5th COLUMNIST?  OR LOYALTY MISCONSTRUED??

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By: Winstanley. R. Bankole Johnson

The injury meted out to APC Chairman Minkailu Mansaray’s reputation on account of his utterances insinuating a divide between the focus and objectives of the APC as a political Party, and the focus and objectives of APC representatives to the Tripartite Committee was self-inflicted. His statements were as virulent and unguarded as they were unqualified and definitely engendered by an overestimation of his own relevance within contemporary APC politics. It could also have stemmed from the usually traditional parochial reasoning in which majority views have always overridden moderate submissions and even misconstrued as synonymous with democracy, in complete disregard for minority opinions within the Party. I can bet the same thing happens in the SLPP every day, hence their abysmal performance since taking over governance in 2018.  .

Whilst addressing APC faithful recently, a part of Chairman Minkailu’s speech seriously aspersed on the overall unity and cohesiveness of the APC Party when he said and I quote him here: *”The Tripartite Committee are doing their own thing, whilst we as a Party are doing our own………..All we know is that the next elections are in 2026″*.

Doldrums                                                  

Those statements – particularly the first segment dealing with the Tripartite Committee – either exposed him as a 5th Columnist within the APC Party or that he was being unnecessarily misconstrued. It was a monumental gaffe though, and suggestive that rifts exists among the hierarchy of the APC as regards their holistic commitment to the Terms of Reference (ToR) arising from the October 16th to 18th 2023. Worse still implicit in those same ToRs is Resolution No.3 by which Mohammed Konneh/ECSL are compelled to produce the June 24th 2023 elections in granular forms. As a signatory to those same Bintumani Accords, that specific demand should have been of priority importance to Minkailu when making that statement.

What made Minkailu’s gaffe in the first segment of his statements serious was because being unscripted, so unguarded and unqualified, they created undue anxiety among two-thirds of citizens now desperately yearning for new, refreshing, placating and conducive political vistas that would leverage our nation from the doldrums into which it descended (and been constrained to) since April 2018.

Agenda

At a time when even with the strongest of convictions in their mandate to continue in governance, the SLPP could condescend to subjecting that mandate to international scrutiny, opens many (including myself) to read through Minkailu as belonging to an “anti-Samura Camp” with a tenacious 2028 Agenda geared towards incapacitating and insidiously crippling Dr. Samura Kamara’s tenacity to not only to protect our votes, but to also ruin his chances of ever assuming the presidency of this country via an APC ticket, for as long as they are alive and in control of the Party. And their ploy to achieve that is seemingly two-fold:

  1. To stir up as much discord, diversions and distractions within the APC as would enable Maada Bio to complete his second term no matter the agony we go through
  2. To satisfy those in their camp incubating a Machiavellian agenda to oust Samura Samura Kamara as the leading or potential leader and flagbearer until and upon the effluxion of time so that, according to extant APC Constitutional provisions would negate his chances to continue as flagbearer. In that regard it was what they lost on the swings last December (expiry of Samura Kamara’s constitutional Leadership tenure) that they’re hoping would be recovered on the bend.

Jugular

How I wish Minkailu amply clarified the dichotomy insinuated between his personal perspectives and that of the Party.  But he didn’t, hence the baying for his jugular. A latent intervention by his Deputy Osman Foday Yansanneh – now referred to as the Ban-Ki Moon of the APC – managed to assuage the nerves of supporters of the battle-tested pro-Samura Kamara camp comprising some APC Executive members and the general Party and file, but only just. I say “only just” because going forward the only unction or penitence that will be sufficiently acceptable to all and sundry within the APC is for Minkailu himself to summon the fortitude to copy his Deputy Osman Foday Yansanneh and to openly and outrightly begin to:

  1. Speak up against the blatant electoral fraud committed by the ECSL/Mohammed Konneh over the June 24th 2023 elections
  2. Reject those elections results outright and openly support call for fresh elections.

He has done neither of the above to this day.

Quartet

Even though there has never been any love lost between Minkailu and myself within the APC, I will not fault him much for the second segment of his statements under scrutiny to wit: “All we know in the APC are that the next elections are in 2026”.  

But let me first clarify the “no love lost” relationship between myself and Minkailu. Most of the rifts and confusions that emanated between myself and former President Ernest Bai Koroma (invariably to my detriment) were complotted and contrived by Minkailu and three others, one of whom is long deceased. That “mischievous quartet” always eschewed, and misconstrued brilliance as existential threats – particularly if you are from a minority tribe within the APC – and they would do anything and everything in their conspiratorial powers to shoot any such persons down like meteorite. It was on account of one of their abominable fibs against me which they failed to substantiate on my insistence that caused me to voluntarily write to recuse myself from the then 21-Member APC National Advisory Committee (NAC), to which I was a substantive – not a co-opted – member. To this day I have not regretted that action and thankfully going forward, I seek approvals from God – not man (John 5:41)

What many do not know though is that in subsequent years Ernest Bai Koroma and myself made amends at State House, but without the knowledge of the “mischievous quartet”.

Overhauled

By his reference to a specific electoral timeline (elections in 2026) however, Minkailu exposed himself as being privy to information that even APC delegates to the Tripartite Committee were ignorant of, which again is a give-away. But like I said I will not fault Minkailu on that as a possibility exist that he is being misjudged. Or again could all of this be his Nemesis? For someone that is neither an employee of the ECSL, nor charged with any responsibility or mandate for fixing electoral cycles in this country, that statement could have best been left unsaid until he had first discussed and cleared such a conviction with the NAC, instead of keeping it within himself until they became too poisonous for him not to spew out.

Ideally his statement about elections in 2026 could well have been uttered in good faith, having regard to the various governance issues or hurdles to overcome, once the recommendations from the Tripartite Committee reflect the best interest and will of the majority of Sierra Leoneans at the polls in June 2023. For example, there is no way – absolutely none at all – that those ultimate recommendations of the Tripartite Committee favouring the best interests of the majority of us to conduct anything pertaining to voters education and participation in all electoral management processes, will be done using the same organizational heads and security sectors structures that oversaw the June 2023 elections. All of them must be overhauled “Big Time” and that will take time. Could Minkailu have been insinuating a “Transition Period” without SLPP/Bio at the helm?

Whatever was Minkailu’s intents and purposes only he could say, and I would advise he quickly comes out with them to avoid being continually taken out of context.

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