By KABS KANU
A man must learn to have dignity and self-respect by remaining loyal to one ideal or institution, except he is forced by circumstances beyond his control not tp do so.
I cannot imagine myself SUDDENLY removing the bell bottoms and platform shoes of an Auradical and donning the drain pipe trousers and Beatles shoes of the conservative students, just because the Auradicals have lost power suddenly. Once an Auradical, always an Auradical.
When you display dignity and stand for what you believe , even your opponents secretly admire and respect you.
Yesterday, I mentioned the Late Grand Old Man Mannah Kpaka of the SLPP for a reason. I shared cell with him at Pademba Road Prisons in 1997 when the Siaka Stevens Government arrested us and jailed us allegedly for helping to incite the Hindolo Trye-led students demonstration that nearly toppled the government. . There was another like him called R.E.S. Lagawo. When SLPP lost power in 1968, they remained SLPP to the bitter end. They did not suspend their allegiance SUDDENLY because the SLPP had lost power. They even shunned all lucrative enticements by Pa. Shaki.
Of course, you can jump ship from one party to another if your party hurts you or betrays your ideals beyond a point. I see nothing wrong with that. Many SLPP have become APC and APC SLPP on this ground and to me it is legit and acceptable. I can name disciplined, principled individuals like Ambassador John Leigh , Alhaji Wusu Boie, Pa. Sumana Karpen, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, Mr. Andrew Keili and Alhaji Moijue Kai-Kai, who remained true to their principles and left their former parties to join another party because their parties betrayed the ideals these gentlemen cherished. These men will always remain highly respected , even if they lost power in the process because they have proved that they can stand up for something. The same could be remotely said of Lawyer Charles Margai, despite his often erratic outbursts and eccentricities.
What is shameful and unacceptable is jumping ship suddenly because your party or President you idolized yesterday has lost power. When there ARE NO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES or just cause for doing so ( Removing your red and putting on green at the drop of a hat because your party has lost power )., it is very bad because the party you are joining will not trust you because they know that if they too lose power tomorrow, you will do the same thing.to them.
Civil servants do remain to serve a new government , because they are apolitical, never wore red, green or yellow before for politics or engaged in advocacy for any political party . They serve the government of the day, whether APC, SLPP, C4C, NGC , ADP or XYZ. The true civil servant remains loyal to any party that comes to power and does not wear red, green, blue, pink or burgundy for a political purpose. It is excusable for them to seek to remain with Pa O Pa after Tolongbo left. But if one was a fervent and open political activist for the APC yesterday, he/she cannot quickly remove red and wear green the moment the APC lost power. If it is done, it is opportunism and it is wrong. The reason is that Sierra Leone politics is too contentious and packed with ill-blood and ill-will. While serving the Tolongbos, you were definitely a party to all these bad blood and ill-will. Therefore , the question will be : When did you renounce all your previously- held and displayed bad blood and ill-will to suddenly become the Pa O Pa you defamed and fought yesterday ? The Pa O Pa simply must not trust you because you are a man or woman of bad faith.
There is another caveat. If, for some reason, the Pa O Pa recognize your ability and respectfully ask you to stay on post, imploring that you do for them what you were doing for the APC , that is different. They appealed for you to stay. But even then, before you accept, you need to consult with your former President , party officials and the other powers-that-be . If they give their blessings, yes , you can work for Pa O Pa in the national interest. President Bio is President of Sierra Leone and needs the resourceful input of all Sierra Leoneans to help him build a better Sierra Leone. President Bio will trust you and appreciate your service because he knows that if the SLPP lose power tomorrow, you will not suddenly jump ship except if you are enticed by the incoming government because of special skills and abilities you have, in the national interest. . President Bio is a christian and is aware of the story of the Apostle Paul, who was an arch-enemy of christians and killed them wherever he found them , until Christ appeared to him on his way to kill more christians and asked him to serve him . Paul, who was previously Saul, changed and became the hottest christian, even writing most of the books of the New Testament.
If one had been on contract or a consultant or worked for an NGO , that again is different. But you cannot be a Tolongbo yesterday and suddenly become Pa O Pa overnight because Tolongbo has lost power. It is evil and heinous. It is traitorous.
We must be careful not to be marked out as opportunists in this political battle we are fighting because this has the potential to destroy our political future for life.
Purposely being greedy in politics and wanting to eat here today and then SUDDENLY there tomorrow when things change (without any moral conscience or self-dignity) is the mark of an opportunist and a traitor and this is self-humiliating and self-destructive.