The Inside Story

By Philip Neville

The Inside Story

The Inside Story

“It is finished” were the words of Jesus Christ when he noticed that death was imminent on the cross and the fulfillment of the scripture must be accomplished, he therefore gave himself up for the benefit of mankind. One day, not too long from now the voters of this country would witness a declaration from a political candidate when he too would notice that political success has taken a marathon journey from him. He would say “It is finished”, meaning that all efforts he made to become the next president of Sierra Leone has landed him in a state of political disappointment.

The recently concluded SLPP convention should not be viewed by supporters of the party or the public with admiration, but to be viewed that a promise made was kept and honoured. This is the inside story Party, which a
number of party fanatics and well wishers don’t know or are not privilege to know because it was made behind closed doors involving only few and a few, and when that promise was not homoured at the time it should have been, there were lots of sentiments expressed by those who witnessed and took part in the negotiation between some SLPP big guns including ex-president Tejan Kabbah and the Maada Bio group.

In 1992, Julius Maada Bio and a group of politically inexperienced military officers took part in a coup that ousted the All Peoples Congress party, which was in governance of the state of Sierra Leone. It is a coup that was described as “BLOODLESS’ and considered popular. What yardstick was used to determine its popularity and its state of bloodlessness is left with those who propagated the theory to the International Community including the
former German Ambassador to Sierra Leone, named Karl Prince.

About two to three years of barbaric reign and torture of Sierra Leoneans, Maada Bio in a palace coup toppled his boss Capt. Valentine Strasser and announced to the general public that he wanted to transform himself to a civilian president. Since that day to date the political career of retired Capt. Valentine Strasser has remained “It is finished” walloping from one level of poverty and frustration to another. Bio was now on the seat, with Dr. James Jonah appointed as the country’s Interim Electoral Commissioner and charged with the responsibility of preparing the stage for transition from a disappointed military rule to that of a civilian. By then Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
and his group comprising Solomon Ekuma Berewa, Banda Thomas and others were working assiduously to put in place  mechanism that would drive the military boys from State House, and cleverly they succeeded, disregarding all cases of Human Rights Abuse committed by them while in office with a tag of immunity placed on their backs as they quit State House.

The 1996 election that ushered in Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to power was a controversial one as the polls showed that it was the late Karefa Smart that won, but because the junta had perceived him as detrimental to their exit safety, Dr. Jonah decided to commit an electoral fraud in favour of his former United Nations colleague, whom the junta was comfortable doing business with.
The late John Karefa Smart was deprived of State House as he was perceived a hardliner who would not celebrate the exit of Bio and his military colleagues. Prior to the election, Maada Bio having tasted the sweetness of State House was reluctant to bid farewell to this powerful political building and galvanized support from youths and some sections of the media that jumped on the streets singing and preaching PEACE BEFORE ELECTIONS. This would have given him or extended his time at State House to another six or more months, but pressure from both the International Community and local NGOs including Campaign for Good Governance squashed his ambition. When that failed, he came up with another theory of having contacted the then rebel leader Foday Sankoh whom, he said he was in discussion with him to conclude the war and it was only him that would bring out Foday Sankoh from the bush, forgetting that some members of the public knew that Josephine Bio his sister was in love with the RUF Leader, his location, hide-out and several of his dubious diamond transactions with foreign partners who were benefiting from the war. Unfortunately, the bait was not swallowed hook, line and sinker by members of the public that have endured more than enough of the NPRC torture and mis-rule. Behind close doors, negotiation
took place and if Maada Bio would handover political power to the SLPP; the SLPP in turn would handover power to him when Ahmad Tejan Kabbah would have completed his two-term. In addition, the International Community with the United States of America, playing the leading role offered the sum of Forty Five Million Leones to each of them as compensation and the provision of a free passage to anyone to pursue higher education. Maada Bio and a handful of them opted to proceed to the United States of America to be intellectually armed in readiness for the top office in Sierra Leone(How he went on with things in America is another subject matter for another edition).

Filled with hope and desperate for political office, Maada Bio entered the ring on the basis of the promises made to him, but Solomon Ekuma Berewa did not allow him as he disregarded all  assumed a second position in the Leadership contest and was pacified by elders to exercise maximum patience until when Solomon Ekuma Berewa too would have completed his second term. Things did not take place as predicted, when Ernest Bai Koroma stretched out his muscles and sent the SLPP into the political
wilderness till date.

It did not come as a surprise to many of us, hearing the news from afar that Julius Maada Bio has won the Leadership Contest and has now
been elected Presidential Candidate of the SLPP. It was only news and shock to
those other Candidates who sacrificed Le50 Million non-refundable fee for the
Leadership position. It was a deal seal and settled, a deal that no other
candidate is qualified for, except Julius Maada Bio.

