CHECKMATING POLITICAL GABS AND RHETORICS

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By: Winstanley. R. Bankole. Johnson

My loyalty to the All Peoples’ Congress (APC) Party aside, I still considered it obligatory to have congratulated Mr. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu (a.k.a Alpha Khan) on his appointment by President Bio, first as Resident Minister North-East with Cabinet rank and later as Presidential Spokesperson (Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary??). And I was delighted Alpha Khan openly acknowledged my kind sentiments expressed about him.  I did that on purpose because among other reasons, call ups to national service irrespective of one’s perceived political party allegiance should transcend narrow political party interests. Should I insist!!

“Yeliba-ism”

That aside, my hope also was that by his appointment into the SLPP governance architecture, Alpha Khan would ultimately leverage from his donkey years of apprenticeship as a regular player and for a long-time a first choice in the line-up in the team of the man he himself dubbed “King Messi and World Best” (Former President Ernest Bai Koroma), to guide President Bio towards a more cohesive national agenda, as opposed to the traditional SLPP agenda of hatred and divisiveness. My obligation therefore should not end with my congratulatory message to Alpha Khan on his appointments, but remains open-ended as I commit myself to be monitoring his inputs into mainstream SLPP decisions to ensure they regularly reflect the honour of his choice and far less gabs and rhetoric. And that as one would expect includes guiding and keeping him in check in the event any of his gabs begin to reflect over-raps, or that they become inadvertently tainted with the kind sycophancy and untruths as would pale even the Kambia type of “Yeliba-ism” into second place.

“Political Fodder”

Now in these challenging times leading up to our next multi-tiered elections, that is important because even though the Political Parties Regulation Commission (PPRC) hasn’t yet declared electioneering campaigns open, the ruling SLPP Party – definitely abusing the benefits of incumbency – would seem to be miles ahead already with their campaign billboards, posters, adverts and other propaganda materials all over the country, buoyed up by public utterances showcasing government achievements in the last four years (even where they do not exist), and all of which are intended to captivate the gullible.

Such sustained propaganda are hinged (as usual) on the typical SLPP disdain for the intellect of the electorate whom they either believe are blind and deaf at the same time to the realities on the ground, or have been intimidated thus far to vote into a second term them out of sheer cowardice.  And the best “political fodder” the SLPP are using for that are  “Prominent Northerners”, none of whom is making any attempt to bridge the ever widening schisms that has permeated our national political fabric since April 2018.  But I assume we can let all of that pass, in the sure and certain assurance that based on tracking of their failed Manifesto promises, the SLPP Party needs more time to explain to the electorate why they should not be kicked out of government via the ballot box using the same Constituency-based electoral system that brought them to power, than us as the opposition APC party would ever require to justify our re-election come 24th June.

Suffice it to say however that with the benefits of the social media, the public is now more enlightened and better informed on whether to applaud or checkmate excess gabs and actions of government agents, depending on prevailing situations and in real time too.  That is to say to applaud them if they spoke the truth, but to also dutifully also critique or call them to account if they attempted to be economical with it in the hope of misleading society. And interestingly both situations presented themselves from a recent 6:05 seconds Video clip depicting Mr. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu in his usual element ululating President Bio for imaginary political gains only he could identify. 

Hindsight

Mr. Kanu spoke nothing but the truth when he said and quoting him: “……in 2018 power was handed over to President Bio”. He neither mentioned who “….handed over power to Bio….” nor did he bother to even clarify why he was the only one in the entire APC hierarchy to have called to congratulate President on his electoral victory in 2018. But the inference there to me was that President Bio never won the 2018 election because in my estimation and using the benefits of hindsight if he did:

The then NEC Chairperson N’fa Allie Conteh would not have refused to publish the actual disaggregated and consolidated results of the 2018 Presidential elections up to this day and

The Chief Justice would not have assigned the joint petitions of Dr. Samura Kamara and Dr. Sylvia Blyden against the eligibility of Bio as the duly elected President for hearings, without his first consenting to the fact that there was prima-facie evidence justifying same that merited those hearings. It is on record that those petitions in the Supreme Court have up to this day neither been ruled upon nor dismissed, but shelved.

Accordingly both the above have left me with no alternative but to conclude that indeed rather than “winning” the last Presidential elections outright, Bio as Alpha Kanu said, had “power handed over to him”.

Economical

In that same video clip Mr. Alpha Kanu also appeared to have been economical with the truth on two fronts when he asserted that:

The Corona virus which claimed 121 victims (within a year) was by far “…deadlier and more bravely fought and eradicated by President Bio in a typical military General fashion ….” than Ebola virus which claimed over 3,800 lives under Ernest Bai Koroma and which lasted much for a shorter period in this country. (We all know that globally the Ebola has always been rated as by far deadlier).

President Bio had recorded a hundred per centum successes in the American Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard thus implying Sierra Leone’s eligibility for the Compact Grants.

Mr. Alpha Kanu knows full well that he was being insincere on both above counts, but was understandably obliged to be misinforming the people given his present circumstances, for which one can be forgiven for concluding that such seeming ambivalence is informed by the sheer weight of shared values and loyalties to “two masters – both the APC and The SLPP Parties at the same time. The records have it that he hasn’t officially resigned his membership from the former Party yet. Nevertheless, like others in his category such as the Hon. Victor Bockari Foh, Moijueh Kaikai, Musa Tarawallie and Robin Fallay, I think he (all of them in fact) should be congratulated for their proclivity to switch political loyalty so impulsively.

It is on that note that no one in the SLPP (I mean no one including President Bio) should be surprised when (not if) they would all be “returning home to their APC roots” and with much fanfare after 24th June, claiming that they all went away as “Spies” for the APC and are returning well-armed with massive intelligence on the SLPP. 

The only casualty in such ambivalent and bizarre reunions as ever will always be our Nation State: Sierra Leone.

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