SLPP sleep-walking into abysmal darkness

TEJANKABBAH2

PRESIDENT TEJAN KABBAH

SLPP SLEEP WALKING INTO ABYSMAL DARKNESSFriday September 2, 2005
 By JOKO LAHAI

Up till Monday 15 August 2005, the whole nation and every Sierra Leonean in the universe (dead and alive) breathlessly awaited the end of the long and agonising saga of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) leadership race at the Party’s National Convention, scheduled for the 19th and 20th of August in Makeni. Now that Chief Hinga Norman’s injunction has fortunately or unfortunately caused a twist in the tale, it appears we all have to very patiently wait a little longer; but for how long? Only President Kabbah, his cronies and the Old Guards who are bent on pressing the SLPP ‘s Self Destruct Button will tell.

Bottom of Form

 

 

Nevertheless, it has been a long and exciting period of campaigning in and around the country and even beyond  England and America. How sweet the way SLPP politics have captivated the imagination of the country, demonstrating a well-established power and love for the party. On the other hand, this could also be a potent illustration that Sierra Leoneans the world over do care who becomes the next president of the country since being the elected leader of the party could mean a ticket to the presidency.

 

 

We may be wrong about that but as wrong or correct as we may be, one thing is very clear in this whole episode of political machinations. What is clear is that both ordinary Sierra Leoneans (party members and non party members alike) want to have the opportunity to freely play a role in determining who their next leader should be after the abysmal performance of President Kabbah. It seems people have learnt from their bitter experiences the consequences of simply accepting a candidate by just good will and no proof of substance as was in the case of the current president. It seems that the country is now awoken to, and prepared to exercise their reasoning power of scrutiny and accountability through a dynamic participatory democratic process.

 

 

And what will all of this mean? If our reasoning is correct, many will agree with us that this means Mr Solomon Berewa is in trouble. A good and strong Vice President of a country should, under normal circumstance, have no such problems as VP Berewa is facing to ascending to the throne. So, if the frail old man Berewa is facing such strong resistance, the question is why? Is something wrong with him or is it just that the country is now attuned to the principle of change? Or, maybe, that the SLPP hierarchy have still not learnt their lesson and still living in the past? Or is it that perhaps, they have the telescope in the blind eye?

 

 

We will start from where we believe this whole leadership contest actually got on to us by critically examining the whole process that got us to where we are today.

 

 

It was about half past five in the evening of July 9th, in London, when a phone call came in from Freetown informing us that the Sierra Leone Peoples�?? Party (SLPP) National Executive Committee (NEC) have cast the dice. It has reached a decision to elect the party�??s leadership officers including the successor to president Kabbah at the party convention on the 19th or 20th of August, 2005 in Makeni.

 

 

This news could not have come at a more appropriate time since we were in a political meeting discussing the politics of Sierra Leone, to be more precise, the SLPP leadership. Plans for the convention wherein officers of the party would be elected was common knowledge but to elect the president�??s successor was the real news because it was unexpected though not a surprise.

 

 

Unexpected because all initial talks and plans indicated the leadership election was to be at the national convention early next year, but not a surprise because history tells us that unscrupulous and desperate politicians in position of influence who see themselves as vulnerable, lacking in confidence and disadvantaged with regard to retaining their positions will always try one or two tricks. Is this the case with the SLPP NEC? Or is this another political gimmick? Or is it just a way of stating who is in the driving seat? Or perhaps, it is simply a different and better way of doing politics. These are the issues which should be examined in a highly hypothetical and robust way, and juxtaposition the situation into which SLPP has lead itself.

 

 

Be it as it may, it appears the SLPP is sleep walking into a trap and could potentially find itself (the whole party machinery and membership) entangled in a complicated, complex and prolonged political web which will certainly create a situation wherein the National Executive Committee of the party and delegates to a convention would elect the leader of the party, hence the presidential nominee that may not be the preferred choice of the majority of the party faithful; thus risking chaos within and splitting support which could have unintended consequences on the entire party come the general and presidential elections in 2007. All indicators today show that we are heading towards that direction.

