IS BERNADETTE LAHAI & CHIEF KAPEN SURROGATE POLITICIANS?July 20, 2017
It is unreasonable for the long time embattled Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Minority Leader, Dr. Bernadette Lahai and the suspended Party’s Chairman, Chief Somano Kapen describing the decision’s of the National Executive Council (NEC) to suspend the latter and three others as “a palace coup.”It was ridiculous to see the Honourable Minority Leader supporting Chief Kapen who spoke like a child by equating his suspension to the manner in which Captain Valentine Strasser was toppled by the retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio. We would deal with Chief Kapen’s misplaced allegations after we would have put Bani Lahai in her right position.
Bernadette Lahai’s ranting at Kona Lodge on Monday19th December against the SLPP’s NEC decision was like the pot calling the kittle black. Some people that attended the press conference were astounded over the remarks of Dr.Lahai as they murmured quietly “why should the Minority Leader not play a motherly/leadership role by engaging NEC privately to quell the political impasse within their party?”, adding that as Hon. Minority Leader, she should have served in that capacity. But our political microscope can clearly state the reason why Dr.Lahai’s intelligence is not going in that direction. This is because Bernadette Lahai is the worst Minority Leader in Parliament that is creating more trouble for the SLPP to keep them in opposition. In fact, some observers are of the conviction that “Dr. Bernadette Lahai’s political soul had long gone to the ruling All Peoples Congress Party (APC) since she became the Minority Leader in Parliament.” Has Bani asked herself quietly why her colleague MPs (that had chosen her) were fighting to unseat her? The answer is crystal clear that she had been serving as a sell-out to the ruling APC Party.
Born in Kenema District, Honourable Bernadette Lahai has been one of the luckiest female Politicians in Sierra Leone’s history to be elected/ selected by her colleagues as the first female Minority Leader in Parliament in 2012. As the first female Minority Leader, political analysts in the country were expecting Dr.Lahai to have served as an iron lady in the House by copying the good examples of the former APC Minority Leader of Parliament, Ernest BaiKoroma who was arguably vibrant against the ruling SLPP between 2002 and 2007. Unlike Madam Lahai who is an embattled Minority Leader that was even removed by her colleagues for been a surrogate (APC sell-out that is not seeking the interest of the SLPP), Koroma provided matured leadership role; ensured that there was unity between the APC MPs and he even attempted to form a shadow cabinet but was advised not to do it as Sierra Leone is not like Britain as the country is operating in a Presidential system of Government. No doubt that Koromacame to win the Presidency in 2007 with his Party also getting the highest seats in Parliament. Sadly for Dr.Lahai, her selfish interest and unmitigated rapacity had made her to sell her political birth right at the detriment of the SLPP and she now thinks she is an angel criticizing the decision of SLPP’s second highest administrative body. Has Dr.Lahai asked herself if it was correct for Chief Kapen, the suspended Party’s Chairman to clandestinely hold meetings with the former APC Secretary General and Vice President of Sierra Leone, Victor Bokarie Foh against the interest of his party and allegedly collect money to milk his pockets? Is it correct for Chief Kapen to accuse his party of tribalism on a widely listen radio when he is the Chairman of the party? Is it correct for the suspended chairman to facilitate and support some party members to engage in subversive activities and subsequently drag the SLPP to the High Court without substantial evidence which was subsequently thrown out of court? If NECconveys a meeting and Chief Kapen refuses to attend such meeting (that he had championed a court injunction against but was rejected by the High Court) and the second highest administrative body suspends him from the chairmanship and orders the suspended chairman and five others to face a disciplinary committee in line with the Party’s Constitution, is that a palace coup or tribalism?
As Northerner and deposed Paramount Chief, Somano Kapen that is now calling retired brigadier Julius Maada Bio names today has forgotten that (in an interview with this author for Cotton Tree News, CTN in 2013),that whiles running against Ambassador Ali Bangura for the SLPP Chairmanship compared Bio to John Atta Milles, the former President of Ghana in blessed memory, that he was running for the Chairman and Leadership of the Party to support retired Brigadier Julius Maadio Bio’s candidacy for the SLPP flagbearer position? Chief Kapen at the time, desperate to win the support of Bio’s delegates cleverly stated that “John Atta Mills contested for Ghana’s Presidency more than once before winning and so no one would tell him Bio, a young man that has attempted once would not win the 2018 Presidency, adding that after all, President Koroma lost in 2002 against Kabba before clinching the Presidency in 2007.” Interestingly the Chief utilized Bio’s popularity to win the party’s leadership. Ironically, the political charlatan and sell-out, Bernadette Lahai that is now defending Chief Kapen criticized the victory of the suspended party’s chairman in 2013 and clandestinely spearheaded a court injunction against the party with Ambassador Ali Bangura as one of the plaintiffs. The outcome of that court saga remains history.
So where is the sincerity of Bernadette Lahai and Chief Bai Shebora Somano Kapen in all of this today? It is obvious that Madam Lahai and Chief Kapen should stop calling the kettle black. The suspended party chairman and the five others should cooperate and clarify the allegations levied against them; while Madam Lahai should try to reincarnate her lost political soul to the party she truly belong and utilize her acumen to resolve the internal political impasse in the main opposition SLPP. After all, as political analysts in the Media we want to see a vibrant opposition that would put government on it toes through constructive criticism for the development of our beloved country.