By KABS KANU :
The Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) supporters are making a lot of noise and bandying threats to national security in the social media because Sierra Leoneans –Not President Ernest Koroma and the Government–are asking for the President to be given the opportunity to compensate for lost time, caused by the Ebola outbreak, to complete his flagship projects .
THE LATE PRESIDENT KABBAH : HE ENJOYED MORE TIME
MORE TIME is not a Third Term request for the Presidentand the noise-makers know this because President Koroma has made it unequivocally clear that he is not interested in and will not be seeking a third term .What the Sierra Leoneans are asking for is that, because the Ebola outbreak put the government behind in the implementation of the Agenda For Prosperity , the President be given the opportunity to make up for lost time. Some unofficial sources say that the Sierra Leoneans are suggesting that the elections be held in 2020, instead of 2018. This is not a government request at all and no official of government has expressed support for it in public.
Therefore , we will not comment on the wisdom of it or the lack thereof. However , the threats being dished out have compelled this newspaper to look at the issue with a view of asking whether all the anger over More Time by the SLPP is really justified . It has to be noted that this request for more time being made by some Sierra Leoneans, however outlandish it appears to the opposition, is not without precedence in Sierra Leone. And the very SLPP , as usual, started it all in Sierra Leone. In 200, the very SLPP , who had been in power since 1996 , requested MORE TIME as a result of the disruption caused by the Johnny Paul Koroma coup of 1997 which lasted a year before it was overturned. As a result of the request by the SLPP, the Presidential Elections , which were supposed to have been held in 2001 , were postponed to 2002. The SLPP Government requested and was given more time.
Therefore, the reaction of the SLPP and dissident elements is obnoxious and suspect . They talk of MORE TIME as a completely new trick designed by the APC for overstaying in power . They oppose it with such vehement force that they give the impression that MORE TIME has never been requested before in Sierra Leone and that it is a complete unknown, nebulous, undemocratic and dangerous ploy that is inimical to national peace and security . HAVE THE SLPP FORGOTTEN THAT MORE TIME was introduced by them in Sierra Leone in 2000 ? LET US FORGET FOR ONE MOMENT THE DIFFERENCES IN THE REASONS AND THE OPINIONS ABOUT WHOSE CASE IS STRONGER . THE FACT IS THAT MORE TIME IS NOT A NEW THING IN SIERRA LEONE. THE FACT IS THAT THE SLPP REQUESTED MORE TIME IN 2000 AND GOT IT. SO, WHY ALL THE DANGEROUS THREATS NOW BEING BANDIED BY SLPP SUPPORTERS ? IS WHAT IS SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE NOT SAUCE FOR THE GANDER ?
The thrust of this editorial is not whether Sierra Leoneans are justified to call for MORE TIME. That will come later. What is of interest here is why are SLPP supporters now talking as if a completely new and alien fiat is being perpetuated on the nation by those requesting MORE TIME. ? Was it not something that the SLPP too requested in 2000 and were granted by the nation , pushing the elections forward by one-and-the-half years ? Let it be stressed here that more time is not being demanded by just APC supporters. Non- supporters of the party in Bo, Kenema, Kailahun ( SLPP strongholds ) demanded the same when President Koroma paid official visits.
What we want to highlight here is the hypocrisy of the SLPP, not a justification for more time . The SLPP have since Independence conducted politics from the platform of hypocrisy . If we look at the history of Sierra Leone, the SLPP introduced everything that has been wrong with Sierra Leone politics. Curiously, while they were doing it, it sounded grand and the in-thing . They found every reason to justify what they were doing. At the time, there was nothing wrong with it. However, once the scenerio changed and the APC or Sierra Leoneans did the same, the acts suddenly became the most diabolical, the most horrendous and the most despicable, deserving of threats to disturb the peace of the nation. Why are the SLPP and some dissident elements so hypocritical ?
WE WANT AN ANSWER FROM SIERRA LEONEANS WHO CAN BE HONEST.
BELOW ARE THE MANY THINGS INTRODUCED IN SIERRA LEONE BY THE SLPP. WHY WERE THESE THINGS NOT WRONG AT THE TIME ? WHY DID THEY BECOME WRONG ONLY WHEN THE SLPP ‘S INTERESTS WERE AFFECTED ?
1. NEPOTISM AND TURNING GOVERNMENT INTO FAMILY BUSINESS.
Also, when the British Brigadier Blackie left in 1965, Sir Albert made sure that he was replaced by his brother-in-law Brigadier David Lansana Most of the key political posts were given to his tribesmen or regional brothers. The creoles and Northerners were removed from their posts and replaced by Sir Albert’s tribesmen.
2. SLPP FIRST INTRODUCED THE IDEA OF A ONE-PARTY STATE IN SIERRA LEONE IN 1965-66.
3. SLPP STARTED UNOPPOSED POLITICS IN SIERRA LEONE
4. SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO INTRODUCE THUGGERY IN SIERRA LEONE’S ELECTIONS.
5. SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO TRY TO RIG AN ELECTION IN SIERRA LEONE
6. SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO INTRODUCE THE ARMY INTO SIERRA LEONE POLITICS.
7. SLPP were first to use the PORRO DEVIL AS AN INSTRUMENT OF POLITICAL INTIMIDATION AND OPPRESSION.
8. SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO INTRODUCE BUSH WAR IN SIERRA LEONE–The Ndorgborwusui bush war in Pujehun in 1982-83
9 SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO USE A TRIBAL MILITIA IN SIERRA LEONE
10. SLPP WERE THE FRST TO BRING MERCENARIES TO SIERRA LEONE TO RESTORE THE GOVERNMENT
11. SLPP WERE THE FIRST TO ASK FOR MORE TIME.