 

 

However, we are where we are and there is no hesitation to say that a significant and  potent cross section of the party membership, especially in the Diaspora, is highly suspicious and cynically sceptical about why the decision to elect the presidential candidate on August 19 or 20. Remember, Charles Margai and J B Dauda questioned this decision at a NEC meeting but other members failed to listen. Why? Were other NEC members so determined to rig and satisfy themselves that they gave a blind eye to the negative impact such a decision would have on the credibility of the party? The party has got legal advisers and where were they? It is unimaginable they could not work out the legal implications of that decision. Or, were they all just part of an ill thought, badly planned and reckless plot which they hoped no one would notice, pick up or even have the guts to challenge? How wrong, myopic and complacent can you be? How long can we wait for justice to be done for the SLPP and the people of Sierra Leone?

 

 

 

The past weeks and months have been pre-dominated with declarations by candidates for the top job, political relays and campaigns, manipulations and manoeuvrings, accusations and counter accusations of dirty tricks, dubious deals and spins. In short, the political temperature within the SLPP had been boiling hot and vibrant, surrounded by audacious moods characterised by poignant smells of foul play.

 

 

Who was then responsible for the sudden change of mind within the SLPP? Whose idea was it that election for presidential candidate came sooner rather than later and why? Well, the answer is simple as you will soon find out when we examine the dynamics of the campaign and how the leading contenders have conducted themselves so far, taking into consideration their stake and influence in the whole process. What is certain is that such ideas are usually proposed by an old codger on the way out and supported by an oily young person on the way up.

 

 

Vice President Berewa and Charles Margai have all along been core contenders in the forefront of the whole political debate as to who would or is likely to succeed President Kabbah. Many would have observed that all indicators have been showing an apparent, if not obvious, lead by Charles Margai over VP Berewa. This has not only put VP Berewa under constant pressure, but has also kept him very worried, anxious, confused and on the run. Unlike Charles Margai, some of Berewa�??s unplanned trips up country, clandestine meetings with Sierra Leoneans in America, some of his outrageous campaign statements and his most recent abysmal encounter with the SLPP UK and Ireland branch combined with his desperate desire (which knows no bounds) to succeed President Kabbah says it all.

 

 

So, considering the above, did VP Berewa have anything to do with the decision of the SLPP to bring the election for leader of the party forward? And did he have any role to play in the disgraceful and undemocratic attempt to stifle Charles Margai�??s rightful place on the party�??s National Executive Committee? All signs and evidences seem to be pointing towards that notion and many observers will tell you that VP Berewa has a lot to do with everything and anything that will get Charles Margai out of his way at any cost; and that Berewa would go to any extent to secure his ascendant to the throne. If this is the case, party members and indeed the rest of the country are bound to be worried and sceptical about such unscrupulous practices in disregard of openness, democracy, fairness, transparency, accountability and equality of opportunities within the SLPP.

 

 

It may very well be that VP Berewa will win the leadership contest of the SLPP by some dubious means. The only reason why the election for leader was brought forward is because that is VP Berewa�??s strategic move to, as early as possible, stop power slipping from under his feet. It is clear that VP Berewa has been loosing grounds, and loosing it very fast. Charles Margai�??s ferocious and high-powered campaign across the country and in the Diaspora seems to have offset Berewa�??s passionate egoism. It was therefore Berewa�??s only hope that an early election will prevent him loosing more grounds. Sadly enough, the party has succumbed to that unscrupulous Berewa strategy which, whether Berewa wins or loses, but more so if he wins, may inevitably have severe consequences on the whole democratic system and process on the country in general and on the party in particular.

 

 

The thought of VP Berewa succeeding President Kabbah with the sole purpose of carrying out the president�??s agenda is unfortunate and nothing but a nightmare and indeed very scary. The country has gone past that stage to allow such to happen to us in this 21st Century. It would be a huge error of judgement and an unforgivable mistake for Sierra Leoneans to allow this to happen.

