Titus Boy-Thompson, Communications Consultant
“There will come a time when all political writings become mundane within the electioneering process and the people’s attention would turn to drumbeats, alcohol and rice.” This is a direct quote from a revered politician who was proved very much right come the 2012 elections in Sierra Lone. That time when the die is cast, electioneering campaigns announced and a timetable released, no amount of intellectual didactic moved the public’s perceptions more than the size of the party campaigns, the sweetness of the music and chants accompanied by the willingness of party supporters to give all for their colors.
The scenes in Freetown and other main sprawls were breathtaking. To have been part of the pre-campaign writing team was an experience of cut throat one-upmanship, with party stalwarts killing each other off literally in their quest to grapple campaign funds and dispel any thought of true gamesmanship and Shaftesbury rules abandoned. The monies that flowed went through a narrow stream but the wider conundrum was filled with those who angered themselves to be creative in the name of the party. Yes, there were JCs who joined campaigns -one of them even dented my old Jeep and then turned around to say he was related to an aspiring Minister who happened to be someone I loathed – but it was all in the spirit of being part of the World’s Best float.
The atmosphere leading up to the elections was eclectic, the period of campaigning, street parades and political bassa bassa were even more electrified but within that melee, some who thought that there would be a recognition in the end, that efforts would be noted and that those who hold sway would repair old cracks, rebuild relationships and forge ahead in a parody of oneness and grassroots amalgamation with heads held up high as the ones who did it, with no prevarication whatsoever were disappointed and still are, with no end in sight.
Needless to say that the bubble burst and the ones who benefitted the most have been those who can speak evil of their friends even as they share a cold stout down at Kwame’s at Bathurst Street. The knives were drawn and events leading up to the recent expulsion of the Vice President from the APC Party could be traced to these anomalies. Sierra Leone remains a field of political convolutions, of falsehoods in political mouths and mouthpieces of latitude swayed by nothing but a single tribal rant. The conflicts still rage, the fighting goes on but whilst those who fought the battle are left awed by the sheer brazen of the newcomers who brought with them fanciful contributions to the party and ideology that was never established, so also is the fermenting of new hatreds and falsities of contexts in the manner in which the estranged are still disconnected.
The aggravations in the unfolding occurrences are many to behold, the removal from office of persons perceived to be pro and the re-establishment of those perceived to be anti gave rise to a convolution of betrayal and a melancholy existence, left ravaged by unconstitutionality but brazenly articulated by witty legalese. What then is a continuing condition for disparagement would be the question soon to be addressed. A repayments plan is still unsettled whilst those excluded continue to combine nitpicking in obscure environments with cherry orchard frailties. The apples are all rotten, even the core rejects redemption, yet the basket is full. Of over 50 people in a delegation, half of whom have no reason to be there while those who would have lifted the banner are left scrambling for crumbs at some vague corner t State House, in name only and non-profit electioneering becomes the order of the day. I pause because as I rant thus far, mere approbation require brevity even if not my style. More anon.