The results speak clearly that he was the choice of theparty and not the free- money-spender Usu Boie Kamara who jumped into wagon without any knowledge of what had transpired some years back with members of
the SLPP caucus and the former military man.

By this time now, they all know ‘It is finished”. The nextstage is how they can cleverly milk some funds from them on the pretext of party solidarity. Mr. Usu Boie Kamara, who is described within the party as the free-money- spender is the target for substantial funding for the 2012 the election. His account in Zurich is the focus and if allowed, it will be plundered well to run the SLPP Campaign. Maada Bio took 1st position with 238 votes, scoring 40.3% defeating Usu Boie Kamara who scored 186 votes
and bagged 31.5%. Andrew Keili took third position with a score of 9.8% and
total votes of 58 and Alpha Osman Timbo took 4th and scored 7.4%,
Dr. Kadie Sesay, former English Lecturer of Fourah Bay College bagged 28 votes with a score of 0.2%. Many questions remain unanswered and if the losers could sit down quietly and ask themselves, are we blind to what obtains in the SLPP as a political party to part with Fifty Million Leones non refundable fee, just to crown Maada Bio as the Presidential Candidate? The question would send them thinking and cracking. The SLPP was not a political party of the Southeast, but a party of the West and North but cunningly and cleverly the Southeasterners have hijacked it and transformed it to their personal property and would not allow any Western or Northerner, with the exception of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to become a Chairman or Presidential Candidate.

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19 Responses to The Inside Story

  1. Ben Johnson

    August 8, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    National Chairman and Leader John O. Benjamin Mende, Kailahun, East
    Deputy National Chairman Sebora Somanoh Kapen Temne, Kambia, North
    Regional Chairman –West Lansana Fadika Madingo, Freetown, West
    Regional Chairman – East Patrick Foya Kissi, Kailahun, East
    Regional Chairman –South Joseph Kpulun Mende, Bo, South
    Regional Chairman –North Bobson Sesay Temne, Tonkolili, North
    National Secretary –General Sulaiman Banjan Tejan-sie Temne/Madingo, Freetown, West
    Assistant Secretary- General Ibrahim Sesay Temne, Kambia, North
    National Organising Secretary Sahr Nyaama Kono, Kono, East
    Deputy National Organising Secretary Harding Torto Kono, Kono, East
    National Treasurer Joe Kallon Mende, Pujehun, South
    National Financial Secretary Gertrude Karimu Mende/Sherbro, Moyamba & Bonthe, South
    National Women’s Leader Isatu Kabbah Madingo, Bombali, North
    Deputy National Women’s Leader Hariatu Turay Limba, Freetown
    National Young Generation Leader Josephus Fengeh Sherbro, Bonthe, South
    Secretary, Young Generation Jaih Koroma Mende, Bo/Pujehun, South
    National Publicity Secretary Musa Tamba Sam Kissi, East
    Legal Adviser Easmond Ngaqui Mende, Moyamba
    Legal Adviser Hindolo Gevao Kissi, Kaialhun, East
    Legal Adviser Alex Musa Mende, Kenema, East
    Auditor Jalikatu Salam Muslim krio Freetown, West
    Trustee (South) Momodu Yillah Susu, Kambia, North
    Trustee (South) Tejan Sankoh Madingo, Moyamba, South
    Trustee (West) Christian Leigh Krio, Freetown, West
    Trustee (West) Joe Blell Krio, Freetown, West
    Trustee (North) Joseph Amara Temne, Port Loko, North
    Trustee (North) Sheku Tarawally Koranko, Koinadugu, North
    Trustee (East) Sahr Lamin Kissi, Kailahun, East
    Trustee (East) Mohamed Abu Sandy Mende, Kenema, East
    Imam Sheik Fomba Swarray Madingo, Freetown, West
    Chaplain Gilbert Harding Sherbro, Moyamba, South

  2. Daniel Sellu

    August 9, 2011 at 12:12 am

    This head line and opening first lines by Sylvia Blyden’s Awareness times – ‘Philip Neville Disappoints Maada Bio Supporters in Sierra Leone’

    “Mr. Philip Neville of Standard Times newspaper has left many supporters of Mr. Maada Bio in Freetown in a state of disappointment with the contents of his edition…..” actually motivated me to read this news/edition, but my-oh-my, i saw nothing in this edition matching her words in here news. Clear indication that this lady is all out to confuse and knock together the heads of the low thinkers out there hence causing problems in our society. But i cant go sir, without thanking you for your good balance reporting here.Sylvia is not the only one who knows how to write, we are prepared too to start writing back and equaly attacking her with our pen. I thank you.

  3. Albakry

    August 9, 2011 at 12:17 am

    True sooooooooooooooo true Mr. Neville…u nailed it.