 

Below are solid reasons why VP Berewa MUST not be allowed to become the next president of our Sierra Leone.

 

�?? He has nothing new to offer and void of ideas,
�?? He is very frail and a health risk to our economy and political system,
�?? He is incapable of arresting corruption for obvious reasons,
�?? He has no credibility and respect in the eyes of the international community, also for obvious reasons,
�?? The need to break the vicious circle of the old guards,
�?? The need for a more dynamic and visionary leadership in Sierra Leone,
�?? To create a window of opportunity for others,
�?? He is a security risk to the nation and the state,
�?? The possibility of SLPP losing the presidency,
�?? His popularity within the party and the country is dangerously low,
�?? Sierra Leone will move many years backwards.

 

No one has to remind us that it is the moral responsibility of every citizen of Sierra Leone to make sure the country does not again, never again, go down its profound shameful, painful and dark past. NEC members of the SLPP have certainly not lost their wits yet and so is the rest of the country not suffering from psychogenic amnesia. So, we have something to prove �?” to demonstrate that we are all for a progressive Sierra Leone, a country that can embark on reforms, squarely face up to the extreme challenges and be united in our effort to making a difference. We have to demonstrate that we are fed up with the present corrupt system, which is beyond redemption, and that the status quo must change with immediate effect. Those of us who are genuine members of the SLPP appreciate the need for this change and are grateful that the nation has faith in our party. For this reason we are trying to put our foot down and eliminate these corrupt elements from within our party so we can deliver and serve our nation. We will only have ourselves to blame if we do not act now as we have been presented, in this case, with the biggest unique opportunity ever to determine the political path of our country. The choice now is ours �?” to do nothing and allow the country to continue to rot (which is definitely not an option) or to redeem ourselves from a potential demonic and good for nothing administration to be lead by VP Berewa.

 

For far too long our leaders have taken us for granted and for a ride and far too long we have encouraged them to take liberty over our lives. It is now time to say enough is enough, make them listen to our concerns and take into account our wishes and aspirations. After all, we are the voters and we have the power to vote them in or out. This is a wake up call for everyone so it is time we rise and make our voices heard. If we care for our country, our children and generations yet to come then we must act now or our children will never forgive us for letting them down.

 

These are anxious and trying times for the country and its citizens. Sierra Leone at the moment is in desperate need for a redeemer who can take us out of our misery and the onus is on the SLPP NEC members and delegates to give us the right person. The unquestionable support and love for the SLPP across the country puts the party in a vantage point and we expect them to deliver to us what we want, as long as it is not VP Berewa because the country deserves better. SLPP is our party and we will always be loyal to it. But this does not mean a blind or sycophantic loyalty. As members of the party, it is our duty to question and scrutinise the performance, policies and decisions of the party leadership. We owe it to the supporters and the citizens of Sierra Leone to do just that. We want to see our party at the centre of positive changes, making a difference in people�??s quality of life and ensuring the party stays in power by delivering the goods through good governance and best practice. The SLPP is a solid embodiment of a many virtues with regard to Sierra Leone politics. Our pride must be demonstrated in what we do in terms of practising and preaching our beliefs and conviction, in our capacity to produce a president stronger in conviction, mightier in battle and victorious at the end.

