Analysis

2007: Year of SLPP Apocalypse?

14 April 2006 at 23:55 | 937 views

"For devotees and students of the significance of numbers, i.e. numerologists, who are conversant with the political dynamics and history of Sierra Leone, the year 2007 should be a case study for the rationalization of their theories. And when one eventually factors in the coincidences religious and pre-determination biases impact, even the most dyed-in-the-wool agnostic will be constrained to jettison his disposition."

By J. Alusine Kamara

With the pending 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the horizon I dare make bold to categorically proclaim the death knell reverberating across the land for the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (S.L.P.P.) resounds with my belief that Sierra Leoneans are justified to believe we can safely be adjudged the present day ‘Children of Israel’! However, before some ‘smart mouths’ fast-track my reasoning by insinuating it is sacrilegious, it would behove their spiritual and intellectual determination well to read, digest, and then analyze my contentions.

For devotees and students of the significance of numbers, i.e. numerologists, who are conversant with the political dynamics and history of Sierra Leone, the year 2007 should be a case study for the rationalization of their theories. And when one eventually factors in the coincidences religious and pre-determination biases impact, even the most dyed-in-the-wool agnostic will be constrained to jettison his disposition.

The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has since its inception been stalked and bedevilled by forebodings of doom whenever the 7th year in any decade appears, except in the decade of the 80’s. No doubt but that apologists may be tempted to be dismissive by branding such correlations as superstitious flippancy, if not outright balderdash. They should advise themselves though, to ponder anew especially since the next decade’s 7th year - 2007, features a scriptural inference only the most irreligious would dare ignore.

Readers are implored and invited to take a ‘walk’ with me as I navigate through the SLPP’s political minefield of chequered history to fully appreciate my present discourse.

YEAR OF 1957

About six years after its founding, the first cracks in the Party surfaced when a sibling rivalry for leadership between the Margai brothers - Dr. Milton and his younger brother the Lawyer, Albert shook the Party to its foundation. The leadership tussle culminated in an election where 22 out of the 43 delegates voted and chose Albert Margai as their leader. He was by this affirmation, duly elected as the Chief Minister.

Before Albert could assume the leadership mantle however, elders and leaders of thought in the society then, converged and ultimately succeeded in persuading him to step down in deference to his older brother’s age and status. This singular and unprecedented display of magnanimity by Albert has never been, and would be hard-put to be - replicated in history.

The first real split in the Party was to come when Dr. Margai reneged on some of the prerequisites agreed upon as conditions for Albert’s surrender. A vendetta had been launched against some supporters of Albert for the leadership, besides other open breaches. Chief amongst the victims were Siaka Probyn Stevens and Kandeh Bureh. As the marginalization persisted, Albert and others decamped from the SLPP to found the People’s National Party (PNP).

YEAR OF 1967 (END OF SLPP PART I)

After very contentious and acrimonious general elections were held, the SLPP found itself unenviably tied in a dead heat with the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) with 32 seats each in the 66 seat House of Parliament. The outstanding 2 seats of the Chamber had been contested for, and won by erstwhile and controversial SLPP MPs, Luseni A.M. Brewah, and Kutubu I. Kai-Samba. The SLPP had refused them use of its symbol to contest, thereby forcing them to do so as independent candidates,-who then went on to win.

Holding the ‘balance of power’ in their hands then, as they swore never to pitch tents with the opposition APC, they also vowed never to return to the SLPP fold while Sir Albert Margai was still the leader. His resignation and immediate replacement by Salia Jusu Sheriff were the pre-conditions set. (Some pundits contend that even though Brewah and Kai-Samba had legitimate ‘beefs’ with the Party’s hierarchy, their overriding interest was to see an old Bo School Boy - an alumnus of theirs installed as Prime Minister!)

The protracted stalemate that ensued created a dangerous vacuum in the country’s body-politic, and became the catalysing factor that brought about the first and second military interventions in quick successions. The first which was launched by Brigadier David Lansana, was quickly supplanted by the Colonel Andrew Juxton-Smith-led National Reformation Council (NRC).

YEAR OF 1977 (BEGINNING OF THE END OF SLPP PART II)

In general elections that were dexterously articulated by the nebulous Siaka Probyn Stevens and his All People’s Congress (APC), the SLPP woefully ‘lost’! Intrigues inimical to morality and good governance were monopolized as vote rigging was transformed into an art form. Unlawful arrest and detentions of opposition candidates on election day struggled to keep pace with the rampant lawlessness and avid distaste for civility.

Not long after this debacle, the SLPP and all other parties were proscribed by Parliament as a one-Party state dictatorship was crudely imposed. Though the SLPP was ‘de jure’ banned, it festered in the minds of its adherents and refused to die’!

This writer is inclined to believe this was so because it had not come ‘full circle’ to establish Sierra Leoneans as the Biblical ‘Children of Israel’ who had to endure nothing short of ‘40 years in the wilderness as atonement for sins’. Read on to find the basis of this assertion.’

YEAR OF 1987

‘Hallelujah!.... Thank God for small mercies! The SLPP was not ‘blessed/cursed’ with the chance to ‘shoot itself in the foot’ during this decade’s 7th year, because it had been ‘graciously’ proscribed by Siaka Steven’s APC. However, is there any noteworthiness to the fact that it was this same year that ‘the man died’... that is, Shaki! Was he the ‘black sheep that had to die so that the Party would exercise its proclivity to self-destruct?

