There is such a plethora of manifesto issues going around that the 70 percent illiterate electorate is left dazed. The situation has been worsened by the late presentation of them. How can they imbibe let alone form informed judgments on these issues? But there are issues that stand out in spite of the obvious overlapping. That is consoling and an augury of peaceful outcomes.
There is a local proverb that a good player does not fight for a vest. It is naturally offered to him. In this regard the A.P.C. ought not to have been in frenzy at this point in time. All their offers of money and T-shirts ought not to have been necessary. There should have been no need for strife and stabbings.
The overwhelming need for the presidential candidate of the A.P.C. is to restore the Rule of Law which, we all agree, is in a shambles as at now. The APC disregards the laws of the land. There are more exceptions to the rule than their observance. It is desirable that, according to their manifesto, they would indeed form a government that is inclusive, accountable and audacious. It is also hoped that the A.P.C. plans to improve accountability and transparency in the use of public resources through enhancement of the Rule of Law will hold through the gift of God by providing mineral and natural resources. This country had been the second fastest growing in the whole wide world of over 193 nations. Whether it is because of this natural endowment or the demonic attitude of our governors the country is not where it should be in terms of development.
This casts doubt on the achievement of the middle class country status without stating any time frame. Judging by the past if it takes 56 years to achieve third hungriest nation in the world it may take several decades more to achieve that status under the APC (longest ruling party). As if to take the wind out of the sails of Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio the APC manifesto has stated that they would wage a war on indiscipline and intensify the fight against corruption.
That said it is opposite to note that the APC, like all other political parties, is not full of angels or demons in its membership. Truth be told, the APC has its positive achievements that should not be put under a bushel. Press freedom under the APC has been commendable. It is only for one to listen to the SLBC, a government parastatal, to know that some citizens are speaking ‘fiti-fata’ in real constructive and trenchant criticism without obstruction.
Some of their plans can be said to be difficult to achieve while others are mere election gimmicks. For instance, they have ten years of pretending to promote the consumption of our staple food without taking any positive steps to do so. They have not achieved this purpose by example, because they and their relatives and friends consume only rice. It’s only lip service.
Similarly, their glib talk of increasing the package for pensions appears to be a hoax. During the regime of Siaka Stevens government, pensioners were considered during any salary and pension revisions, but the Koroma inhuman regime increases NASSIT pensioners’ incomes and leaves the government pensioners out, some of whom are earning as low as Le30,000 (thirty thousand Leones) per month after 30 years service. They are plainly inhuman and not grassroots as paraded. Their focus is on increasing the earnings of their politicians and sycophants. They will have their just rewards at the polls.
A WORD TO DR. SAMURA KAMARA
Dr. Samura Kamara should be conscious of the fact that politics is perhaps the only profession in which no preparation is thought necessary. It is necessary for you to listen to some hard cold facts. You would do well to distance yourself from regarding politics as a business rather than a mission. You should be sworn to standing up for the disadvantaged rather than your lodge classes. You are aware that the A.P.C. has become too cavalier with public spending all because of our mineral and natural resources. You can put stopper on that. As a result of such spending our democracy has gone awry.
When Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana was overthrown he was invited to Guinea by Sekou Toure to be a co-President.
In Sierra Leone, we are headed for a situation in which we may have a virtual co-presidency of Ernest Koroma and Samura Kamara according to their last convention arrangements, which is likely to cause a constitutional imbroglio that should be pre-empted. We just heard that in Pakistan the founder of a political party has been expelled from his party. In Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Koroma, who joined the APC from PDP, is now claiming infallibility and indispensability. They would certainly not agree on all issues. Will the APC party’s views supersede government views? Will Samura Kamara be his own man? In case the APC wins the presidency are we going to be headed for a constitutional crisis? Will the party have the guts to boot the remote leadership out? Is the new slogan going to be Ernest Koroma live forever and not APC live forever? That will be the parody. ‘Gi me di cow en u hol di rope’.