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Yes, the same river will disrobe the SLPP again

The article written by Kelfala Kallon on the pro-SLPP website (www.thenewpeople.com)
entitled “Will the Same River Disrobe Us Again?”  is a very thoughtful and brilliant piece. I must commend the professor for such a crafty analysis of the way he thinks the SLPP could win the 2012 presidential election. By the way, I like the analogy of the lottery ticket story. In some cases, his analysis makes perfect sense and mostly true for the following reasons.

First, it has been widely known at least to many North-Westerners that the SLPP has been “tribalized” since the 1964 fiasco Mr. Kallon was alluding to in his article (I made the “tribalized” word up to simplify my point). I am not old enough to know exactly what had happened then, but history tells me that the SLPP was actually started in the North and enjoyed supports across the country. According to some accounts, it was agreed before the appointment of Sir Milton Margai that John Kerefa Smart would ceded power to Sir Milton Margai for the leadership of the party and would be next in line after Sir Milton Margai. This agreement was garnered by party elders due to the rivalry between the two people within the party. After Sir Milton passed away, many people in the Northwest expected Mr. Kerefa Smart to take the mantle of leadership. Instead, Sir Albert Margai (the younger brother of Sir Milton Margai) took over and the subsequent events that happened afterwards reinforced this perception in the
North-West communities.

Second, it is also true that the North-West voting bloc is not politically sectional or tribal-based or even party-based. This was proven in the 1996 elections when the late Thaimu Bangura decided to help President Kabbah won the election. And in 2002 when Ernest Koroma contested against President Kabbah, Northwest voted overwhelmingly for Kabbah even though he carried the banner of a predominantly southeast political party.

Unlike the North-West as correctly stated by Prof. Kallon, the South-East has been consistently and politically static. To them, the SLPP is more of a cult than a political party, until recently when a sizeable number of southeast voters voted for the APC due to the Charles Margai factor.

However, the second characteristics of Northwest voting bloc mentioned above put a blurring spot to Mr. Kallon’s perception that, using a Northerner alone could be enough to woo enough votes for the SLPP to win the election in 2012. The North-West voting bloc do not care where a candidate comes from or what tribe s/he belongs. They are politically dynamic and issue-oriented in nature.

At this time in our history and this moment when we have a president that seeks the interest of the country for the first time in our political history, it will be a mistake for the SLPP to think that  sectionalism, tribalism or even gender is the best political tool for the next election(s).

President Koroma has set a pace that will predict future elections to come. That is, the debate in future elections will have to be about issues that people care about the most. Issues like food security, healthcare, education and national security etc. Sectionalism, tribalism and even gender will play little or no party in our future elections.

This kind of advice or analysis, whatever it was intended to be, could have only be materialized pre-2007 when President Koroma has not yet changed the political dynamics and set the bar high for political debate in the country. This was thetime when the people’s eyes were blinded by so many unwarranted perceptions,
emanating from tribalism, sectionalism and other things that could not benefit the country. Today, many Sierra Leoneans have opened up their eyes to things that bind us as a nation.

What the SLPP should worry for now is not about how to get enough votes in the Northwest, but the prevalent cracking of their political center-base. It is becoming clear that the youth of Southeast are becoming politically dynamic. They are opening up to new options and ideas other than the traditional cultism of the SLPP. They are becoming politically independent thinkers. It will take a little time for the SLPP cultic tactic to fall apart, but it has already started to crack. I have lot SLPP friends who will tell you privately that the SLPP as a political entity does not matter any longer. What matters is who will develop the country to catch up with other developing nations.

Quiterecently, the APC and president Koroma has received many praises in southeast than during the Kabbah regime. This is because president Koroma has demonstrated to the people of southeast that he is a president of the country and not a party. If this is the same way other leaders from the SLPP think, the country will be much better irrespective of what party in power.

Posted by on 6:06 pm. Filed under Breaking News, OTHER NEWS, POLITICS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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