Titus Boye-Thompson, Communications ConsultantLooking at the very recent past, we see opposition politicians sounding offbeat as if they are out of step with reality and the practical issues that people face on a day to day basis. They rarely come out with real issues or oppose government in a constructive way but rely on misinformation, false propaganda and fake news.
Interestingly, when the opposition sound so bad and are invariably incoherent in their rumblings, it makes the government itself look bad as it is very much badly served by such a weak and brainless bunch of individuals. The quest for power at all costs may have seem to blind and subjected them to such ignominy. Yet, these are the very people who would be the first to mount their educational achievements as some are apt to be trumpeting their experience of working in international institutions up on a mantle piece, way above the height that ordinary people can reach with a touching finger. In a way, these politicians try so hard to elevate themselves that they forget they are supposed to be addressing issues for ordinary people to appreciate. They have lost the common touch and in so doing, they have disconnected themselves from reality.
When Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella made a snipe at those who are currently studying Peace and Conflict at University, he displayed an arrogance and ignorance characteristic of snobbery. In a post conflict society like this, the principles of conflict management, state fragility and democracy would always useful here. The process of state building requires a rational understanding of the role of conflict management.
There are also issues about the building of strong institutions to secure advantages and the security that goes with freedoms, political participation and the rule of law. How serious Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella was is anyone’s guess but a politician of his standing should have avoided making such a “Trumpian” gaffe. Characteristically, Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella is exposing a very weak side that goes against the grain of people’s expectation and estimation of him. It is a shame that our people are easily bended by the presumption that those who have attained progress in one field of engagement can necessarily perform the same way in the field of politics and eventually leadership. This is clearly not the case here and it is a shame that the confidences of the people can be so easily manipulated by some of this potentially dangerous ignoramus within our midst.
It is nothing short of criminal for Mr Yumkella to have derided young people pursuing a career in a field that is so demonstrably important not just in Sierra Leone but in everywhere else. The emerging issues of gender mainstreaming, terrorism, social violence and the development security nexus all combine to make peace studies a very important area for global research and promise. When a man of such high World class exposure goes out of his way to offend the senses of ordinary people in this manner, you wonder whether this is a man who can understand the very intractable question of poverty and deprivation that our people face in such large numbers.
Lamentably, Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella is not alone in his mediocrity and insensitivity to the difficult decisions that poor people have to face in their daily lives. Mohamed Kamarainba is equally guilty of that dispassionate and senseless prevarication. He calls himself the Sierra Leone Mandela without a thought for the circumstances of Nelson Mandela’s struggles and the decisions ha had to make in keeping himself incarcerated while he refused to denounce violence as an option in the struggle for majority rule in South Africa and the eventual dismantling of a rabid Apartheid regime.
Kamarainba displays a stun gun, an offensive weapon under the laws of Sierra Leone and most other civilized countries yet he wished that his actions should go unpunished or without reproach. Such arrogance is sickening when you consider that this society has gone through a most gruesome and brutal civil war with neighbours pointing out at each other to be attacked by foreign forces who dismembered some and amputated limbs with reckless abandon.
There is an air of impunity with which such misinformed politicians go about displaying their ignorance of some of the key issues facing the country. Maada Bio was last heard on radio demanding that the government should include the opposition in governance, again showing how far removed he is in terms of how governments should work. Firstly, if the opposition is effective enough, it would understand that its primary duty is to hold the government up to account. The opposition by our constitution consist primarily of those members of Parliament who occupy their seats in the well of Parliament to discuss and debate on issues.
Maada Bio is not parri parsu a member of the official opposition because he holds no Parliamentary seat. If he was, he would have been privy to the work that Parliamentarians are expected to perform. He being a flag bearer with a record of losing elections remain an ex-oficio member of the SLPP Executive Committee and for that reason, his term had expired by the passing of time as is the case for all members of the SLPP Executive. His statement is therefore unfortunate because it reveals that he has no understanding of governance and how it operates.
This ignorance is not entirely accidental, it is invariably deliberate because what Maada Bio is contemplating is a role for him after he would have lost again to the APC. He is failing to grasp the fact that to be elected to such high office, one must be able to convince the electorate in its majority that a record of performing does exist and that the challenger can demonstrably perform better than the incumbent. All considerations point to the fact that Maada Bio is in no position to give such assurances. He has consistently been disrespectful of history by attempting to remodel history according to his own understanding. Events show that he is untrustworthy, having overthrown a democratically elected government, he went on to stage a palace coup and held on to power longer than was necessary and indeed had wanted to stay on if not for the clamour of the citizens, and particularly the women of this country who stood firm and demanded elections before finalizing the peace.
He manipulated the elections in favour of President Kabbah to ensure that he would come again to claim leadership of the SLPP after President Kabba had gone. It was that assurance that gave him the edge over Usu Boie Kamara at the Miatta Conference centre when the SLPP had to choose its flag bearer prior to the 2012 elections. Maada Bio’s version of history does not synchronize with the facts and hence his attitude of being deserving of power as of right is misleading and ill formed. It is based on false and futile grounds and backed by the threat of violence for which it is hardly clear whether he does have that capacity above his rag tag army of Benghazi boys at SLPP Party office.
The damage that I being done to this fledgling democracy is directly consistent with the ineffectiveness of such a weak opposition and a group of pretenders who rely on a false entitlement to power. The rumblings and whisperings that they deceitfully unleash to an unknowing and easily manipulated public create murky waters and blind ordinary people to their falsities and lies.
The weakness of their attempts to misinform the public must be exposed at every turn and evidence of the preponderance of truth and actual achievements used to undermine and challenge their deeds. There is no way that this country can be led by such uncaring and hard hearted people who care not for the country but more for their personal agenda to assume power over the people without showing any rationale for them to be deserving of such status. Power has to come by commitment and a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of others. These people have no such character traits. They must not be allowed to get to power by the back door,