THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THIS WRITER ARE HIS PERSONAL OPINIONS AND DOES NOT REFLECT COCORIOKO’S PERSPECTIVE ON THIS ISSUE
First_Name: Sorie I
Comments: SHAKI WAS TO THE TEMNES AS KABBA IS TO THE MENDES
For Siaka Stevens to come to power he had to get the support of the Temnes then. Prominent Temnes like Dr Sorie Forna and Ibrahim Taqi threw their money and expertise behind him. Dr. Sorie Forna used his the wealth he had amassed as a medical doctor in Kono to help Shaki in his efforts to defeat Sir Albert. They all saw Sir Albert as wanting to introduce a one party contstitution and to entrench his his grip on and perpetuate his stay in power.
No sooner did Shaki come to power than Dr. Forna and Taqi saw how undemocratic he was as he started going against all the principles they all agreed on. When they challenged him in the interest of democracy, Shaki looked among the Temnes then and there was S I Koroma, who had become jealous of both Dr. Forna and Taqi. Shaki then used S.I. as an alternative to both Forna and Taqi. This made it easy to punish them and when that time came he eliminated them for good. Even the now famous letter for clemency from Forna to Shaki never spared their lives.
In 1995, the S.L.P.P. decided to get a ‘northerner’ to lead the party to avoid that famous criticism from the APC that the S.L.P.P. is a mendeman party. People like Dr. Harry Will were in the forefront supporting Kabba as the saying then was S.L.P.P. was not a Margai party and everything was done to frustrate Charles Margai’s effort to be leader of the party. But no sooner had Kabba come to power than Dr. Harry Will and other top mendes realized that they had made the wrong choice. So Dr. Harry Will started making plans to challenge Kabba in the future. Kabba had wind of this and made plans to eliminate Harry Will. The opportunity came in that famous rice deal with Bockarie Kakay, which made a whole high court judge to be sacrificed and Harry Will held legally in limbo i.e. he cannot vie for a serious political position for years to come. Then came the turn of Momoh Pujeh. He was accused of illicit diamond deals and was stripped almost naked in his office, some said at the time, before some members of his staff. He also nutured leadership ambitions but by that time his case was in court and was found guilty only to be freed by the Appeal Court. Knowing how the judges operate in Sierra Leone, could it not have been through Kabba’s influence as the leadership election was long gone?
Next was Dr Demby. Kabba continued promising to continue with him till 2007 even at the party’s convention in Bo only to dump him after the convention. The most glaring case of what I am talking about is Hinga Norman. Kabba after returning from Guinea started suspecting Hinga Norman of nursing leadership ambitions. Kabba wanted to get rid of him but how? The opportunity came when the UN started the idea of prosecuting people for war atrocities. When the name of Hinga Norman was raised, Kabba did not object as it would then appear as if he had no power to stop it. Hinga Norma was the only minister in Kabba’s cabinet then who sacrificed everything and left his colleagues in Conakry and went through Liberia to Pujehun to organize the kamajos. When Kabba came back to power this is the reward for Hinga Norman’s stewardship. How disgracefully ungrateful. Kabba should bow his head in shame. Where was Berewa?
Next was Charles Margai, the man who had been the boldest of the mendes, the man who never said ‘yecha yecha ndomabla’ which means yes sir, yes sir does not spoil the broth I would go ahead and do otherwise. Kabba has been using Charles’ fellow mendes to hit him real hard and to even expel him from the party. Not a single mendeman raised a voice. Kabba then brought in Berewa knowing full well that Berewa was never popular both within and without the party. This is a man who became S.L.P.P. three months before the convention in Bo just because Kabba promised him the running mate ticket. A man who demanded all his party dues back as he said he was not S.L.P.P. But at the same time Charles’ dues were declared by justice Bankole Raschid as donations Charles gave to the Party.
Behind Berewa now there is a pocession of guys from the north whose allegiance to the party is guided by their pockets and who are fighting each other for the running mate position. Kabba used the very mendes to levy a final blow to the S.L.P.P. leadership aspirations of Charles as the result of Makeni has shown.
What did Shaki achieve and what is Kabba achieving.
Shaki destroyed the presidential possibilities of the Temnes as a group that has resulted in power eluding them till date. At the end of Shaki’s rule, he bypassed S.I.Koroma, as most Sierra Leoneans then believed that Shaki was afraid S.I. would arrest him. History has repeated itself again. Kabba is afraid of Charles Margai that should Charles come to power he, Charles, would ‘disgrace’ him, hence he made sure he personally took charge of the leadership election in Makeni and we all know the result. The game plan is that the mendes would fight among themselves thereby weakening their grip over the S.L.P.p. and once that is done, the Mendes would be weakened for good just as the Temnes.
Now, the infighting has started just as Kabba has planned it and with Hinga Norman threatening to form his own party and Charles Margai is about to obey the call of the people to form a party, where will the S.L.P.P. be or what will happen to it? Another 1967?
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THIS WRITER IS HIS PERSONAL OPINION AND DOES NOT REFLECT COCORIOKO’S PERSPECTIVE ON THIS ISSUE