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The sustained electioneering process in Sierra Leone is rapidly raising the level of political consciousness among Sierra Leoneans in every corner of the country. Coupled with the sustained development programmes of the President’s Agenda for Change traditional strongholds of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in Kailahun district, particularly in Segbwema town, Njaluahun Chiefdom and other places are ebbing off faster than any political pundit could predict.
The defection of the former Member of Parliament Hon. Robin Farley of Constituency 07 from the SLPP to the All People’s Congress (APC) has sent shock waves amongst the executives of the former junta leader-led SLPP, who is now desperate to take power by all means necessary on November 17th.
Many people believe that Hon. Robin Farley’s move was precipitated by the manner in which certain SLPP politicians have been recently subjected to gross molestations, maltreatment and abandoned by the current leadership of the party.
What is more, a very strong perception exists amongst Sierra Leoneans is that the ingratitude of the SLPP flag bearer Julius Maada Bio towards strong members of the party since he took up the mantle of leadership has resulted to the growing disillusionment of party supporters as well as sympathizers across the country.
Recent among the outcomes of such treatments meted out to many SLPP members and their supporters who embrace the development strides of the leadership of the president is the strong divisions that have wedged the party from within. And indeed it is mainly responsible for the massive shift in colours, from green (SLPP) to red (APC) – the two main political parties, we are noticing in the prevailing political dispensation in Sierra Leone.
This lack of appreciation from the SLPP is not only affecting the according to many, ‘young and popular politician’, Robin Farley alone, but also others from Kailahun district and other places in the country who have once served the SLPP during its eleven years in governance.
On distressed SLPP Chairman Lady in Segbwema lamented that “SLPP’s victims of marginalization and abandonment includes the former Chairman, Hon. Maigore Christian Kallon, the retired United States Major, Ishmail Sengu Koroma (flag bearer aspirant), Usu Boie-Kamara (flag bearer aspirant), Ambassador Dr. John Ernest Leigh (flag bearer aspirant), Prof. Septimus Kaikai to name just a few.
Most of these politicians do not share similar political ideology with this SLPP former junta-led presidential hopeful called Maada Bio, and it is bound to create problems. That is why southeasterners are reasoning that supporters of the Party should demand for Bio to be replaced. Why? One party loyalist confessed that his crucifix is made of a palm frond said he will not leave the Party but the people should ask that Maada be replaced because he does not deserve the leadership, particularly so when he is bent on ostracizing strong members.
This situation is becoming very much unbearable day-by-day, and the people of Kailahun district can no longer cope with military dictatorship under the guise of democracy. Therefore, it has been impeccably observed that the people, more especially the youths of Kailahun District, are fully determined to re-elect the APC and President Koroma. Evidently, the people have now thrown their support behind the popular heavyweight, Hon. Robin Farley wherever he goes. To buttress this point, it would be instructive to note that the APC T-Shirt was publicly fought for (one week ago) during the declaration ceremony of Hon. Robin Farley fondly referred to as Robinho (R7).
So, the idea of the south/eastern region being stronghold of the SLPP, and that the APC will not win a single seat in Kailahun seems will not hold; the people are becoming more developmentally oriented than politically divided. Gone are the days when politician got away with telling lies to gain vote. According to the pulse of the people, it seems the 17th November elections are going the APC way.
By Joseph Kamanda in Freetown
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