 

It is a very sad story that is about to be unfolded before our eyes if we are not careful. Amazing what VP Berewa says when confronted with issues on matters of policy. All he says is that he wants to continue the policies of President Kabbah and that they are giving the lead. Giving the lead to where? The lead back to anarchy, back to chaos, back to corruption and total destruction. As far as we are concern, President Kabbah has three main policies which are CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION AND CORRUPTION. Kabbah�??s policies are a policy of bankruptcy and despair. Berewa may not be clear in his mind about how he, as an individual, intends to lead the nation but we want to say and tell our party faithful and the rest of the country that a lead based on Kabbah�??s three main policies is not the lead we want. We want a president that has an agenda we can disagree to agree on, a programme that will address the needs of the country and not the failed policies of president Kabbah. We believe that by not presenting an alternative policy, Berewa is showing gross disregard for the people of Sierra Leone and taking us for granted. It shows he has nothing new to offer and that he has completely ran out of steam. How wrong can you and your supporters be about the people of this country Mr VP Berewa? You have sat there long enough Mr Berewa; you have offered nothing and have nothing to offer. In God�??s name, go. And for President Kabbah, the country�??s ultimate statesman, to engage himself in electioneering for Mr Berewa in the way he has done is just evident of his consistent bad judgement. This is not statesmanship, this is emotional spasm.

 

Sooner or later, behind the façade of political controversies, the SLPP will have to face a simple choice �?” to elect Mr Berewa (if he survives the race till then) or Mr Margai.   What delegates and the rest of the country should remember is that the fogs of political controversy can obscure many issues. We must be bold enough, in the interest of our country rather than the party or the individual, to accept that our government for far too long has pretended not to see what it does not like. In the words of Joe Grimond, it has put the telescope to the blind eye. It has put the telescope to the blind eye so that it can say there is no enemy in sight. But fellow party members, country men and women, brothers and sisters, there are enemies, there are tough decisions to be made and there is passion to be generated. The enemy is wrong values and complacency, inertia – inertia in the face incompetence, corruption and injustice. These are the enemies we face. Other nations have built their institutions under the hard discipline of a strong and democratic leadership. It is time for us to show that the SLPP, as a party, can do this as free people and without prejudice.

 

We may be members of the Charles Margai Campaign Group in the United Kingdom but we are open to all forms of objectivity and rational thinking. In this respect, we want to point out that this leadership election is not so much about Charles Margai. It is about CHANGE (change that is necessary to bring our country back on its feet, change that will make us all proud once again to be Sierra Leoneans) and SUBSTANCE (substance in wealth of ideas, vision, conviction and principles). We refuse to believe that the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans really want to be dragged back into the same old system. It is our fervent belief and understanding that people want to move on to make life better for themselves and the country a better and safer place to live in. Sierra Leone deserves a leadership; a leadership that will improve quality of life, provide more and better opportunities for all and a leadership that will make the nation be at peace with itself and its people. We strongly believe that these could only be achieved through a dynamic, visionary and conviction politician like Charles F Margai. This being the crux of the matter, we urge delegates, when the time comes, to go into the convention to vote not with their feet or what personal benefits they stand to gain, but with their hearts and love for the nation and the party. This is an appeal and we hope people will listen for the world is watching. We can prove that as free citizens of a free and democratic nation, by our own power we can change the system and the status quo.

 

Some of you may not seem to be clear in your minds about what you want but we can tell you that many of us are no longer prepared to act as time servers and we will tell you why. Because we are people of conscience and honour, we are experience people with an unquestionable love for our country and party. There are many people who share our conviction and who will not, over night, become fellow travellers some other people are. In an few weeks or months delegates would be called again to vote for our new leader of the party hence presidential nominee. The result may do this party a grave blow but it is possible to prevent this. There are some of us, I think many of us, who will not accept that this blow need to be more. And there are also many of us who will fight and fight and fight again until we save the country and party we love.

 

It may very well be that Mr Margai will come out victorious, which would be excellent for the country and for the party. But remember, if Berewa wins he will only be a leader of the SLPP and not the president of Sierra Leone. And if unfortunately Mr Berewa becomes the leader and president, then we warn you all not to be ordinary, we warn you not to get old, we warn you not to fall ill, we warn you not to be educated, we warn you not to be young, we warn you not to be a mother, and we warn the last person to brace him/herself to live in perpetual darkness.

 

May God bless and guide Sierra Leone and the SLPP.
May God bless and protect Charles Margai, his family and his army of supporters.

