By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
The trepidation, the Da Vinci Code-like cliff-hanger suspense, and the best kept secret of the secrecy that surrounded the succession issue within the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) are now over. For the APC has now minted Dr Samura Kamara, the current Foreign Affairs Minister who has had stints with the Bretton Woods Institutions and the Commonwealth Secretariat, as the mascot to white-flag the party in next year’s presidential election.
But in today’s One Dropian dropping, I’m not going to write about how supporters were bussed; or taxied; or Okada-ed, and even Keke-ed to the northern city of Makeni where the APC, as a party, had converged for its National Delegates’ Conference last weekend. I’m not even going to write about the crowds, that to-ed and fro-ed Makeni and Freetown, which were only comparable to those that thronged the Siaka Stevens Stadium quite recently to listen to Mufti Menk’s inspirational Islamic lecture. And I will not comment on the Chinese-like crowds that greeted the triumphant entering into Freetown of President Koroma and his picks on Monday this week. I’m only going to One Drop-nize on something else.
And that “something else” will be the non-denial denial of Dr Samura Kamara by some supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). For them to even remotely make an inference that Dr Samura Kamara is unknown (Yu sabi am?) to the wider public, when he has been in the public service and international arena since 1972 when he graduated from Fourah Bay College (FBC), is not only disingenuous but shows that most SLPPers are still living in a phantasmagorical world.
And acceptance of realities is the first step to progress. But majority of SLPPers are always in denial even when reality consistently slaps them in their faces. It is only ‘Wonderlanders’ (is this another One Dropian dropped word?) like SLPPers that will infer that a man who served as Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance; a man who served as Finance Minister; a man who served as Bank Governor, and a man who is the current Foreign Affairs Minister is unknown.
I think in the dictionary of the SLPP, the synonym for well-known is “unknown”. Ops! I forgot that what the SLPP means by a well-known politician is a careered flagbearer with 23 years of unemployment experience as a hustler coupled with allegations of extra-judicial killings and wife-battering (you could add “bigamy” as an added advantage to that CV)! But I’m only surprised that most APCers are surprised at some SLPPers’ non-denial denial about Dr Samura Kamara being an egghead in both financial policies and management and international diplomacy. Being in constant denial has been a permanent feature of the SLPP since the September of 2007 to date. If the SLPP could still be denying that they lost the free and fair 2007 General Elections which they conducted themselves; if their now chequered flagbearer, Julius Maada Bio, is still denying that he woefully lost the 2012 Presidential Election, and if the hyper-depleted SLPP still believes that it has the numbers to win the next elections against the popular APC; then I will take it as the “New Normal” (to borrow the new phraseology of the American media) for the SLPP to deny the fact that the newly minted APC mascot, Dr Samura Kamara, is well-known (Yu sabi am?) in and out of Sierra Leone.
But I can’t fault fanatical SLPPers for seeing only what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. For it is written in the Bible, (Matthew 13:13) that, “seeing they see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” They have not been seeing the diplomatic feats of Dr Samura Kamara because they have programmed their eyes to be blinded towards anything that is not SLPP-nized. They have not been hearing, when the leadership of the APC was repeatedly saying that the APC would come out from its National Delegates’ Conference united, simply because they have been programming their ears to hear only what is being Maada Bio-nized. And neither do they understand why the APC should pair the young, dynamic and energetic current Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon Chernor Maju Bah (aka Chericoco), as running mate to Dr Kamara for next year’s polls.
And because most SLPPers have been wilfully playing the blind, the dumb and fanatical idiots; the selection and endorsement of Dr Samura Kamara, as the APC mascot for next year’s Presidential Election, have shocked them into the realisation that their SLPP is destined for another long political winter. And their only way to absorb such shock is to deny the undeniable reality about Dr Samura Kamara.
But what the SLPPers have always been feigning wilful ignorance of is the fact that the APC is very good at sloganeering. In 2007, when the SLPP coded their voting pattern as “IMATT”; the APC responded with “Wata Quay”. In 2012, when the SLPP parroted the “Father of Democracy” claptrap; the APC retorted with the football imagery of the “World’s Best”. And now, even before the echo of the SLPP’s “Yu sabi am?” hogwash could fade; the Abacha Streeters have responded with a clinical devastating retort: “Yes, wi sabi am [Dr Samura Kamara], nar virgin way nor dae tiff en kill lek da oda porsin!” Indeed the SLPP is, and has always been, in a state of non-denial denial.
And this non-denial denial antic by the SLPP of everything that is APCian is what has been making the APC, both as a party and government, to do more for the people of Sierra Leone and get some sympathies from most political fence-sitters. And when a man begins to have doubts on whether he is breathing and eating while he is still breathing and eating; then those around him should know that a knock at the psychiatrist’s door by that man’s kith and kin is imminent! Are the sticks-in-the-mud reading in-between-the-lines?
And if the SLPP decides to be seeing shadows even before the sun comes out; the APC is more than obliged to make SLPPers see shadows even when the moon is fast asleep. As I see it, accidental ignorance is not by choice but wilful ignorance is tragic. Hope you get my cryptic One Dropian meaning?