October 1, 2022

By: Winstanley. R. Bankole. Johnson

Finally dates for next multi-tiered elections have been announced. 24th June 2023 which is barely fifteen (15) months away. Not a day less, nor a day more shall be added unto the days of this government to continue serving us.  The differences between now and that date it is only a matter of “Sleep en Wake” through God’s Grace.  So with a firm date now announced, the time for lengthy articles are over. From now onwards everything has to be “sharp-sharp” (as our Yoruba people would say in pidgin for “prompt”) because there’s much too much to write upon to sensitize the masses as we change strategic “Levels”, and they’ve got to be to the point, but covering all the essentials. Thank you Dear Lord Jesus!!

A South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Anchor wept uncontrollably “in camera” whilst announcing the recent fuel pump price increase by R1.25 (approximately Le990 – Nine hundred and ninety Leones) Per Litre. (Standard SLL/SAR parity Le800).  In a popular Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) TV presentation one popular anchor did not go so far as to weep whist reporting on the continued scarcity of fuel supplies at all Gas Stations since last weekend, but he blamed the scarcity of supplies just four days after a 20% (Le2000 which is about  R.2.5) in cost of fuel from Le10k to Le12k per liter on “Wicked People”.

Cookies

Immediately I was rhetorically like: “But who are these “Wicked People” that that Presenter could have been referring to? The question was germane because since assuming power almost four years ago the[a1]  SLPP was supposed to have so disgracefully dislodged all such “Wicked People” from the corridors of governance (including some of us with contractual tenures without our exit benefits)  leaving only those with whom they share “work ethics” in charge of everything – government; governance; wealth; opulence; influence. For example in the Ministry of Trade the government and their agents have  been in charge of everything  – The Petroleum Regulatory Agency, their various Task Forces of Inspectors, Regulators in charge of or connected with fuel pricing, distribution and marketing. Wasn’t it on evidence of those “Informants” that they were able to monitor and close a Fuel Station along Campbell Street recently? Everybody or anybody or everything they perceived they cannot work with or share their values have long been purged from the systems. And that included all of us they perceived as “Wicked People”.  So how came that they who have been the only ones in employment, employable or are doing brisk businesses in the last four years should still be lamenting the existence of “Wicked People” from among their own midst?  Could it be a matter of “Ninjas versus Ninjas”?

Well I suppose that’s what we call the “Blame Game” which is typical among African politicians.  “Wicked people”, “Detractors” and “Infiltrators” – not those in power – are to blame for governance ineptitude. I am surprised they haven’t recruited those who predicted their electoral victory in 2018 to “Fast and Pray” for their  “Deliverance” from “Confusion”. But it is clear that as next elections loom, the writings are also looming largely on the wall and with all their friends are despising and forsaking them, this government and their agents are now forced to be looking elsewhere for sympathy? But sympathy from whom?  The cookies seem to be crumbling fast for the SLPP. Very fast in fact!!

Polarization

The topic of discussion was Fuel Scarcity, but I suppose if other issues were covered during that same programme “Wicked People” – instead of sheer incompetence – would again have been blamed for this government’s inability to have adequately addressed our basic essential needs like reliable electricity distribution within the capital, patching up of hundreds gaping “Pot Holes” precariously adorning major roads and thoroughfares, inefficient public transportation, delayed issuances of Drivers’ and Vehicles Licenses, inadequate drugs supplies at our hospitals and clinics, unstable fuel supplies, lack of food sufficiency and food security and most important of all, guaranteeing the safety and security of citizens from harassments both from marauders and high-handedness of the security forces at the slightest of misunderstandings that led the European Union raising an alarm that (political) polarization in the country is high and increasing.

Disapproval

But let us in a fleeting moment agree with that Presenter that indeed there are still “Wicked People” within this government which they haven’t been able to flush out all these past four (4) years, what is it that they would have us the electorate do at next elections? Give the SLPP another five (5) years in power so as to make the majority of us in the opposition to die by starvation in our own country? Hmmmmmm??

That is not in my power, but gauging from public reactions I can only narrate an incident during the Sermon at a Church in the East of Freetown last Sunday 13th. The congregation enjoyed it up to the point where the Preacher decided to veer away from the Scriptures and he started heaping praises of the leadership of this government for “political tolerance and Freedom of Speech”. The spontaneous roars of disapproval that filled the air caused him to dismount within three minutes. It was clear that the over 100% delivery by this government on their 2018 Manifesto promises had not yet impacted the congregation, which experience left my heart of hearts pounding with just one question:  Has the Spirit of God truly deserted SLPP?

As we approach the elections just fifteen months away, I feel duty bound to encourage all eligible voters to please strictly follow and comply with the Voters Registration timelines and formalities scheduled for between September and October. The Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL) for its part has a duty to ensure an equitable distribution of Registration Centers and Voters Registration Machines at standard equi-distances countrywide to ensure[a2]  maximum voters registration. No region or locality should be disadvantaged systemically; neither in the unfair deployment of human nor material resources.

I am not sure whether Mr. Andrew Lavalie will continue his Yeoman’s role of sensitizing citizens that:  “Dem Vote Na Dem Life” as he meticulously did in 2018, but that to me would seem the only way the wishes of the International Community can be actualized so that “……Everyone can vote; their votes are counted accurately and the winner takes power peacefully”.


 [a1]Ost four

 [a2]axi