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Sierra Leone
Friday, July 1, 2022


By: Winstanley R Bankole Johnson

It was the Presidential jamboree to the North/West of the country that engaged my sub-conscious for the better part of last weekend. Port Loko and Kambia districts to be precise were abuzz with boisterous and lavish ecstasy.  To the rustic mindsets it was truly sensational. It had to be sensational to because in this country the political leadership has always taken pride in nurturing their gullible subjects to appreciate mediocrity as hopeful vistas. Observe the hysterical jubilations beyond security confines that occasioned loss of lives for securing simple ties at the recently concluded AFCON Tournament. Those who dared attempt to behave differently were branded unpatriotic.


It all started in Port Loko where the center of attraction was two politicians: former die-hard APC politicians ad-hoc Hon Vice President Victor Bockari Foh and former APC  “Ambassador-at-Large, Extra-ordinary and Plenipotentiary” Hon. Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu – both of whom have long passed their sell-by dates and older than Ernest Bai Koroma if you please, but neither of whom has been publicly goaded into recusing themselves from active/mainstream partisan politics into the “passive political Statesman” status that President Bio is wishing former President Ernest Bai Koroma to relapse into – or failing which the world is anxiously waiting to see and hear what he would do, so that Barrack Obama among others can learn some lessons too.

The North/Western Presidential jamboree was fortuitously timed to coincide with the “Crowning of Traditional Rulers” (Paramount and Section Chiefs), which Ceremonies “Traditionalists” would only miss out on at their political peril. So dissenters were few and unnoticed. That explains the massive turnout that was covertly transformed into blazing SLPP political campaign trails laced with Presidential promises (for the umpteenth time), to transform both  Madina  in Kambia and Port Loko into New York-like metropolis if  only they would vote SLPP candidates into Parliament at the 2023 elections. 


Those occasions were exploited to the full, constraining many “uninvited but very influential locals” scampering to their Chiefdoms and looking bereft of words when opportuned to speak. The Hon. Vice President Juldeh Jalloh was in attendance but it wasn’t his day so he played along as a cinema extra, leaving new-SLPP entrant Hon. Alpha Khan to extol the values and virtues of the SLPP and President Bio as the ultimate choices for re-election in 2023. Whether deliberately or inadvertently, Hon. Alpha Khan did not include him (Juldeh Jalloh) in those choices. The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) has not yet declared commencement for political Campaigns but (being pro-SLPP) they looked askance throughout. The government hoped all of us would believe those activities were either pure coincidences – happenstances – much in the same way we as in the APC exploited the last 100th Year Thanksgiving Anniversary March-Pass of the St. Edwards Secondary last Sunday to the full.


As I watched “Alpha Khan” speak, my mind raced to our breakfast encounter in 2019 at his “Sunville Hotel” in Port Loko during which he laboruoisly extoled the entrepreneurial acumen of the Hon. VP Juldeh Jalloh to begin a massive private Rice Cultivation Farm right there in the Loko Massama axis of Port Loko which upon harvest, could feed the entire country leaving surpluses for exports to neighbouring Guinea and Liberia and massive Forex earnings for government (?). “But Alpha how come those areas have only been recently discovered by Juldeh Jalloh? Why did you not exploit such cultivation opportunities throughout your years in government and in close proximity with Ernest Bai Koroma”? I enquired. My questions were merely intended to jolt him into a realization that his audience was different. His response was too convoluted to recall, but almost four clear years down the line I am still doing researches with Njala University Mokonde Campus to determine between Rice Cultivation and Elephant gestation periods which takes longer.

Memory Lanes

The surge of video clips and literatures of the “Prize Catches” of the SLPP away from the APC extoling the leadership and development programmes Bio and his government was matched in equal intensity by video clips and literatures of both Hon. Victor Foh and Hon. Alpha Khan from “Memory Lanes” heaping egregiously denigrating comments on the same Bio and SLPP they were ululating and near-idolizing last week.  In a few of those video clips whilst acclaiming Ernest Bai Koroma as “Captain of APC United and WORLD BEST”,  Hon. Alpha  Khan accused the SLPP of not only being in permanent denial of former President Koroma’s laudable achievements, but also of even their own very existence as members of an opposition political Party.  In the same vein in an Awoko Publication Report of 2nd August 2011 filed by Solomon Roy Wilson barely six hours after his nomination of SLPP Flag-bearer for 2012, former ad-hoc VP Hon. Victor Foh was quoted to have denigrated Mr. Bio as  “Not fine for Mama Salone……..Blemished  and having no place in the democratic process of this country”. Hon. Ad-hoc VP Victor Foh was even alleged to have recommended that the SLPP conducted fresh Delegates Conference to replace the choice of Bio as a Flag bearer.

Now at the separate times of their utterances in the pre-2012 electioneering campaigns, neither Hon. Alpha Kanu nor Hon. Former ad-hoc VP Victor Foh was deemed of unsound disposition or under hallucinatory influences. Yet here they are now in political about-face turns in Port Loko and Kambia.  Political cross-carpeting is nothing new in Salone politics, but it behooves responsible citizens whenever they occour to deeply reflect on the motives and interests to determine whether within their present individual contexts it is personal/mercenary or national. That is to say in questioning their motives and interests (not their rights to associate politically which is guaranteed by the national constitution), so as to guide the leadership of the SLPP against false choices. And unless we feel obligated to do so dispassionately the gullible will continue wallowing in backwardness and poverty as what they (Victor Foh and Alpha Kanu) will be guiding Bio through as Manifesto will be the same litany of services delivery to which citizens are entitled as of rights, but have been made to believe are favours – Light; Good Roads, Portable Drinkable Water, Quality Education, Quality Healthcare to name a few.


Indeed to have settled on such early choices of former Hon. Ad-hoc VP Foh and Hon. Alpha Kanu underscores President Bio’s desperation for allies. As Silas Manner would write and I quote: “A man falling into dark waters seeks a momentary footing……..even on sliding stones” Unquote. But sooner rather than later, no matter how many alliances President Bio strikes and from whichever political party they are poached, nothing……absolutely nothing……no Genie…..(not even the best Genie from Tihun) …….can save this SLPP from defeat at the polls come 2023.

Reactions from the general membership of the SLPP to what some deem as two “Prize Catches” from the APC have been mixed – no thanks to incontrovertibly disparaging archival evidences on Hon. Victor Foh and Hon. Alpha Kanu against President Bio and the SLPP.  My guess however is that such lack-luster reactions could not be unconnected to hitherto uncomplimentary utterances of the President himself regarding anyone associated with the APC that they are “Terrorists……Not good for the country or purpose…..….Not even for themselves”. The conclusion from Eddie Banya in deep kailahun was different: “Mayor SLPP has poached two APC Terrorists” he mused.

Dare I argue with him?

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