September 28, 2022

IT WAS FORMER SLPP presidential candidate now President Julius Maada Bio who said, “APC is not good for Sierra Leone.” He made the statement during 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections to canvass for votes. Three years after he was made President, every move made by the Bio administration portrays SLPP as a party not good for the country.

IT CAN BE UNEQUIVOCALLY stated here that SLPP is very worried since they know that they are not working in the country’s interest. Time and again, SLPP Government has enacted bad laws and embarked on blatant constitutional breaches. The New Direction has achieved notoriety for using some trickeries and lacunae in laws to surreptitiously pass them. Once they are enacted, bad laws become laws until repealed.

THREE YEARS BACK, instances abound in which New Direction Government has attempted to have its way regardless of the effects their actions may have on the people they serve. In the words of Deputy Leader of the opposition, Hon. IB Kargbo, SLPP is trying to establish a one party- state since it took over state administration. Taking this further,  SLPP, known for its political strategies that  limit civil liberties and freedoms  knows that it can’t win 2023 presidential elections freely and fairly. It therefore try to pass all these laws aimed at prolonging their stay in power, even beyond a second term.

BUT, AFTER almost every move this government, it has succeed only to earn discontent from members of the opposition, media practitioners and even SLPP members. It is prudent to think that SLPP would have settled for a roundtable discussions to cook up a new set of strategies to appease the public. Instead the party keeps sinking into lower levels of doing the people’s business without notice or consultation, hence doing so with their own agenda in mind.

FOR THE PUBLIC, including APC, SLPP and other politicians, what happened yesterday at Bintumani Hotel in Aberdeen should settle the matter that SLPP is here to have its way against the will of the people. Advised times without number by locals including parliamentarians, the media and the general public, about not only how unnecessary and logistically nightmarish it would be to conduct a midterm census, notwithstanding its unconstitutionality and the unpreparedness of Statistics Sierra Leone to carry out the census, the President, as if being prodded on by an invisible hand, decided to convene an emergency meeting of parliament, for what? To try and convince the opposition to see reason to support the tabling of the Midterm Census document in parliament. Again, why is the SLPP so keen on having its way with this census despite knowing that not even technologically sound countries, including the US, can accomplish a census in such a short period of time? There are six million dollar reasons.

WITH YET ANOTHER bombshell audit report revelation that this government has reportedly lost Le65.5 billion and other huge sums of money owing to failure to put the necessary structures in place and strict adherence to rules and procedures, New Direction government greedily eyes World Bank approved US$6 million. My anticorruption and anti-financial leakages champion has become the first accused!

TO ENSURE THAT it carries out its own agenda, the president proclaimed an emergency sitting of parliament to convince opposition parties to accept Mid-Term Census document. While it is not illegal for presidents to call for such meetings, there are laid down rules on how that should happen.

ACCORDING TO THE OPPOSITION leader, Chernor Maju Bah, opposition parties should have been given 21-day notice for consultation before the commencement of any emergency sitting proclaimed by the president.  In yet another SLPP’s display of having its way at the people’s detriment, the clerk also didn’t consult the opposition leader. For that reason, Hon. Bah insisted that the sitting should not commence citing serious breaches in the Standing Order and other provisos that must be strictly followed.

IN AN ATTEMPT to stand up for the people against tabling of the census paper,  the Speaker and the Clerk  of  Parliament ordered armed guards forcefully to remove APC parliamentarians. The order was complied with the law passed in their absence. The Brutal action is reminiscent of the brouhaha in the well of parliament when the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abass Bundu was controversially installed.

IT IS OFTEN said that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. If anyone, be they SLPP, APC or any other party, had thought that SLPP would be good for the country, now they should be convinced and worried that SLPP is not good for Sierra Leone. Everything they do is in the party’s interest and not the people’s.

WE, THE GRASS, are suffering and asking SLPP parliamentarians that care for the people to vote against their party and leader, or the SLPP will, PAOPA, have its Midterm Census. But at what cost to the country’s image, and our continued underdevelopment?