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SLPP (aka Systemic Liars Preventing Progress) are finding life very uncomfortable in the doghouse. These outlaws, who unrepentantly ravaged the national economy through greed are now licking their wounds and looking enviously at the APC (aka Associated Persistent Crooks). Life in the doghouse is indeed unpleasant; it has forced them to spend day-in day-out smelling the slum wind. That slum wind is the administrative failures of the last SLPP government that brought the country to its knees.
In the doghouse, the likes of Sama Banya, Solomon Berewa and Lavalie are barking at anything that moves, even their own shadows, as they are reeled by the shock defeat of that November election. Having found no solace, they are now running in circles trying to catch their own tails. Politics in the 21st century is unmerciful; it dictates that the evil that politicians do surely lives with them, not after them. In fact it does not only live with them, it also affects even their followers. This type of reflexive politics has gripped SLPP lapdogs such as JJ Saffa, who rather foolishly encouraged himself to be called JJ Blood. This sort of image befits only an underfed village pet that, in trying to chase flies away from its dying masters, runs around like a headless chicken.
The future of SLPP does not lie in the reincarnation and recycling of out-of-favour politicians of the type of Sama Banya, Berewa and Benjamin who are incessantly wallowing in denial. In present-day political environment they are a spent force. They have got nothing new other than self-gratification and cross-party promiscuity. Sama Banya, for example, is the country’s most notorious political chameleon that could turn green or red, or whichever way the political wind blows. His constituency has remained one of the most inaccessible and deprived in the entire country.
SLPP is the oldest political party in West Africa, but time-and-time again its members have proved to be lacking in every aspect of governance. They emphasise stupidity over charisma, and tribalism and regionalism over and above national interest. It was this politics of insanity that drove them to appoint Berewa for the 2007 election. If these are the men who are seeking to dictate the life of the country, then I have no doubt in my mind that they have many more years in the doghouse smelling each other’s bottoms!
Apart from its history as being the oldest political party, SLPP as an entity has no remarkable track record of representative and inclusive governance. There is no evidence, structural or otherwise, that shows the party’s progressive actions toward national development. The party’s years in office was highlighted by extreme poverty and social exclusion. SLPP used educational deprivation to woo poor country-voters by only showing up in their new four-by-fours, or putting musicians in campaign trucks like circus animals.
Those who are barking mad from the doghouse are only drawing attention to their own fallings and incapacities. Who would listen to Lavalie and Berewa? Who would listen to Sama Banya? Who would take John Benjamin seriously? After all, these were the same politicians who, during their time in office, repeatedly used greed and cronyism as a pair of battering-rams that crumbled the coffers of an already humbled economy. This unenviable display put the country’s integrity to the shredder. To watch them defend the record of the SLPP government is like watching a group of baldhead vultures gleefully eating a decomposing body of a Serengeti elephant.
SLPP politicians are the key architects of Sierra Leone’s present miseries. It was they who proposed to sell farmlands to Pakistan. It was the SLPP who sold fishing rights to China, Korea and some European countries. Last year I was asked to review a documentary film by a Bristol-based studio that investigated the effect of foreign fishing vessels in Sierra Leonean waters. Paired trawlers using dragnetting equipments have chased local fishermen out of water. This industrial fishing, through dragnetting, has depleted Sierra Leone’s fish stock. APC newcomers too, have continued this trend by selling land to Addax Petroleum, a British-based company, for the production of bio-fuel. But Sierra Leoneans are not even aware of the irreversible damage that this is causing to the country’s food security now, and the future to come.
Every Sierra Leonean should ask themselves as to what economic freedom and social mobility would such actions bring. If people cannot grow food on their own land, or fish in their own waters, they are more likely to spend their whole life in perpetual poverty and destitution.
The country has come a long way to fall back into decadence under falsehood. In order for SLPP to get out of the doghouse, they have to abandon their politics of self-replication and filth. Otherwise they should shut-up!
James Fallah-Williams, UK, James.Fallah@fsmail.net,
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