YEAR OF 1997

Back to ‘wining ways’ ... with a vengeance!

A year later, thanks to help from the James Jonah-led Interim National Electoral Commission (INEC), behind the scene manoeuvring catapulted the SLPP back into power in 1996.

As the rebel war incessantly raged on, the SLPP Leader, Alhaji Ahmed Tejan Kabba, who trebles also as Commander-In-Chief and President was officially informed about security threats to the nation. His studious and injudicious discounting of them can only be surmised by patriots as gross negligence. When a few days later the military struck on May, 25, 1997, and invited the RUF rebels to join them in forming the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), what did our ‘Dearly Beloved’ President, Commander-In-Chief, etc do?... He high-tailed it out of the country... “To fight another day?” You must be joking?! I wonder what would have happened if genuine patriots left behind had listened and adhered to Bob Marley’s marijuana induced lyrics?

If that was not debilitating enough, while languishing comfortably in Guinea our ‘Fountain of Honour’ had what I can only describe as brazen effrontery, to brand altruistic patriots left behind to defend democracy rather than put our tails between our legs and scamper off as some had cowardly done, rebels and rebel collaborators over the worldwide news network of the BBC. No gall could have been more bitter to swallow than this by those of us brave and sincere enough not to run away at the sound of the first gun-shot. We felt cheated of statesmanship expected from a Leader worth his salt by these utterances.

Not long ago I remember posing a series of rhetorical questions to a senior army officer friend of mine. “What happens,” I had asked, “when a Commander of forces in the heart of battle deserts his men? He replied that such was one of the most unforgivable military crimes an officer could commit and would lead to court martial proceedings being instituted. “What about the punishment? “I further prodded him, to which he replied that it carried maximum penalty if found guilty. But, when I asked if this Commander also was the Commander-In-Chief etc, etc, he looked me straight in the eye and sternly said, No comment... Next question? “ I did not need to be told he wished “ No san-san nar im garri!.. Phew!

YEAR OF 2007

Apocalypse for the SLPP! What negativism the past posed for the party is set to pale into insignificance as it will be eclipsed by the symbolic reference point I use to determine Sierra Leoneans as the biblical children of Israel. When I present and defend this inference I shall implore readers to appreciate my waxing scriptural is not borne of a wish to be an holier-than-thou apostle.

Our purgatorial period commenced in the year 1967 with the fractious General Elections of that year. Since I am of the firm conviction that it would end in the year 2007 with the wind of Positive Change blowing, that would mean it would have lasted exactly 40 years... just as the period of the Biblical Israelis!! Our oneness in this regard with the Children of Israel is also buttressed by my beliefs that we had to atone for our excesses by drafting in the wilderness of despair as Sierra Leone went through a period of destruction that was unfathomable.

If there are any doubts about the validity of the scriptural reference let me persuade away those reservations by introducing the seemingly supernatural twists of fate that embolden me to reach this conclusion.

If the Kabbah-led SLPP Government had not fleet-footed it and abandoned the ship-of-State in 1997 for a year, the statutory date for the coming 2007 elections would have been this year, 2006!. This would have meant that 1967 to 2006 totals 39 years! Divine intervention cannot be more apparent to prove Sierra Leoneans are living the scriptural reference because we would not have completed the Bible’s mandatory 40 years!
Do you want any more evidence that the angels interceded on our behalf and that our ‘Restoration’ would begin unfailingly when the results of the 2007 Elections would have been announced?

The mind-boggling coincidence revolving around three names that featured in varying degrees of culpability in the 1967 debacle and set to occupy central stage in the year 2007 with uncanny precision, 40 years later makes for an interesting conclusion.

They were a ‘Margai’, an ‘Ahmed Tejan Kabba’, and The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP). While one can safely believe that a Margai - in the person of Charles Francis, is come to have history re-evaluate his father’s name, one would maybe be hard-put to think the same way of the other two names. For the distinguishing factor visiting the Kabba of the year 1967, with ‘Kabbah’ of the year 2007 would ostensibly be the metamorphosis of an ‘Ahmed Tejan Kabba’ in 1967, into ‘Ahmad Tejan Kabbah’ in 2007. The SLPP however retains its dangerous potency to self-destruct, only this time around with an unarguable finality.

And finally, the clincher which puts the final nail on the coffin of the SLPP comes with a revelation after the runoff for Presidential mandate in 1996, in which the duplicitous orientation of the party was evidenced by two numerical factors which end with the numbers ‘419’! Duplicity could not have been more illuminated than the ‘419’ figures that dogged the SLPP.

Concerned about the non-availability of election results in Freetown then I thought Bo might have some information. When I called Sierratel to enquire about the SLPP’s telephone number in Bo, I was told it was, 032-419. the irony of ‘419’ being the last numbers had not fully sunk in with me before the Presidential results were announced. And guess what number did our Prezo poll? Are you ready?... 608,419!! Was this a double coincidence that the ‘419’ featured with all its ugly ramifications?

Any wonder then that the ‘419’ factor seems to have been stalking and infesting the governance of this country by the SLPP leadership since then?

YOU TELL ME!

Photo: SLPP leader Solomon Berewa

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