 

FROM THE CHARLES F. MARGAI CAMPAIGN GROUP IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

 

 

Top of Form

Up till Monday 15 August 2005, the whole nation and every Sierra Leonean in the universe (dead and alive) breathlessly awaited the end of the long and agonising saga of the Sierra Leone Peoples�?? Party (SLPP) leadership race at the Party’s National Convention, scheduled for the 19th and 20th of August in Makeni. Now that Chief Hinga Norman’s injunction has fortunately or unfortunately caused a twist in the tale, it appears we all have to very patiently wait a little longer; but for how long? Only President Kabbah, his cronies and the Old Guards who are bent on pressing the SLPP ‘s Self Destruct Button will tell.

Bottom of Form

 

 

Nevertheless, it has been a long and exciting period of campaigning in and around the country and even beyond  England and America. How sweet the way SLPP politics have captivated the imagination of the country, demonstrating a well-established power and love for the party. On the other hand, this could also be a potent illustration that Sierra Leoneans the world over do care who becomes the next president of the country since being the elected leader of the party could mean a ticket to the presidency.

 

 

We may be wrong about that but as wrong or correct as we may be, one thing is very clear in this whole episode of political machinations. What is clear is that both ordinary Sierra Leoneans (party members and non party members alike) want to have the opportunity to freely play a role in determining who their next leader should be after the abysmal performance of President Kabbah. It seems people have learnt from their bitter experiences the consequences of simply accepting a candidate by just good will and no proof of substance as was in the case of the current president. It seems that the country is now awoken to, and prepared to exercise their reasoning power of scrutiny and accountability through a dynamic participatory democratic process.

 

 

And what will all of this mean? If our reasoning is correct, many will agree with us that this means Mr Solomon Berewa is in trouble. A good and strong Vice President of a country should, under normal circumstance, have no such problems as VP Berewa is facing to ascending to the throne. So, if the frail old man Berewa is facing such strong resistance, the question is why? Is something wrong with him or is it just that the country is now attuned to the principle of change? Or, maybe, that the SLPP hierarchy have still not learnt their lesson and still living in the past? Or is it that perhaps, they have the telescope in the blind eye?

 

 

We will start from where we believe this whole leadership contest actually got on to us by critically examining the whole process that got us to where we are today.

 

 

It was about half past five in the evening of July 9th, in London, when a phone call came in from Freetown informing us that the Sierra Leone Peoples�?? Party (SLPP) National Executive Committee (NEC) have cast the dice. It has reached a decision to elect the party�??s leadership officers including the successor to president Kabbah at the party convention on the 19th or 20th of August, 2005 in Makeni.

 

 

This news could not have come at a more appropriate time since we were in a political meeting discussing the politics of Sierra Leone, to be more precise, the SLPP leadership. Plans for the convention wherein officers of the party would be elected was common knowledge but to elect the president�??s successor was the real news because it was unexpected though not a surprise.

 

 

Unexpected because all initial talks and plans indicated the leadership election was to be at the national convention early next year, but not a surprise because history tells us that unscrupulous and desperate politicians in position of influence who see themselves as vulnerable, lacking in confidence and disadvantaged with regard to retaining their positions will always try one or two tricks. Is this the case with the SLPP NEC? Or is this another political gimmick? Or is it just a way of stating who is in the driving seat? Or perhaps, it is simply a different and better way of doing politics. These are the issues which should be examined in a highly hypothetical and robust way, and juxtaposition the situation into which SLPP has lead itself.

 

 

Be it as it may, it appears the SLPP is sleep walking into a trap and could potentially find itself (the whole party machinery and membership) entangled in a complicated, complex and prolonged political web which will certainly create a situation wherein the National Executive Committee of the party and delegates to a convention would elect the leader of the party, hence the presidential nominee that may not be the preferred choice of the majority of the party faithful; thus risking chaos within and splitting support which could have unintended consequences on the entire party come the general and presidential elections in 2007. All indicators today show that we are heading towards that direction.

