro society), harassed, molested, their properties destroyed and some carted away. Some had to flee for their lives and are currently displaced in Kenema city….” That’s the “New Direction” for you!
And because of my indefatigable exposition of the Bio administration for what it really is, many tribal bigots within its ranks have been accusing me of being a pessimist. Well, I’m not a pessimist but a realist. Though pessimism, when you get used to it, is just as agreeable as optimism (to quote Arnold Bennett’s “Things That Have Interested Me”); my argument is: whether you are a pessimist or an optimist, your standpoint must have been framed by certain realities.
And the reality in Sierra Leone now is that the manner in which the SLPP is steering the ship of state could be compared to a man who is masturbating with caustic soda. And I presume that it is only those who believe in tribal and regional bigotries that might want to witness the ejaculation!
May God save the land that we all (even those who professed to) love!