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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE POLITICS OF VANITY

Titus Boye-Thompson

The fabled story of Beauty and the Beast draws from a real existence of a warped relationship between two outwardly unmatched but hitherto unseemly couple who may have existed in time. Their existence point to the fabled transliteration of a union between a beautiful woman and a suitor who could best described as an ogre, a hard man and a cretin. The beautiful wife may have been ensconced with the beast for reasons unknown or otherwise unfathomable but the main point of interest is that she was in some way adjunct to that relationship. She may have been traded or to put it in another way, may have traded her principles for some charm that she found bearable in the cretin, even though she would have known in her heart of hearts that the Cretin’s hands are soiled with the blood of the poor and defenseless. The partnership between Julius Maada Bio and Dr Kadi Sesay is nothing short of a harkening back to beauty and the beast. The Present day depiction of the beast has him as a hound, in hooves, with the upper body of a lion representing his strength and the ability to be devious

and cunning. Julius Maada Bio has that inner strength that sometimes bedazzles his opponents. He commands that awe and fear that a Soldier
would command and that which a leader of ordinary men and women in the trenches would have to obey. His is a life of devious betrayal of Country and friend, of a wife subjected to domestic violence or a state Treasury looted to his whims. How devious and cunning do you need to be to usurp a political process at the very last minute and snatch victory in the mouth of failure as he so cunningly machinated at the SLPP Convention just a while back. His most cunning was left to
his last act that saw him appoint Dr Kadi Sesay as his running mate, only to proffer some credibility to his candidature, some vitality to an otherwise doomed campaign and some legitimacy to his aspirations to
govern Sierra Leone through the ballot box.
Theirs have now come to be the beauty and the beast of politics in Sierra Leone. When fingers are pointed at Julius Maada Bio for his crimes against humanity, the focus is redirected to the accomplishments of Dr Kadi Sesay and her status as a Northern woman of substance. A woman of substance she undeniably is but her decision to
embark on this journey with Julius Maada Bio as the Revlon girl who provides his make up to present him in a good light has baffled so many of her admirers. That Dr Kadi Sesay had a good reputation or an accomplished career now loses some of its dazzle as she is continually being dusted off with the overdone mascara on Maada Bio’s character.
At a time when Sierra Leone needs a steady focus, continuity in its development strides and a Government of national concern, the beauty and the beast charade would be so unwarranted to be as much a diversion rather than a reasoned contribution to the mechanics of democracy. It begs the question why the Sierra Leone People’s Party decided to unleash such a devious game on the conscience of the nation. They have fielded a candidate who is so smeared with corruption, inveigled with illegality and complicit in murder. That a responsible political party would in a collective idiocy expect this nation to support the elevation of a man so besmeared to the highest office in the land. On the other hand, it may be a clear deceptive gambit to encourage the All People’s Party to be lax in their duty to fight the forthcoming elections with vigor thereby opening up the way for a close run race
that would need a spate of heightened violence or otherwise political tension to trigger a universally accepted Government of National Unity with smaller parties becoming king makers and bargaining chips. To this end, the APC would have itself to blame if it allows complacency to hijack its strategy to fight these elections to the last man with the very last ballot.
It is time to wake up and fight this fight the best way possible and that would be with the determination to win it decisively at the first ballot the first time round. To do this, the APC should make use of its best human resources, encourage people with the requisite skills and dexterity to challenge the opposition and succumb them to submission by engaging its campaign machinery to address the concerns of those who work from within the party as well as without and in all sincerity, demonstrate that this is an all embracing political movement that is receptive to the concerns of its grass roots. This is serious politics where the future of this nation is at stake and its unfolding should be no place for the politics of vanity. Let those who do not have the interests for this Nation go on with playing the game of division, nepotism and moral decadence but the APC have the responsibility to protect this Nation from such types and it ought to do all in its power to enforce that duty. The choice that faces Sierra Leone is as clear as deep blue water.
There is the chance of more and further progress with a party whose leader has promised to do more for agriculture, energy, infrastructure, health, education and the private sector in such good measure that this Country would by the end of the next five years be well on its way to prosperity against a party whose leader has said nothing of his murky past but hung his hopes on an accomplished lady to shed some beauty to their campaign as if this is a beauty contest, proffers a new direction well away from the responsible development objectives that this Country ought to focus on and has made no apologies to those who have been wronged under his watch as a military strongmen at the helm of a Military Junta that seized power in the recent past and committed atrocities including crimes against humanity. Such a choice ought to be stark and to those who have a clear conscience and love for this Country, we understand that they have made it clear that their choice would be a simple one. Beauty and the beast is a fairy tale but we are mindful that art imitates life!

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