 

 

However, we are where we are and there is no hesitation to say that a significant and  potent cross section of the party membership, especially in the Diaspora, is highly suspicious and cynically sceptical about why the decision to elect the presidential candidate on August 19 or 20. Remember, Charles Margai and J B Dauda questioned this decision at a NEC meeting but other members failed to listen. Why? Were other NEC members so determined to rig and satisfy themselves that they gave a blind eye to the negative impact such a decision would have on the credibility of the party? The party has got legal advisers and where were they? It is unimaginable they could not work out the legal implications of that decision. Or, were they all just part of an ill thought, badly planned and reckless plot which they hoped no one would notice, pick up or even have the guts to challenge? How wrong, myopic and complacent can you be? How long can we wait for justice to be done for the SLPP and the people of Sierra Leone?

 

 

 

The past weeks and months have been pre-dominated with declarations by candidates for the top job, political relays and campaigns, manipulations and manoeuvrings, accusations and counter accusations of dirty tricks, dubious deals and spins. In short, the political temperature within the SLPP had been boiling hot and vibrant, surrounded by audacious moods characterised by poignant smells of foul play.

 

 

Who was then responsible for the sudden change of mind within the SLPP? Whose idea was it that election for presidential candidate came sooner rather than later and why? Well, the answer is simple as you will soon find out when we examine the dynamics of the campaign and how the leading contenders have conducted themselves so far, taking into consideration their stake and influence in the whole process. What is certain is that such ideas are usually proposed by an old codger on the way out and supported by an oily young person on the way up.

 

 

Vice President Berewa and Charles Margai have all along been core contenders in the forefront of the whole political debate as to who would or is likely to succeed President Kabbah. Many would have observed that all indicators have been showing an apparent, if not obvious, lead by Charles Margai over VP Berewa. This has not only put VP Berewa under constant pressure, but has also kept him very worried, anxious, confused and on the run. Unlike Charles Margai, some of Berewa�??s unplanned trips up country, clandestine meetings with Sierra Leoneans in America, some of his outrageous campaign statements and his most recent abysmal encounter with the SLPP UK and Ireland branch combined with his desperate desire (which knows no bounds) to succeed President Kabbah says it all.

 

 

So, considering the above, did VP Berewa have anything to do with the decision of the SLPP to bring the election for leader of the party forward? And did he have any role to play in the disgraceful and undemocratic attempt to stifle Charles Margai�??s rightful place on the party�??s National Executive Committee? All signs and evidences seem to be pointing towards that notion and many observers will tell you that VP Berewa has a lot to do with everything and anything that will get Charles Margai out of his way at any cost; and that Berewa would go to any extent to secure his ascendant to the throne. If this is the case, party members and indeed the rest of the country are bound to be worried and sceptical about such unscrupulous practices in disregard of openness, democracy, fairness, transparency, accountability and equality of opportunities within the SLPP.

 

 

It may very well be that VP Berewa will win the leadership contest of the SLPP by some dubious means. The only reason why the election for leader was brought forward is because that is VP Berewa�??s strategic move to, as early as possible, stop power slipping from under his feet. It is clear that VP Berewa has been loosing grounds, and loosing it very fast. Charles Margai�??s ferocious and high-powered campaign across the country and in the Diaspora seems to have offset Berewa�??s passionate egoism. It was therefore Berewa�??s only hope that an early election will prevent him loosing more grounds. Sadly enough, the party has succumbed to that unscrupulous Berewa strategy which, whether Berewa wins or loses, but more so if he wins, may inevitably have severe consequences on the whole democratic system and process on the country in general and on the party in particular.

 

 

The thought of VP Berewa succeeding President Kabbah with the sole purpose of carrying out the president�??s agenda is unfortunate and nothing but a nightmare and indeed very scary. The country has gone past that stage to allow such to happen to us in this 21st Century. It would be a huge error of judgement and an unforgivable mistake for Sierra Leoneans to allow this to happen.

