The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) have started brainwashing Sierra Leoneans ahead of Presidential, Legislative and local council elections in 2012. Thinking that they can cash in on the misconceived gullibility of the populace, the SLPP, past masters of deception and putrid propaganda , have started assailling the fragile minds of the Sierra Leonean people with cock-and-bull stories designed to confuse the people and score cheap political points .
This development, while still incapable of undercutting the massive and popular support being enjoyed by President Ernest Koroma, should however awaken APC supporters from whatever stupor and lethargy they are engaged in presently and begin taking the battle with all earnesty to the SLPP.
Many Sierra Leoneans interviewed by this newspaper over the weekend expressed concern at the deceitful manner the SLPP has started campaigning for 2012. They pointed to the emergency press conference called last week by the Chairman of the SLPP, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin. According to the concerned Sierra Leoneans, the purpose of the John Benjamin press conference was to brainwash Sierra Leoneans ahead of publication of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s latest achievement in bringing down corruption in the nation, as indicated by the just-released 2010 Transparency International Report . During the conference, Benjamin tried to brainwash Sierra Leoneans by claiming that the present APC Government is the most corrupt ever in the country, though questions are bound to be asked about the sanity of the SLPP Leader when it is considered that his statement is a complete opposite of reality and the findings of the Transparency International Report which saw Sierra Leone dramatically MOVING 14 places up from 146th to 132nd place between 2009 and 2010 in the world corruption index. This certainly cannot happen to a government that in the deceitful Benjamin’s estimation has become the most corrupt in the history of the country.
Yesterday, the SIERRA LEONE DAILY MAIL newspaper, edited by Foday Morris, came out with this screaming headline : “Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), makes fun of the mentally challenged son of Late President Joseph Saidu Momoh, in attempts at cheap political propaganda.”
According to the newspaper, “As the Sierra Leone government embarks on improving health care services for the people of Sierra Leone, the leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin and Secretary General, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa trivialize mental health and make mockery of the son of late President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Rastafarian Mr. Alfred Momoh…..While the Actions, Progress and Commitments of the current government are focused on improving the infrastructure and well-being of the Serra Leone people, the Sierra Leone Problem People, have sunk to their lowest point by using the mentally challenged to promote their dirty political tactics”. The newspaper complained that “As the government seeks help from the World Health Organization and other organizations, the SLPP has now made it one of their political strategies to search for the mentally ill and use them for propaganda.” The SLPP , during a rally at Hastings had used the mentally disturbed child of the late President Momoh to announce that he had deserted the APC to join the SLPP. What the young man was quoted as saying that the APC had maltreated his family is completely false because a member of Momoh’s family in the person of Defence Minister Palor Conteh is a very senior member of the APC Government. APC supporters are accusing the SLPP of playing cheap politics by putting words in the mouth of a man lacking the mental capacity to make value judgements.
One of the propaganda strategies being used by the SLPP is to stretch credulity. Everybody knows that for now the APC controls the votes in the Western Area and the Northern Province. If the elections were held today, the APC will once again sweep the North and the West . Even PEEP Magazine, edited by Olu Gordon, painted this undisputed picture last week. Wrote the magazine :
“In the light of very scrupulous and surveys conducted by this medium, the northern region or province with five districts; namely – Bombali, Kambia, Port Loko, Tonkolili and Koinadugu; all of which five districts have got 53 Chiefdoms and 39 parliamentary seats, the ruling APC party is at least 95% very, very solidly and firmly grounded.”
“In short, the northern region or province is the ruling APC’s stronghold. The main opposition SLPP is just about 4% and the minor opposition PMDC having the remaining 1% popular approval ratings.”
“And since the Western Area, as far as party politics is concerned, is very much an extension of the Northern region, the ruling APC party is at least 70% very, very deeply rooted here, with the SLPP and PMDC carrying 25% and 5% support respectively.”
“It is even now being speculated that with the 21 parliamentary seats in the western area, the ruling APC party stands the chance of winning all of them come 2012 like they did in the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections.” END OF QUOTE .
However, the SLPP is preying on the gullibility of the ordinary man in the street by claiming that they have made inroads into the Western Area. This is sheer brainwashing designed to give the public a very erroneous impression so that if the SLPP is defeated in the North and the West in 2012, they will cry foul. They know that they are not making inroads but deceit has become the stock-in-trade of the SLPP.
The SLPP is also busy brainwashing Sierra Leoneans against the woman in whom integrity is personified , Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Christiana Thorpe. Though Madam Thorpe’s integrity and fairness are universally acknowledged even by the international community, the SLPP is stretching the truth by continously accusing her of being biased against them. An interesting article in the EXCLUSIVE newspaper yesterday, written by Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop ) highlighted the SLPP’s propaganda against Dr. Thorpe . In an article titled , “Is Dr Christiana Thorpe A Frankenstein Monster? “, the writer complained about attempts by the SLPP to paint an ugly picture of the godly lady because she refused to bend down to the party’s yuki-yuki tactics in the 2007 Elections . Sankoh wrote :
“For starters, on 21 August 2007, the current BBC reporter in Sierra Leone , Umaru Fofana (who, for me, is one of the finest journalists this country has ever produced since Independence ), filed a report to the BBC. In that report he had this to say about Dr Christiana Ayoka Mary Thorpe that she, ‘…was born a teacher, bred a disciplinarian, groomed an administrator and perhaps by divine intervention became a nun… In fact, when the ruling party [the then SLPP] raised objections over constituency boundaries, she refused their overtures. When the [then] main opposition All People’s Congress’s radio station started broadcasting what many referred to as reckless propaganda, Christiana Thorpe hit them hard…’ ”
”And on 17 October 2007, Michael Davies-Venn filed in a report to the “Worldpress.org” in which he reported that in a chat with Dr Thorpe’s mother he was told that the current NEC chairperson, ‘had been prepared for the job when she was only a little girl: “She has been taught to say the truth. Regardless of whoever is around, she will say the truth. The truth never fails, my dear. She has been taught to be honest and truthful… ’ “
”The above two quotes might help put into perspective why Dr Christiana Ayoka Mary Thorpe became and still is a Frankenstein Monster for those in the SLPP. From the reports of those two journalists, one gets the fact that she is a disciplinarian who was taught to be honest and truthful. And what the Kabba (h) government had in mind when they appointed her was someone who could do the dirty games to perpetrate and perpetuate “the power of incumbency” twaddle. The establishment at the time of Dr Thorpe’s appointment was looking for someone who could do what Dr James Jonah did in 1996 in favour of the SLPP. And as she was and sill is the close companion (to use the British euphemism) of one of the then SLPP Members of Parliament, Sam Maligie II, she was expected to do the obvious after the perennial “obviousness” with Maligie II. But Dr Thorpe could not sacrifice her integrity because she regarded herself as a reformer. ”
This is another vintage SLPP Propaganda tactic — Demonizing anybody who does not toe the party’s line to have them cheat at elections and remain in power. By brainwashing the public against Christiana Thorpe now, the SLPP think they can trickily change public perception about her before the 2012 elections so that when they lose (As they surely will ) , they will start ranting to the world that Thorpe cheated them.
The SLPP always demonstrates their contempt for the intelligence of the people of Sierra Leone by seeking to brainwash them through bold-faced lies and deliberate distortion of reality. How far this will carry them is anybody’s guess , but one thing that is certain is that in 2012, Sierra Leoneans will give President Koroma the mandate to rule Sierra Leone for another five years to continue transforming this great nation from the stone age country left by the SLPP to a strong, developed and progressive State.
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