September 28, 2022

Alpha Abu Bakarr Sahid Kanu Popular known as Alpha Khan or the ‘Apprentice’ has gained a notoriety for political hustling to make personal fortunes.
He is back within the ranks and file of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) as Strategic Adviser, Social Mobiliser and Food Gatherer.
The appointment has made him ecstatic evidenced by his exuberant, graceful dances to the drums of the OBA SIE Orjeh, one of the country’s main secret societies to which he is a member-‘BABA AGBA.’
The apprentice will surely embark on a last-minute hustling to tap into the US Dollars COVID-19 will bring to Sierra Leone.
The appointment comes in the midst of a turbulent period in Sierra Leone’s peace and stability as well as allegations that President Bio presides over an ethnically-based government.
A letter seen by Nightwatch addressed to the Secretary-General of the main opposition, All People’s Congress (APC) via social media indicates that he would accept Bio’s appointment on the basis of a response to the call for “national service.”
The letter maintains that although he remains an APC member, he would take the appointment.
It still remains unclear whether a reply has been sent by the APC Scribe to the ‘Apprentice.’
Currently, the Alpha Khan’s appointment has become one of the hottest topics of discussion among members of the public.
Most Sierra Leonean, apparently APC stalwarts have condemned the appointment while others hail it as worthwhile.
In his home town of Portloko, a veteran teacher in one of the prominent secondary schools there has seriously condemned the appointment.
The teacher compared Alpha Khan’s appointment to that of Alfred Paolo Conteh who is languishing behind bars in respect of subversive and treasonable offences.
“I pray that the same tragedy does not befall Alpha Khan,” the teacher invoked God’s mercy.
But, one of the elders in Portloko town finds nothing wrong in the appointment of Alpha Khan.
To him, appointment comes from God and that God has urged President Bio to appoint him.
Alpha Khan is one of the few politicians in Sierra Leone who wastes no time in seizing political fortunes when the need arises.
He has traversed through a number of political parties to exploit the political largesse.
But, he would be remembered for treading on the paths of the country’s two main political parties when he shall have taken the back seat of politics.
In his capacity as Public Secretary of the APC in 2007, Alpha Khan was at the helm of a campaign that ushered former President Koroma into state governance.
His oratory prowess is second to none in Sierra Leone considering that he speaks several international languages, and almost, all local languages in the country.
He utilised his unprecedented oratory skills to send the Solomon Berewa- SLPP into 11yrs Political wilderness. At that time, none within the SLPP could withstand Khan’s political atomic weapons and fire power in terms of oratory.
Two of his most remarkable campaign moments were his encounter with the SLPP spokesperson, Victor Reider on Poverty Alleviation strategy and his arguments on elections malpractice in Kailahun which led to the nullification of nearly 2,000 polling centres there.
With a hard-won elections victory, Alpha Khan was made Minister of Presidential Affairs and later, Mines and Mineral Resources. The latter is a ministry Alpha Khan was comfortable with arguably owing to spoils of office.
The only tragic incident that discomforted him a bit at the ministry was a report sent by the former BBC stringer, Richard Margao indicating that about 200 people were trapped in a collapsed pit in Baomahun town, 27 kilometres north of the Southern town of Bo.
Alpha Khan successfully punched Margao’s report in a 5: 05 BBC interview and the Stringer lost his job.
Khan’s sudden transfer Form the Ministry of Mines and later to the Ministry of Information and Communication left a lot to be discussed.
The Apprentice was Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information when Ebola Virus struck the country in May, 2014.
Glued to his propagandist political style, he whittled down the appropriate communication that would have forestalled invasion of Sierra Leone by one of the most devastating epidemics known to mankind.
The lack of appropriate communication by Alpha Khan cost Miatta Kargbo’s Job, the former Minister of Health and Sanitation.
When Ebola Virus was declared over in 11th November, 2016, the Apprentice was given the portfolio of Adviser to President and Ambassador-at-Large.
To many Sierra Leoneans, the first limb of the appointment which was to advise the President was clear, but the second Ambassador-at-large was doubtful.
Many of Khan’s disciples in his hometown of Portloko were disillusioned and disappointed with the Koroma regime for leaving their son without a ministry.
Khan humbly accepted the appointment and submitted himself to the passage of time. However, one thing was buried deep within him: ‘the uncontrollable ambition of occupying the country’s highest office after former President Koroma.’
The Apprentice’s ambition for the Presidency was no longer hidden when the time was drawing near by virtue of his utterances in private and public places.
In the eve of a national convention at the North-Eastern Regional headquarters of Makeni, the Apprentice’s political ambition was made farcical when President Koroma handpicked the less-known Dr Samura Kamara as APC Flag-bearer for the 2018 elections.
It was quite clear that Alpha Khan was emotionally hurt, but remained unruffled.
He returned home and consoled his men who were with him in the struggle in the flag-bearer race.
He joined the Samura campaign albeit hypocritically with the hope of reaping another political fortune if Samura had won the elections.
His hypocrisy was made clear when he immediately conceded defeat, and called on the APC to accept the 2018 elections in a speech that was repeatedly broadcast by SLBC radio in Bo town via its famous programme ‘Inside the Region.’
The speech is a euphemistic outburst of frustration with the APC, but it, no doubt, endeared him to the SLPP fold as it added a feather on the SLPP cap.
The Khan’s concession speech marked the inception of a cosy and rosy relationship with the current SLPP dispensation.
The Apprentice was the only Minister in the Koroma regime whose name did not appear on the Commissions of Inquiry list.
No gainsaying that he also does not face a five-year ban on holding public office in Sierra Leone.
The question, many Sierra Leoneans pose in this crucial time, is the Apprentice rallying the support of the ruling party to get the APC ticket and most likely the presidency.
A great number of Sierra Leoneans have answered in the negative saying the current oppressive leadership of the SLPP cannot shake APC’s foundation.
Alpha Khan’s praise singing of the ruling SLPP portrayed him as ardent follower of the S.I. Koroma political philosophy which is:
‘If you know how to climb, you must also know how to come down or you perish.’
The Apprentice’s conduct clearly resonates with the S.I. Philosophy.
S.I. Koroma was an industrious son of PortLoko who occupied the seat of Vice President in Sierra Leone.
The only difference between the two personalities is that, Alpha Khan is not in the mould of S.I. Koroma who proved his unwavering loyalty to the APC at the time of his greatest disappointment in his life.
Until his death in early 1990’s, S.I. Koroma remained a staunch member of the party.
An APC member has predicted that Alpha Khan will not leave SLPP without a case made against him like they did with Paolo Conteh.
Today, the ‘Apprentice’ is in the good books of the current regime, but nobody knows tomorrow.
He dances incredibly gracefully while his APC comrades suffer humiliation and torture.
The public waits to see if Alpha Khan would have a future in the APC when SLPP shall have ridden in the sunset.