 

Below are solid reasons why VP Berewa MUST not be allowed to become the next president of our Sierra Leone.

 

�?? He has nothing new to offer and void of ideas,
�?? He is very frail and a health risk to our economy and political system,
�?? He is incapable of arresting corruption for obvious reasons,
�?? He has no credibility and respect in the eyes of the international community, also for obvious reasons,
�?? The need to break the vicious circle of the old guards,
�?? The need for a more dynamic and visionary leadership in Sierra Leone,
�?? To create a window of opportunity for others,
�?? He is a security risk to the nation and the state,
�?? The possibility of SLPP losing the presidency,
�?? His popularity within the party and the country is dangerously low,
�?? Sierra Leone will move many years backwards.

 

No one has to remind us that it is the moral responsibility of every citizen of Sierra Leone to make sure the country does not again, never again, go down its profound shameful, painful and dark past. NEC members of the SLPP have certainly not lost their wits yet and so is the rest of the country not suffering from psychogenic amnesia. So, we have something to prove �?” to demonstrate that we are all for a progressive Sierra Leone, a country that can embark on reforms, squarely face up to the extreme challenges and be united in our effort to making a difference. We have to demonstrate that we are fed up with the present corrupt system, which is beyond redemption, and that the status quo must change with immediate effect. Those of us who are genuine members of the SLPP appreciate the need for this change and are grateful that the nation has faith in our party. For this reason we are trying to put our foot down and eliminate these corrupt elements from within our party so we can deliver and serve our nation. We will only have ourselves to blame if we do not act now as we have been presented, in this case, with the biggest unique opportunity ever to determine the political path of our country. The choice now is ours �?” to do nothing and allow the country to continue to rot (which is definitely not an option) or to redeem ourselves from a potential demonic and good for nothing administration to be lead by VP Berewa.

 

For far too long our leaders have taken us for granted and for a ride and far too long we have encouraged them to take liberty over our lives. It is now time to say enough is enough, make them listen to our concerns and take into account our wishes and aspirations. After all, we are the voters and we have the power to vote them in or out. This is a wake up call for everyone so it is time we rise and make our voices heard. If we care for our country, our children and generations yet to come then we must act now or our children will never forgive us for letting them down.

 

These are anxious and trying times for the country and its citizens. Sierra Leone at the moment is in desperate need for a redeemer who can take us out of our misery and the onus is on the SLPP NEC members and delegates to give us the right person. The unquestionable support and love for the SLPP across the country puts the party in a vantage point and we expect them to deliver to us what we want, as long as it is not VP Berewa because the country deserves better. SLPP is our party and we will always be loyal to it. But this does not mean a blind or sycophantic loyalty. As members of the party, it is our duty to question and scrutinise the performance, policies and decisions of the party leadership. We owe it to the supporters and the citizens of Sierra Leone to do just that. We want to see our party at the centre of positive changes, making a difference in people�??s quality of life and ensuring the party stays in power by delivering the goods through good governance and best practice. The SLPP is a solid embodiment of a many virtues with regard to Sierra Leone politics. Our pride must be demonstrated in what we do in terms of practising and preaching our beliefs and conviction, in our capacity to produce a president stronger in conviction, mightier in battle and victorious at the end.

 

It is a very sad story that is about to be unfolded before our eyes if we are not careful. Amazing what VP Berewa says when confronted with issues on matters of policy. All he says is that he wants to continue the policies of President Kabbah and that they are giving the lead. Giving the lead to where? The lead back to anarchy, back to chaos, back to corruption and total destruction. As far as we are concern, President Kabbah has three main policies which are CORRUPTION, CORRUPTION AND CORRUPTION. Kabbah�??s policies are a policy of bankruptcy and despair. Berewa may not be clear in his mind about how he, as an individual, intends to lead the nation but we want to say and tell our party faithful and the rest of the country that a lead based on Kabbah�??s three main policies is not the lead we want. We want a president that has an agenda we can disagree to agree on, a programme that will address the needs of the country and not the failed policies of president Kabbah. We believe that by not presenting an alternative policy, Berewa is showing gross disregard for the people of Sierra Leone and taking us for granted. It shows he has nothing new to offer and that he has completely ran out of steam. How wrong can you and your supporters be about the people of this country Mr VP Berewa? You have sat there long enough Mr Berewa; you have offered nothing and have nothing to offer. In God�??s name, go. And for President Kabbah, the country�??s ultimate statesman, to engage himself in electioneering for Mr Berewa in the way he has done is just evident of his consistent bad judgement. This is not statesmanship, this is emotional spasm.

