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Page added on March 16, 2011
We have observed, albeit disgustingly, that politicians always ride on the gullibility of the people to score a mark. In other words, they most often play on their intelligence, seventy percent of which are stark illiterates to perpetuate their grip on power.
More often than not, women continue to be used as the easy catch, used as tools for manipulation; less capacitated, the politicians will give them a small token to buy ‘ashobis’, sing and dance on the streets to give meaning and colour to their campaigns. When they are through with their service they drop them on the wayside with no corresponding improvement in their lives.
This is how our women have long been exploited by those bidding for power or by those who want to manipulate their hold on power.
Last Thursday March 10th 2011 scenario when traders, mostly women took to the streets of Freetown in a carnival-like mood, carrying banners and wearing APC party colours chanting songs of praise for His Excellency the President, Ernest Bai Koroma was most uncalled for. It is nothing but cheap politics.
It will be recalled that the Freetown City Council had earlier informed the public of launching a campaign that day, Thursday, aimed at ridding the city of water plastic dubbed ‘Pick a Plastic”. The campaign was to be launched at the National Stadium, an event that was expected to last for few hours.
However, an event that was to be exclusively a City Council affair turned out to be an APC party activity that climaxed at State House where the man himself was patiently waiting to receive them.
Some sections of the media had taken great exception to the deception. This is not an electioneering campaign period, they argued. So, why the street carnival? The reason was simple: the APC party which is under extreme pressure in the wake of the unbearable cost of living in the country added to their inability to address the looming crisis has got them jittery.
So, for them, taking the poor traders to process the streets was a test of their popularity. Too naïve an idea!
At a time when people are struggling to make ends meet, which has become a near impossibility, it is foolish on the part of APC operatives to organize a political rally in a merry making fashion as a test of the party’ popularity.
We dare say that what people expect from the Ernest Bai Koroma’s government is to address itself to the current economic crisis facing the starving populace. Government should not be oblivious of the suffering people are going through. It should not be insensitive to the high cost of living now affecting the lives and comfort of people. Most families can hardly afford a day’s meal now, not with prices of basic commodities skyrocketing to an alarming proportion.
Government should address itself to these issues. Organizing party rallies to praise-sing the president would not divert public attention from the hardship people are presently going through. A good wine needs no bush.
If the president is doing well they will say; it will show in the ballot box. But this is not a campaign period. Let us allow the president to concentrate on the development of the country. Allow his good work to speak for itself.
But taking women on to the streets with party colours and declaring a special day just for traders smacks of dirty politics.
We in this medium strongly condemn any form of cheap politics that will divert our attention.
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