The Sierra Leonean people want to know the truth from the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ). First of all, the people want to know whether it is true that the SLPP had put everything in place for their controversial flagbearer Maada Bio to tour the United Kingdom and the United States , as being reported by some newspapers in Sierra Leone.
Let it be said that many Sierra Leoneans have nothing against such a tour as it is common knowledge that the wind of democracy is spreading throughout the country. Though it is certain that the tour will be used to continue perpetuating the SLPP’s campaign of lies, distortion and wicked propaganda against the Ernest Koroma Government ,Sierra Leoneans will always draw inspiration from the fact that political thinking patterns in the diaspora are sophisticated and advanced which makes the International Community and stakeholders not to be gullible, especially when they have their own people on the ground. The world knows about the impressive socio-economic and political developments in Sierra Leone under President Ernest Bai Koroma. They will therefore not be easily swayed by the SLPP propaganda, however well-orchestrated.
What is in fact of serious concern to Sierra Leoneans is the fact that the SLPP is not telling people the truth. At a time when the ruling government is engaged in the practice of the highest form of transparency and accountability by even taking the Open Government Initiative ( OGI ) to the doorsteps of Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora, it is disappointing to realize that the SLPP is not being open and truthful with the people as the APC . Suddenly, we are learning from the media that SLPP officials have disclosed that Maada Bio has been dropped from the SLPP tour of the UK and the U.S.
According to the EXCLUSIVE newspaper of Freetown, “The National Secretary General of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Suliaman Banja Tejan-Sie, has intimated this press that the party’s Presidential flagbearer Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio will not be part of the SLPP delegation that will be touring the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK).” The paper went on to say that “According to the SLPP Scribe, the exclusion of the Presidential flagbearer has nothing to do with several reported claims about his immigration status. The exact purpose for the Diaspora tour, according to lawyer Banja Tejan-Sie, will not be made public until the National Executive Council (NEC) of SLPP endorses the tour.”
This information, if true, is disturbing and worrying to Sierra Leoneans. Knowing the “Pa O Pa” (At all costs ) mentality of the SLPP Flagbearer Maada Bio , it is a fact that something must be going really wrong for him not to travel with his party to the UK/U.S. on what we believe is a Sensitization Tour. This is the kind of tour that Bio would give everything to attend. We can say for a fact that the SLPP Scribe, if quoted accurately, chose the right word when he said that Bio was dropped from the tour. The Verb ” Dropped ” does not denote a voluntary action on the part of Mr. Bio or the SLPP Executive . From a connotative point of view, it seems the SLPP Leader was forced out of the delegation by circumstances beyond both the control of the Presidential candidate and the party Executive. Will the SLPP be truthful and upfront with the Sierra Leonean people by telling them why Mr. Bio was dropped from the tour ? It is imperative that the people know the reason because Maada Bio is aspiring to be President of their country and whatever affects him now will affect the country if he achieves his goal .
Was Mr. Bio denied a visa ? Was he denied the opportunity to tour with UK and the U.S. by authorities of these countries ? The Sierra Leonean people want to know. The reason they want to know is that the answers carry a tremendous implication for the future of the nation. If the answers to these questions are in the affirmative, then the situation portends deep trouble for the country. Bio is not likely to win next year’s Presidential elections. President Ernest Koroma is hot favourite to claim a second term. However , lets assume for a moment that Bio does pull a surprise against the odds . Does it mean that Sierra Leone will have a President who will be barred from doing business with the U.K . and the U.S ? Will Sierra Leone have a President who will be a persona non grata abroad ? What will that mean for a nation that depends on the International Community and stakeholders for its sustenance as it strives valiantly to recover from a destructive war ? The answers are obvious: It will spell doom for the nation.
This is why we want the SLPP to be truthful with the Sierra Leonean people.
If it is true that the UK/U.S . have decided not to allow Mr. Bio into their country, it means that in the interest of the nation the SLPP will have to swallow their pride, eat humble pie and go back to Convention and re-elect a leader acceptable to the nation and the International Community. It may also mean that Sierra Leoneans are right after all that with his past record of extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses, Maada Bio may be carrying too much excess baggage to be a President accepted by the civilized world ( To the detriment of our country ) .
May be, the SLPP should have listened to the voice of reason after all.
But let the people of Sierra Leone know the truth first. Why is Maada Bio not coming to the UK and the U.S ?