By Philip Neville
Leprosy is a contagious disease. It damages the anatomy and physiology of the body and left the being with multiple scars. The disease eats up the phalanges and completely disfigures every part of the body, both visible and invisible. It commences its destructive journey with the internal organs and render them defunt and unproductive if strigent and prompt medical attentions are not administered during its formative stage.
Detecting the disease requires medical test of blood and other examination. It could be cured if the necessary medical actions are implemented and complied with, if not; it could lead to death.
A patient suffering from this disease is referred to as a leper, that is when the disease has consumed a significant portion of the body with the fingers and toes badly eaten up, thus causing shame and disgrace to the victim. The victim is now ashamed to associate with his/her peers and society and prefers to remain in isolation until death.
In the New Testament bible, ten lepers approached Jesus Christ when they learnt that he was performing miracles and healing the sick. They had been abandoned by society, but because they believed in Christ miraclous performance they emerged from their hide-outs to see him and be cured. They were refered to the King and by the time they materialized at the place they were cleansed of the disease. The bible reveals that out of the ten lepers only one of them returned to demonstrate appreciation to the messiah. This is just a diversion, but because the disease is mentioned, it has been used to give an insight of its destructive nature and how society scorns at people suffering from it.
Leprosy is a not a hereditory disease, unlike diabetes, hypertension and a few others. It could be transfered from one person to other depending on the enviroment and a number of other available factors medically considered
It would appear that the SLPP, a political party that has been in existence for the over sixty years is gradually getting itself to resemble a leper who is being scorned and abandoned by its people and society because of the disease that is eating deep into the anatomy and physiology of the party. The Sierra Leone People’s Party may be suffering from this type of ailment beacuse of recent association it has created with some people that society scorns at. This has caused most members of the party to disossiate themselves from the party for them not be affected by the disease. The actions of some members, especially those that are voluntarily dropping out of the party may trigger the conscious minds to ask, why are they calling it quit?
In less than twenty four months to the close of 2011 more than five hundred members have left and the most recent that has sent what could be referred to a troubling signal is the resignation of John Ernest Leigh.
John Ernest Leigh needs no introduction to the public, his role, his stance and contribution to the SLPP over the years. His resignation may have provoked many questions from the voting public, but what may seem strange and shocking is the contents of his letter and revealtions made, which may appear scary; especially for those who may in their dream have assumed that the SLPP is a party worth emulation. But what this insider of over fifty years stewardship to the party has now made public leaves the mind in a state of cognitive dissonance and mixed feelings.
Perhaps this could be one of the principal factors that is driving decent people away from the party, moreso those who do not believe in voodoo and secret swearing ceremonies with raw meat, salt and kola nuts.
John Ernest Leigh should be commended for brining this 19th Century practice of the SLPP to children of 21st Century who believes in the advancement of technology and the practice of decent democracy. Since the resignation letter of John Ernest Leigh became public, no member of the SLPP caucus has thought it fit to either challenge the contents of the letter or to rebuke him. The reason probably is that they all know he said nothing but the truth, so challenging him would invite more nasty revelations and finger pointing of the kings and queens of the voodoo practice in the party.
It is now becoming clearer that those who do not belong to this group of voodoo and secret swearing are the ones leaving the party in flight, but those that have already eaten, swallowed and contents present in their blood stream, and settled down in their stomach are left with no option but to remain where they are as they consented on that day, that they would not depart. This is why people like Alhaji Turay, late Mana Kpaka, and others continued to stay even when it is against their wish. We may have to sympathize with them as we sympathize with a leper, for he/she has nowhere to go with the disease.