By Theophilus S Gbenda
Sierra Leone’s newest and fastest growing registered political party, the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) on Saturday, 17th June, 2006, turned Bo Town into complete Orange, a place that used to be an entirely SLPP (Sierra Leone People’s Party) stronghold, when thousands of supporters and admirers draped in the Orange colour of the party came out to welcome and show solidarity with the party’s Leader, Mr. Charles Francis Margai and his entourage, who were in Bo to officially launch the party’s Southern Region office.
|Dauda Tombo Bangura and PMDC strongman Cheif Sui|
Many observers referred to the massive turn out as unprecedented, and a pointer to the fact that the PMDC has made a significant in-road within this very short time to establish itself in the traditional dominion of the ruling SLPP. It is difficult to come out with a specific figure of the people who came out in utmost show of genuine support to Mr. Charles Margai and the PMDC. What is however important to note is the fact that all the people that matter in the Bo township, where part and parcel of the thousands of people who came out to register their unflinching support to the party.
On that remarkable Saturday morning, PMDC supporters including scores of former SLPP die-hearts who have now thrown their weights behind the PMDC, converged at Kebe Town, about three miles from central Bo, where they patiently waited to receive the PMDC leader and entourage from Freetown.
|Countless supporters in front of the newly launched Southern Region Party Office|
Mr. Margai, and entourage were expected at 10:00am but only showed up three hours later following unavoidable stoppages on the way to talk to PMDC fans who blocked him to pledge their loyalty and support to him. When Mr. Margai and his team eventually arrived at Kebe Town, they were accorded a resounding welcome. The large crowd alongside the team from Freetown processed from Kebe Town to the Bo Coronation Field, where Mr. Margai and other PMDC big guns including the USA-based Dauda Tombo Bangura, the National Secretary General, Mr. Ansu Lansana etc, delivered impressive sensitization statements.
From thereon, Mr. Margai was escorted by the crowd in a motorcade of over one hundred vehicles to where the Regional party office is situated for the official innauguration.
|PMDC’s Charles Margai in the midst of enthusiastic supporters|
Independent reports have it that the reception accorded to Mr. Margai during this visit is an manifestation of the clean-sweep the PMDC has had of SLPP supporters in the district.
|Police Officers leading the mammoth Procession|
SLPP die-hearts spoken to in Bo refused to make comments, though it was clear by their looks that they were extremely concerned over the future of the SLPP in the part of the country.
|Vigilant police Officers in close protection|
In the words of a Bo resident Pa Foday Kallon, a former SLPP staunch supporter and now an ardent follower of the PMDC, “it is only a fool who will encourage thoughts that the SLPP still has stronghold over Bo and its environs.”
|PMDC National Chairman- Alhaji Bai Kamara during the rally|
The success story of the PMDC in its current sensitization drive goes far beyond Bo town and Bo District as a whole.
Reports monitored by independent observers have point out to the fact that the PMDC flag is flying high in places like Mattru Jong, Gbangbatoke, Pujehun, Zimmi, Kailahun, Kenema, Moyamba, Daru, Portoru, to name a few. All these places were formerly dominated by the SLPP, and it was unrealistic to imagine that any other political party will ever make the slightest positive in-road there.
|Chief S.K Foyor in Action|
Ironically this is exactly what the PMDC has done, and according to findings, the people have voluntarily thrown away their Green SLPP garments and are now proudly dressed in the PMDC Orange.
|PMDC Masked Devil|
One Pujehun residents, Madam Isatu Kowa remarked, “our support for Charles Margai and the PMDC is genuine, we have gained consciousness and we will never be fooled again.” Reports also have it that the well know SLPP slogan “One Country, One People” has been silenced by the PMDC slogan “One for All, All for Me”.
|Masked Devils in Action|
Since last week’s Bo political twist, reports say the few SLPP supporters in Bo and the party’s Central Secretariat in Freetown, have been busy holding co-ordination meetings to find possible ways of countering the unprecedented success of the PMDC in the district and other parts of the country where the PMDC has reportedly over-shadowed the SLPP.
|Charles Margai and other PMDC big Guns on High Table at the Bo Coronation Field|
One of the strategies according to reports is to amass people in a way that will double the one that came out in full support for the PMDC in the recent Bo visit of Charles Margai and other PMDC big guns. However, skepticisms are being raised as to whether the SLPP will ever pull again the kind of crowd seen behind Mr. Margai during the said visit.
|A Cross Section of Supporters at the Bo Coronation Field|
|Another PMDC Masked Devil in Action|