You could call them an organised reformed group outside the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP); but the National Grand Coalition (NGC) can aptly be described as some used oil in a brand new second hand engine! And I can’t help myself but to always laugh my sides out whenever I hear SLPP defectors in the NGC campaigning on a platform of change.
Everything about the NGC smacks of an application of whitewash on a burnt-out derelict building. Most NGC members are SLPPers on vacation who only want to play the proverbial rat, whose aim of eating a whole pumpkin is not to finish it totally but to reduce its pricing. If the SLPP is today a damaged good, those in the NGC were, and still are, contributing factors. If, during the SLPP’s eleven years’ misrule, the SLPP was bespattered with corruption and maladministration; most of those who are now in the NGC were part and parcel of that mess.
And even Andrew Keili, the latest NGC proselyte, during last Thursday’s “Podium” programme on the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) TV, did not wince a bit when he was portraying his SLPPness and those of his ilk in the NGC. What was, and still is, deduced from that interview is that it is the trajectory of the current SLPP presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, that has frightened them to the NGC. But once Mr Bio loses the 2018 Presidential Election, most NGCers will be going back home—to their SLPP of course!
So, the NGC is nothing but a painted tomb. And the comical issue about the NGC is that they are weaving their entire party philosophy around the personality of Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella. Creating a personality cult in a budding political party is as dangerous as it is ephemeral. What if Dr Yumkella drops dead today, does that mean the end of the NGC? As one writer, Sankara Kamara, wrote early last week: “The only thing Kandeh Yumkella’s campaign has done so far, is saturate the Internet with pictorial images advertising the man as a senior United Nations employee. Apart from their readiness to be pictorially extravagant on the Internet, Yumkella’s supporters have not told us how a UN career would make their man a better president”.
Indeed, very true. If being a former senior United Nations worker is the cardinal criterion for one to be president of his/her country then former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (2007-2016) should have been the current president of South Korea; or Kofi Annan (1997-2006) would have been the existing president of Ghana, and even former UN Secretary General Javier Pèrez de Cuèllar (1982-1991) should have been Peru’s up-to-date President. It is an open secret that the United Nations does not produce pragmatic political leaders but lazy, uncreative, and zombie-like international civil servants who could not think out of the box when faced with real-life situations or political realities! So, for the Yumkellarists to base their projected would-be political fortunes on Dr Yumkella’s UN credentials means they are playing Russian roulette with a fully loaded pistol!
That is so because elections in Sierra Leone are not about the debates that took, or taking, place at the Mary Kingsley Auditorium at Fourah Bay College (FBC) or the British Council Auditorium at Tower Hill in Freetown. Elections in Sierra Leone are all about sound-bites and sloganeering that will resonate with the Abacha Streeters (used in its generic form in this context). They are not about oratory because the SLPP’s Maada Bio could always fall at the first shake of the political sieve (remember his two PR disasters at both AYV and SLBC TVs last week?)! And elections in Sierra Leone are not about a presidential candidate who always uses the first person narrative when on campaign podiums.
If Dr Yumkella wants some of us to be convinced about his self-delusional popularity, he should first of all convince his own blood brother to believe in him. If his own brother is rejecting him and supporting Maada Bio; if his own brother was also rejected by the people of Kychom when he stood for the Paramount Chieftaincy because of the dictatorial tendencies and heavy-handedness of their late father while he was Paramount Chief, then Dr Yumkella seems to be hiding in a cloud of smoke. In my brutal One Dropian honesty: A ‘dregman’ who aspires to eat a plate of salad should first learn how to eat ‘achekeh’ without drinking water! And Yumkella is no biblical prophet who has honour outside his Kychom; so his own charity should begin at Kychom!
And while the Abacha Streeters are still asking what Dr Kandeh Yumkella has personally done for Sierra Leone; the Yumkellarists are busy parroting about what he did for the United Nations. What that braggart was doing at, and for, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was not philanthropic; he was being paid for what he was doing! Also, what Dr Yumkella facilitated for Sierra Leone, while he was UNIDO’s Director General, could have been done by any other foreign national if the circumstances at the time had presented themselves to that UN agency.
And for Dr Yumkella to constantly be bragging about his UNIDO’s exploits means he is not a team-player. For even a little working knowledge of the United Nations’ systems shows that people who work for, and in, the United Nations do not do so individualistically; but do so as a team. That means for Dr Yumkella to be individually boasting of things that were done collectively at UNIDO shows his megalomaniac tendencies. And a man who always gleefully breast-beats himself into garrulity, at the slightest opportunity, illustrates how egocentric he is.
So if Dr Yumkella and the pack of SLPP deserters in the NGC think the people of Sierra Leone have not yet read through their charade, then they are playing the Achebe-ian fabled puppy which swings itself round a blazing fire and farts with the intention of putting it out. A comical effort in futility! For I know, they know, and everyone knows that the National Grand Coalition (NGC) is nothing but some used oil in a brand new second hand engine! But you could also use the “old wine in new bottle” cliché if you are very low on creativity!
Please joined hands with Mr. Kamarainba and let your voices be heard.