  4. Franklyn Kargbo

    August 9, 2011 at 5:15 am

    It ia a shame and disgrace that educated people from the North could not see the writing on the world. Who did not know that SLPP is a Mende Man party/religion? You would have used your Le. 50,000,000 to do something good in places like Gbinti, Rotifunk, Rokulan etc, but you decided to waste it because you have plenty where as the masses is suffering. Good job SLPP for teaching these fools that you are loyal to your party/religion.

  5. Santigie Kekuda Sesay

    August 9, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I think almost everyone who was present during the past bloody civil war in our country, Sierra Leone know what the Junta regime did in our nation. They almost put our nation back to the drains and people are still trying to recover from the pain and loss the rebel war has left in Sierra Leone. Julius Maada Bio and a group of politically inexperienced military officers took part in a coup that ousted the All Peoples Congress party, which was in governance of the state of Sierra Leone. If this same figure is hoping to win the 2012 election is just a dream that he himself know it will never come true. I think we just need to allow His excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to continue ruling the nation for the second term since he has contributed immensely to help develop Sierra Leone during his time as president.

  6. Calvin KONNEh

    August 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I think all the talk about Madaa Election always has to end that the SLPP is a mende man party. Its like Niville and others wants to take the 2012 election back to 1967, when raw tribalism was preached. The composition of the SLPP executive speak for itself that the SLPP is still a national party. Neville made it clear that the SLPP has at lest elected Kaba from the north as its leader, but when will a southerner ever lead the APC. Madaa was just the man for the moment, it is his time and nobody can stop him.

  7. Keifala Koroma

    August 9, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Please let us be mindful of comments we make. we dont want to create another war in this country. Taliking about SLPP been a Mende party or APC been a Temmne party will not solve our sociall needs. What as Sierra Leoneans we should be talking about is getting a President that will help alleviate poverty in the country, ameliorate corruption and its related vices. It dosent matter whether you are temmne, Mende, Limba. or krio.

  8. Tom Dudi

    August 9, 2011 at 11:18 am

    For goodness sake why can’t J. J. Saffa, John Benjamin and co resigned as honorable men like how that SLPP chairwoman did.

    SLPP has indeed bring shame upon our country. No sane thinking would vote for such Junta cheiftain.

  9. kamara

    August 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Give me a break APC fanatics.Tribalism, my left foot. When a APC elects a Mende as their presidential candidate, then we can talk. Sierra Leone is a democracy, people are free to vote for whom they desire without fear of intimiditation. In a democracy people vote for someone whom they have something in common with, be it race, religion, tribe or economical status.Sierra leone is no different from guinea, nigeria or the USA. OBama cannot win ALabama or Missisipi.

    Stop the double standards and Hypocrisy

    Why is it OK for APC not appoint a Mende as it’s Presidential candidate but it is a sin when SLPP selects a candidate from its Stronghold?

    Why is it ok for Ernest to appoint a cabinet from 90% of his region and that’s acceptable and SLPP is branded as a tribalistic Party?

    It is ok for Tonkolili, Port Loko, Bombali to vote 90% APC and when SLPP attains 80% of the votes in their stronghold, they are viewed as tibalistic generalizations as the party is viewed as a cult in the southeast emerge.

    Face the fact, Democratic politics in sierra leone is tribally based. APC is a Temne-Limba-Loko party and SLPP is a southeastern party. Freetown ,Kono will decide the winner.

    Stop the Hypocrisy. My father was a founding member of SLPP and he was from the north. Bio was not my candidate or the best. He was elected in a democracy, marginally. Slpp should have had a second round of voting until a candidate gained more than 50% of the vote. Anyway why should SLPP commit political suicide and elect a candidate that cannot energize its base , we know very well that the good people of bombali, Port loko and tonkolili will never give SLPP more 10% of their votes regardless how much campaign money is poured in the AREA/. I remember what the people in the north would tell my late father an SLPP candidate. Look Kotthor, we will rather vote for a bottle with a red cloth tied around it before we vote for SLPP. So join APC, My father never did. years after the elections, the now disappointed APC supporters would come begging for funds.

    We all want a better and stable Sierra Leone but the country is dangerously divided and this doees not augur well for the future.

  10. Momoh Musa

    August 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Those who have become Judge and Jury in this matter and coming up with all sorts of consipiracy theories should step back and allow the electorate to decide when the time comes.Whether the election of Maada Bio was the right or wrong choice is like ‘closing the stable door when the horse has bolted’ That is now history, but i can assure these mischief makers that the 2012 election would be a closely contested one and even President Koroma knows it.I dont think it is the business of anyone to lecture an opposition party about its choice of leader and officials.The race to win the hearts and minds of the electorate is fully on course.The APC’s strategy has a tendency to backfire on them as they would end up making Maada Bio even more popular as we have seen in a number of cases in Africa.

