September 28, 2022

Word reaching this press by reliable sources within the ruling SLPP is that New Direction strategists are coming up blank when it comes to the party’s 2023 campaign slogan.

With a four year track record of consistently failing to make the grade on its key and critical 2018 Manifesto promises, PAOPA is reportedly at its wits ends trying to come up with a cleverly spun yarn capable of convincing the people of Sierra Leone to give them five more years to govern the country.

Their problem is that they know that the people of Sierra Leone are quickly learning that governments are expected to deliver on campaign promises to qualify them getting further mandates. When we consider the current hardship that is sweeping across the country, it is clear that the people of Sierra Leone, irrespective of their tribal, political and or regional affiliation, are collectively being affected. ‘All man dey suffer!’ This situation is worrying the Bio led government who is very cognizant of having abandoned the party’s grassroots that overwhelmingly catapulted it into power.

Now, almost four years down the line, New Direction has added further injuries to that insult by runaway prices, goods and services being sold at what appears to be daily increases in prices with no end in sight by a price control system, tabling laws and other instruments with short term monetary benefits for party leaders but long term negative implications for the people of Sierra Leone, the violence in the public space, police brutality, the lost war on corruption and financial leakages, the embarrassing but comic lack of direction and focus by a government that seems bent on doing things willy-nilly, among many other issues.

Having so far failed on its key campaign promises, the party is struggling to come up with a credible slogan that would not only capture the spirit of the moment but also future aspirations. What slogan would SLPP use to qualify its achievements thus far that have only benefitted some of the upper echelons of the party? What can President Bio and his team point to at this present juncture to convince the people that all it has done these past three going four years is aimed at benefiting the people of Sierra Leone, irrespective of party, region and or tribe?

In all cardinal points across this great nation that is systematically being made poor, people are struggling under the weight of heavy cost of goods and services for which their pockets are not commensurate. Politics aside, talking to SLPP, APC or Sierra Leoneans from any political party, and going as far as including foreigners who cannot vote, about how they are faring under the present stewardship of President Bio, the overwhelming response is that things are very hard.

New Direction it would seem has presented no direction to the people of Sierra Leone that would show a clear road to the promised and expected era of prosperity. Now after these years of hardship, the party is now making moves to crown itself the saviour of the day by unleashing a barrage of development ideas aimed at urgently bringing jobs and other benefits to the struggling masses. However, these ideas were there all along. The party showed gross disregard for human suffering by artificially creating scarcity of ideas and opportunities when our development partners from who our governments ‘bolan’ were, despite COVID, and still are ready to assist Sierra Leone cut off her ties to their purse strings.

We don’t need to convince anyone that the promised New Direction is lacking in both newness and direction. New Direction has been treading the same old corrupt and violent direction it is all too familiar with. What is clear is that the only thing New Direction has achieved is the PAOPA or forceful approach to state governance.

Blinders on, the President Bio led government has been forcing its agenda on the unsuspecting and very trusting voting public, the majority of who are illiterate and uneducated, for which it has shown itself willing and capable of assaulting, killing, jailing, sacking and prosecuting anyone that either overtly or slightly criticises it or show any other proclivity that PAOPA considers anti its agenda.

But instead of the New Direction government struggling to come up with another campaign slogan to raise the people’s hopes to give it another mandate, the government should focus on reversing any and all plans, laws and ideas that are against the wish of the people as expressed through their elected representatives in parliament. New Direction is a nice and appropriate enough campaign slogan, but only when new ideas are put in place that show a really new direction from what has been obtaining these past 60 years. LONTA!