 

Sooner or later, behind the façade of political controversies, the SLPP will have to face a simple choice �?” to elect Mr Berewa (if he survives the race till then) or Mr Margai.   What delegates and the rest of the country should remember is that the fogs of political controversy can obscure many issues. We must be bold enough, in the interest of our country rather than the party or the individual, to accept that our government for far too long has pretended not to see what it does not like. In the words of Joe Grimond, it has put the telescope to the blind eye. It has put the telescope to the blind eye so that it can say there is no enemy in sight. But fellow party members, country men and women, brothers and sisters, there are enemies, there are tough decisions to be made and there is passion to be generated. The enemy is wrong values and complacency, inertia – inertia in the face incompetence, corruption and injustice. These are the enemies we face. Other nations have built their institutions under the hard discipline of a strong and democratic leadership. It is time for us to show that the SLPP, as a party, can do this as free people and without prejudice.

 

We may be members of the Charles Margai Campaign Group in the United Kingdom but we are open to all forms of objectivity and rational thinking. In this respect, we want to point out that this leadership election is not so much about Charles Margai. It is about CHANGE (change that is necessary to bring our country back on its feet, change that will make us all proud once again to be Sierra Leoneans) and SUBSTANCE (substance in wealth of ideas, vision, conviction and principles). We refuse to believe that the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans really want to be dragged back into the same old system. It is our fervent belief and understanding that people want to move on to make life better for themselves and the country a better and safer place to live in. Sierra Leone deserves a leadership; a leadership that will improve quality of life, provide more and better opportunities for all and a leadership that will make the nation be at peace with itself and its people. We strongly believe that these could only be achieved through a dynamic, visionary and conviction politician like Charles F Margai. This being the crux of the matter, we urge delegates, when the time comes, to go into the convention to vote not with their feet or what personal benefits they stand to gain, but with their hearts and love for the nation and the party. This is an appeal and we hope people will listen for the world is watching. We can prove that as free citizens of a free and democratic nation, by our own power we can change the system and the status quo.

 

Some of you may not seem to be clear in your minds about what you want but we can tell you that many of us are no longer prepared to act as time servers and we will tell you why. Because we are people of conscience and honour, we are experience people with an unquestionable love for our country and party. There are many people who share our conviction and who will not, over night, become fellow travellers some other people are. In an few weeks or months delegates would be called again to vote for our new leader of the party hence presidential nominee. The result may do this party a grave blow but it is possible to prevent this. There are some of us, I think many of us, who will not accept that this blow need to be more. And there are also many of us who will fight and fight and fight again until we save the country and party we love.

 

It may very well be that Mr Margai will come out victorious, which would be excellent for the country and for the party. But remember, if Berewa wins he will only be a leader of the SLPP and not the president of Sierra Leone. And if unfortunately Mr Berewa becomes the leader and president, then we warn you all not to be ordinary, we warn you not to get old, we warn you not to fall ill, we warn you not to be educated, we warn you not to be young, we warn you not to be a mother, and we warn the last person to brace him/herself to live in perpetual darkness.

 

May God bless and guide Sierra Leone and the SLPP.
May God bless and protect Charles Margai, his family and his army of supporters.

 

FROM THE CHARLES F. MARGAI CAMPAIGN GROUP IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

 

 

 

 

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