  11. Mukti

    August 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Leaving aside the blasphemous bits, you weave an unbelievable tale- Hadley Case might be proud of- but it’s mincemeat for our very own ‘Perry Mason’. Perhaps you might assist this Court of Public opinion by telling us: why you think they should have used a different yardstick, what your yardstick, or a yardstick that panders to your parajournalism. Flip floppers aint exactly very credible witnesses, and a cloud hangs over most narratives they spin out on behalf of the brown envelope issuers. And who in their right senses would recruit spineless coasters as agenda-setters? I am pretty sure the Sierra Leonean people know who to trust. Why do I keep thinking it was all finished off at Old Railway Line?

  12. Mukti

    August 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    I think all the talk about Madaa Election always has to end that the SLPP is a mende man party

    Calvin, what currency do they use in Mende land? You guys need to elevate your discussions above this two-tribe mantra. People have a right to make personal and political choices without being tagged in such derogatory fashion. The people you refer to are citizens of Sierra Leone first and foremost. It is isolated and insulated folks like you who think our collective prosperity depends on whether you are Mende or xyz tribe. Quit peddling cheap untruths and think about which Party has the best policies to alleviate the perennial suffering and backwardness in our Country.

  13. Mabinty

    August 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Well said Mr Nevellie. How I wish we had more of your type in Sierra Leone.

  14. max chance

    August 10, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Thanks Mr Nevllie for allowing Sierra Leoneans to vent their tribal differences. However the concept of honesty and reality should be observed when exchanging views and in my openion Mr Kamara’s entry(09/08/2011@12:38hrs) will always be the winner as his comments are based on the facts and realities of both political houses(SLPP and APC). SLPP is purely south eastern whilst APC is completely nothern. Thanks Mr Kamara for your clarifications and may God bless you. Shifting through most APC affiliated litrature, one will without any doubt conclude that junta maada Bio will hang on to the PMDC votes(He is Mr Magia’s Town’s man) and mende. This is believed to be responsible for the current APC family fears as APC came to power due to the stupidity of bad(Not so cleaver) Kialahun SLPP election chiefs, lady Christiana Tops (well you know what…) and the very PMDC. So every one should try and start focusing on the end game. IT WILL BE AN INTRESTING ELECTION and we cant wait to ……………(I surely need Mr Kamara’s help for an appropriate/reality orientated conclusion.

  15. Eric M. Sam

    August 10, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Thanks for the good writting.

    I would really appreciate it very much if you will tell the public new things that are facts. All stated above are not new ideas to the reading public.

  16. Gombie Musa-Tonyayia

    August 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    For those who could not recall history it is but clear that SLPP which once discribed APC as the party of violence have resorted to the same tricks. On a more serious note, SLPP is not only perpetuating violence but the party is now entrenched in it by electing JOB who once slapped a Njala University Professor and Maada Bio a power monger. We are tired of violence as the nation just turned 50.

  17. Gombie Musa-Tonyayia

    August 10, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    thanks for what you guys are doing for informing the know-nots.

  18. Kolumayia Gondo

    August 12, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    All these conspiracy theories are very unneccesary. What the print media should be propagating is how we can achieve national cohesion rather preaching hate. I am really dissapointed in the likes of Philip Neville and his unsubstantiated claims. If have been privy to this kind of secret pack since 1996, why do you hold it for 15 good years to yourself?
    Is this the way you want to ensure victory for your under-cover friend, Ernest Koroma? Come on, you should be above this petty and dirty journalistic style.

    I expect you to start telling the Nation why they should vote Ernest Koroma for 2nd term with the current record of his rule, with all the heigthened corruption that is characteristic of his rule, the naked regionalism glaring displayed in public appointments, the fire-fighting economic management strategies of his technocrats, the unplanned and happazzard projects in the name of show-casing development, the unabated hardship that has become pervasive in the country, the secret killings (eg the unexplained death of Abdul Mustapha of the NRA fame and you think people don’t know the facts behind the act of setting fire on him to death) etc, etc.

    The people of Sierra Leone are quite knowlegeable about happenings in the country and are very capable of reading between the lines. Good state management is about the bread and butter aspects of family life, and not half-hearted development approach to steal the minds of people. Those who have read your article very well know where you belong.

  19. francis foday

    August 16, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Gentlemen and ladies,I’m beginning to feel that we should start to read salone map again as people have started provoking and urging our bloody past to raise its head at this time when several of us have contributed to heal the wounds.Do you people want us to run out of this sweet mama salone again at our age?Please media practitioners,use your words to build confidence in Sierra Leoneans,motivate us to be peacefull,train us to live as one nation,care about the children and the aged including our mothers.Please papa government do not wait until things move from insitment to bloody violence.H.E ,your every right to stop cold war between and amongst politicians and media houses.Lonta’

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