By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) :
A letter, purportedly written by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP)’s failed 2012 presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, shows the thought-process of a confused mind seeking public attention. Or it shows the deranged ranting of a desperate soapbox politician whose audience has dwindled but is so stupid not to take notice of his thin audience.
That letter (definitely written by a ghost writer who seems to have failed his Bar exams at the first try), tells the reader that when a political party, which prided itself to have “brains”, decides to field in cricketers in a football match; the aura in that stadium will be pregnant with chuckled amazement! I couldn’t help it but to chuckle when Maada Bio states that, “…in my last radio interview on 98.1 FM [where else could he have gone?], I admonished that your Government should endeavor to avoid unnecessary unilateral interference with the Constitution…Despite these reservations, your Government did not hesitate to influence the vote in parliament”.
I deliberately quoted those lines above to really show the confused mind of Maada Bio. The “unilateral interference with the Constitution”, which he is writing about refers to the election of a new Speaker of Parliament. For Mr Bio to make such a statement shows that he is subtly telling Sierra Leoneans, outside his party, that he is now a Shepard with dwindling sheep. For it has now been the vogue of the SLPP to walk out of parliament each time they disagree with what is being tabled or debated in the House. But in the case of the election for the Speaker of Parliament; the SLPP Members of Parliament did not only field in a candidate from their own party (Dr Bubuakie Jabbie) but overwhelmingly voted for the ruling All People’s Congress’s candidate Hon. SBB. Dumbuya which infuriated the pro-SLPP The Democrat newspaper that it screamed in its Friday 24 January 2014 edition that “SLPP MPs Shame Their People”.
The singular action of the SLPP MPs nominating and seconding the nominations of APC candidates shows that Maada Bio’s letter, mentioning “unilateral interference with the Constitution”, shows that he is out of sync with the reality on the ground. But what is expected from or of a man who is now behaving according to the onomatopoeic sound of his middle name, Maada”? Or is Maada Bio telling us that his SLPP MPs were so broke that day that they had to partake in that “unilateral interference with the Constitution” of voting a new Speaker because they badly needed the sitting fee?
But I can understand the knee-jack action from a man like Maada Bio whose chi (to quote the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe) seems to have come from the same womb with political madness and political incorrectness. For if not political madness, how could he have written that President Koroma “pushed for the amendment of Section 79(1) because you [the President] harbors some bigger agenda, which does not exclude your ambition for a Third Term in office”. For Bio to exhibit such madness at a time when President Koroma has repeatedly and tirelessly pronounced that his “name will not be on the ballot paper in 2018” could be compared to a Sixth Form pupil studying Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus” for his A’ Levels long after that play had been taken off the syllabus.
And to exhibit his ignorance of the 1965 Public Order Act, Maada Bio increases his stupidity to a crescendo when he writes that, “…there have been the ugly spectacles of journalists being arrested and detained”. Common sense dictates that journalists in Sierra Leone can only be arrested and detained when they violate the 1965 Public Order Act which was authored by the SLPP of Sir Albert Margai; used by the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) of Maada Bio and the SLPP of Ahmad Tejan Kabba(h)! And for the “arrested and detained” journalists to have prostrated and begged President Koroma for forgiveness should have told Bio that indeed the journalists believed, and still believe, that they had committed crimes for which they should ask for forgiveness!
But on the whole, I have always liked the manner in which President Ernest Bai Koroma has been dismissive of Maada Bio’s ranting just the same way a disciplinarian principal would do to a chronically stupid pupil. During the 2012 election, when Maada’s madness prompted him to ask for a televised debate with his President; the Head of State figuratively asked a psychiatrist to examine his barren pate. Few months ago, when Maada’s madness itched him again to ask for a political duel with President Koroma on national issues; his constitutionally elected President metaphorically treated him like a faeces-filled “black plastic bag” (to use the uncouth Krio colloquial). And now that Maada’s newfound madness has taken the form of “an Open Letter to President Koroma”; it will be treated like the Shakespearean idiot’s tale.