By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop) :
The decisive decision taken by President Ernest Bai Koroma to sack the now former Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana last Wednesday, whether constitutional or not, could be described as one of the typical Robert Greene-ian “48 Laws of Power”.
According to Robert Greene, “Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter” (“The 48 Laws of Power”). That’s very true of how Mr Sumana was treated and should be treated. And would be treated in the future should he rear his political head again whenever the Rising Sun rises!
And one shouldn’t be surprised at such a treatment because it is not only APC-ian in its modus operandi but shows the reality of how real politics works. That’s the true spirit of Niccolo Machiavelli because, “politics have no relation to morals”. And those who are still trying to moralise the sacking of the former Vice President could send in their applications to Fourah Bay College (FBC) or the Theological College at Wesley Street in Freetown for the position of Ethics Lecturer. But, in politics just as in love, all is fair!
So with the ex-Vice President now being struck off from both the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and the current administration; he is now party-less and plays the fabled king without a Kingdom. And because he is now a sort of “driftwood” (to quote the South African poet Denis Brutus); he has left his supporters and sympathizers leaderless just like the Greene-ian struck shepherd. The dreamer of the “Sam Sumana For President 2017” has been slain (in the figurative and political senses, please) and the dream is now formless. Even Mr Sumana’s filing of legal papers at the Supreme Court, challenging his sacking as “unconstitutional”, could be described as a lame duck attempt at bravado.
And for those now talking about “unconstitutionality” in the sacking of Mr Sumana? What they are feigning ignorance of is the fact that the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone is not a one plus one document. It is, like all constitutions the world over, subject to several interpretations in which every interpretation could make sense and be valid. Also if the holy Bible, which some fanatics believe the Almighty God used his forefinger and penned down, could be subject to a million-and-one interpretations; then what about the 1991 Constitution that was written by fallible men?
And if one should do a case study of a political party in Sierra Leone that has repeatedly flouted or bastardized the 1991 Constitution; then the SLPP will definitely breast gold, silver, and bronze medals in a single race (others will just go for “consolation prizes”). Wasn’t it unprecedented when the SLPP appointed Dr James Jonah as Finance Minister in a government that came into being in an election conducted by Dr Jonah himself as Chief Electoral Commissioner? Wasn’t it unprecedented for the SLPP government to disband the national army and replaced it with the tribal Kamajors? Before the appointment of Eke Halloway as Attorney General and Minister of Justice was it not a constitutional practice for every Minister of Justice to appear before the parliamentary Committee on Appoints and Public Service before being sworn-in? Did the SLPP government of the late Ahmad Tejan Kabba ever let Mr Halloway go to parliament for approval?
So if the wolf-crying SLPP, Mr Sumana’s media handlers coupled with his rouble-rousing Civil Society Organizations’ stooges want to cry more than the bereaved; I think they should be given the honour of sitting on the front pews at the funeral ceremony. Or even given the dishonour of being pallbearers and gravediggers at the cemetery!
For the SLPP to even moot the idea of a civil disobedience at a time when the country is at present in a State of Public Emergency when all Freedoms, as enshrined in the 1991 Constitution, have been curtailed for the time being due to the fight against the Ebola epidemic is suicidal. It is like the SLPP asking its members to swallow cyanide pills, or asking them to jump in a river infested with crocodiles!
And for the SLPP faction in the Sierra Leone Bar Association to attend a meeting with prepared placards, aimed at demonstrating on the streets, without even their Association coming out with an official statement shows that the SLPP and its operatives intend making Sierra Leone ungovernable. And surprisingly, some of those lawyers even held a secret meeting at the Spur Loop Residence of the failed 2012 SLPP presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, on Sunday night this week.
Albeit I know it as a fact that “it is a secret worth knowing that [most SLPP-leaning lawyers] rarely go to law” (if I should quote Moses Crowell); but common sense dictates that when there is a constitutional crisis the Bar Association can only make a statement on the matter but the interpretation of that portion(s) that provoked the crisis or crises solely rests on the shoulders of the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.
But whatever way one looks at the issue, whether constitutional or not; the fact remains that the sacking of the former Vice President was, and still is, aimed at striking the shepherd with the intention of scattering the sheep!