Considering what was demonstrated in the recently conducted elections, people can no longer rely or even count on this government for any good as far as this nation is concern. It is certainly all these issues that the electorates clearly spelt out by voting massively against the ruling government. What the political analysts of the ruling government should be concerned about is how to contain the level of violence perpetuated by supporters of the political parties, this is because they are still the governors of the state and if they allow the security situation to degenerate, both the local and international communities would blame them for not treating the situation with the seriousness it deserves.
This is extremely important as it is already rumoured in certain quarters that most big fishes that have hitherto being in the SLPP are the brains behind the violence perpetuated in certain parts of the country, especially in the Southeast and the city of Freetown for fear that political power is about to slip off their hands. Though they seem to be doing it quietly and clandestinely intelligence reports have placed the spotlight on them which the electorates already know about. This accounts for the quite but growing support that the Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma is steadily enjoying. Having analyzed this so far, one begins to wonder whether the SLPP can at all make any meaningful political impact in these troubled areas during the presidential run-off.
Therefore, the greatest challenge now facing the party is how to bring the perceived troubled areas under control against the date set for the run-off, rather than to continue fanning flames.
While the SLPP may be worried about retaining the small votes it secured in the northern and western areas, the All People’s Congress party is sure to continue enjoying supports in these areas as a result of the sympathy the voters are now entertaining on its behalf. The political calculation is that any party that has the potential to secure the northern and western areas in the run-off stands the chance of winning the presidential election, especially when artificial barriers are reportedly created for the opposition in the Southeastern part of the country. Geographically, the north and west put together far outweigh the south and the east and if the All Peoples Congress Party can maintain these areas coupled with the recent political marriage with the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), it is definitely going to make a remittable success in the run-off. That is why; the ruling party should endeavour to use all political techniques to forestall the violence, move to areas in the West and North to secure votes and maintained the gains already made during the August 11 elections.
Certainly, the small votes that the PMDC obtained in the Northern and Western areas would now be legitimate votes for the APC.
Although there is the feelings that in the south, many of Charles Margai’s supporters might not follow him, one should not bank on that as supporters of PMDC had always seen Charles Margai as their icon.
One thing needs to be clarify about politics at any level, be it in the classroom, local or national, the power of “speech” cannot be underrated. This is the gift that Charles Francis Margai is endowed with for which he has so many admirers. Therefore, it is expected that when Charles Margai takes Hon Ernest Bai Koroma around and talks to the people of Sierra Leone, the APC will stand a better chance in the turn-off.
At least from whatever way one might look at it, Hon Ernest Bai Koroma is extremely fortunate to have got as his spokesman the eleventh hour, erudite lawyer Charles Francis Margai. Is this not a plus for him?
Both the ruling party and the electorates need to reflect on the numerical advantage Mr. Margai would bring to the APC. For all that is known, even amongst the SLPP folks, one individual that Sierra Leoneans can vow for to be corrupt free is Charles Margai. This largely accounts for the youth support he is enjoying and the significant gains his PMDC party made during the parliamentary and presidential elections of August 11, one can’t imagine that a very young political party that has existed for only about fourteen months to make such political success. The political estimation is that the admirers of Mr. Margai would now see the two people as one and throw their support behind them. Though, not all of them, but very significant number of them would go with the team.
Charles Margai is aware of the fact that the run-off is a straight fight between the SLPP stalwarts and himself, therefore he would do all in his power to fight for success of the APC, this is because; he feels safe and protected with the APC rather than the SLPP. There has been a long drawn battle between Charles Margai and the SLPP which started way back in the 1990s.
The run-off is certainly between the All Peoples Congress Party and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, but the deciding factor is the PMDC of Charles Margai. His “brothers” in the SLPP paid no heed to that advice and went ahead stating that Charles Margai is an amateur in politics and was even defeated in his home town Gbanbatoke in the south. The national Secretary General of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, being a newcomer in politics engaged all rhetoric against Charles Margai as not been a factor in the politics of this nation. Looking at the present scenario, one would honestly wonder as to how grounded the SLPP Secretary General in politics. Perhaps the SLPP Secretary General (alias JJ Blood) must accept to take a history lesson from Dr. Joe A.D. Alie for him to understand that the Margais have always been a significant factor in the politics of this country at any point in time.
Secondly, J.J Saffa with all his macro/micro economics is yet to learn that the Margai factor is a predominant reason why political power is gradually shifting away from the SLPP.
Although, the SLPP is aware of having dumped Charles Margai, they were very much counting on his support in the run-off. Having failed to do so and particularly forming an alliance with the All Peoples Congress Party, he is perceived as committing one of the gravest crimes against his tribesmen; therefore he should be punished. But why have they forgotten so shortly the public humiliation, frustration, political stress and legal embarrassments they subjected him into over the years?
It would be recalled that since the Makeni convention that resulted into having vice president Solomon Berewa as the SLPP presidential candidate for the 2007 elections, Charles Margai has been staunchly opposed by his tribesmen, this being the case how can any sane mind actually expect Charles Margai to join forces with the SLPP at this eleventh minute?
By his action, Mr. Margai transcended regional, tribal or sectional considerations and place the welfare and wellbeing of all sierra Leoneans first. As far as he is concerned, his determination to help this nation regain its place amongst other community of nations was his driving force.
Understanding, the reform group, if one should comment, is made up of few young men from the south and eastern regions that fortunately find themselves in jobs and are enjoying ill gotten wealth which is nothing bad for young and hardworking men and women who have gone through the rudiments of academic exercise over the years. However, the Reform Group discovered that there was something genuinely wrong within the SLPP which the group had wanted to cure, but the effort was purely for party purpose and not the nation and secondly to consolidate their new found positions in the various institutions.