APC’s hopes of elections rerun dashed by U.S Ambassador to the UN —Or so the SLPP thinks

By Kabs Kanu

Listening  to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Mrs. Linda Greenfield – Thomas , who do you think is right —— SLPP  supporters (who contend that the electoral reforms envisaged from the Tripartite inter -party dialogue will be for future elections and not for the 2023 elections which President Maada Bio stole in broad daylight  ) or APC  supporters who are giving hopes to their thousands of followers that the Tripartite Committee might order a rerun of the stolen 2023 elections ?

Today, pro- SLPP newspapers are steaming with screaming headlines that the U.S Ambassador to Sierra Leone has jettisoned the hopes of APC  supporters dreaming of a rerun of the elections .

To us at COCORIOKO, it certainly seems that going by the Ambassador’s  statement, the SLPP  media headlines are right.  From  listening to the U.S envoy  she meant  that she was not aware of any rerun and the U.S. government certainly was not pushing for it. Yet, you will have APC  people still going out there again for the upteenth time trying to play semantic gymnastics with the ambassador’s statement and still continue to give comrades false hopes that there will be a rerun of the 2023 elections.

But one impirtant question we must ask is, should the ambassador’s statement constitute the be-all and end- all of this issue?

The APC  were definitely robbed off victory once again by the undemocratic and devilish SLPP government. SLPP , as they did in 2018, once again stole an election in broad daylight and got away with it, with the APC’s problem always being the implicit faith they have always lavished on the international community and falsely nourishing the idea that the international community will turn the tables on Maada Bio. It is now very clear that this faith in the international community is misplaced and unreasonable. The only persons capable of stopping Maada Bio in his tracks are the opposition APC and the people of Sierra Leone. But they do not want to do the needful.

Let me waste no time drumming it home to the APC and Sierra Leoneans once again that dictators like Maada Bio will never yield power on a silver platter. Maada Bio is getting away with everything not because he is that giant that conquers his enemies. Maada Bio is thriving on the naivety and cowardice of the APC and the people of Sierra Leone.

I lived in Liberia during the most tumultuous political era of that country. It was as if God took me to Liberia at this most nicene time in the political transformation of the country for me to learn a lot of political lessons.

Liberia was in a dictatorship as Sierra Leone is today. The CONGUAS —-Amerigo-Liberian settlers –had set up an apartheid -like system in Liberia, which for over a century had denied the indigenous or country people their rights and these foul-mouthed settlers from America had lorded it over the people who owned the country , as Maada Bio is doing in Sierra Leone presently. The Congau political party, the True Whig Party ( TWP) had ruled and dominated Liberia for over a century. They always won the elections because ordinary people were impeded from voting by a property clause. You needed to have substantial properties to be able to vote. The Congaus controlled the wealth and resources of the country so only they voted and only their party, the TWP ,  operated.

I went to Liberia in 1978 just at the time that the people had decided that enough was enough with Congau apartheid discrimination, oppression and suppression and the denial of the rights of the people. Liberians had learnt what the APC and Sierra Leoneans are refusing to learn that only Liberians could redeem their country. Not the United Nations, not the European Union ( EU ) , not the IMF. Not the World Bank. Not the United States of America. Not the MCC. Not Britain. Indeed, not anybody else but the Liberians themselves.

Backed by radical, patriotic intellectuals ,civil society, students, market women, street traders , shoeshine boys, public transportation drivers and teachers, the revolutionary people of Liberia came out very strongly and unequivocally against Congau apartheid rule. THEY DID NOT SIT DOWN WAITING FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. THEY DECIDED TO DO IT THEMSELVES. IF YOU WANT SOMETHING BEST DONE, DO IT YOURSELF !!!  And GOD gave them victory. They won the battle. God helps those who help themselves. They removed the Congaus and seized their wealth and properties. I was there and saw it all. It was not DEN SAY. When President Samuel K. Doe replaced Congau system with Krahn ethnic group hegemony, we all knew what happened also. The undaunted people of Liberia fought him with all their might and again, they were victorious. Doe was removed and Krahn hegemony demolished for good.

It was a long journey and it had many twists and turns but today Liberia is a redeemed country. Liberia is a model of democracy in the whole world. President George Weah could not do what Maada did in Sierra Leone because Liberians have built strong institutions and the people of Liberia are standing robustly behind these institutions. If Weah had dared to do what Bio did in Sierra Leone, Liberians would have dragged him out of the Executive Mansion and through the streets of their country. The people of Liberia fight their own battles and do not take any mess, like Sierra Leoneans. Weah had to respect the will of the Liberian people and accept defeat. He knew the consequences if he did not. But Bio does anything he wants to do because there are no consequences. We are still waiting for the international community.

Until the APC stops being cowardly and the people stop depending on the international community to do the dirty job for them and take their own destiny into their own hands, as done by the Liberians, false hopes will ever be our portion.

Even the elections reforms APC are depending on from the tripartite dialogue will be a mirage once Maada Bio ‘s tribesmen and women continue to control the Elections Commission, the Political Parties Regulation Commission ( PPRC ), the judiciary, civil society, the media, the reform and governance institutions, Parliament, the army and the police and ministries, departments and agencies ( MDAs ) . It will not be enough to hold them accountable for June 24, 2023. They have to be swept out.

All our institutes controlled by one ethnic group must be purged and thoroughly cleansed. A rerun is good but are we going to let the same compromised institutions conduct the rerun and expect different results ?

Let us stop depending solely on the international community to save our nation. Let us take matters in our own hands and stop Maada Bio from getting away with everything. Bio is not a lion. He is a coward. When ECOWAS decided to evacuate Dr. Ernest Koroma, they showed that they meant business by sending an airforce jet to pluck him out of the country. If Maada Bio knew he was a man, why didn’t he stand before the airforce jet and continue his stubbornness that Ernest Koroma would not go ?  We would have been in a different Sierra Leone today !!! This is the best way to treat a dictator like Maada Bio.

The tripartite committee is a great idea and nobody should underestimate what it will eventually achieve. If it recommends a rerun and sticks to its guns, who will stop it ? If it decides that either a rerun or nothing , and MPs, councillors and all other functionaries withdraw cooperation with the SLPP and the people too stand behind them, who will stop change from being ushered in our country ?

But the question is, will the APC and the people stand up to enforce the recommendation and ensure that democracy is restored in Sierra Leone or will they  wait on the international community to decide the next way forward ?  This is what will ultimately  decide this issue. It all depends on the APC and the people, not the unstable , unpredictable international community.

So the U.S Ambassador was speaking her own and  what she believed, not the reality and what the APC and the people could do to make  the ultimate  outcome of the tripartite dialogue satisfactory to all Sierra Leoneans.



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