Salone News

Bo: SLPP Doles out Party Symbols

26 May 2007 at 16:09 | 464 views

By Edie Vandy.

It seems all is now set for the August 11, 2007 Parliamentary battle, following the ruling party’s move to dole out party symbols across the length and breadth of the country.

The fan fare that followed in Bo district in particular was euphoric, in the wake of the young and dynamic Foday Rado Yokie’s victory over that of challengers Matina Foray, and Edwin Boima, for the high profiled parliamentary seat of Bo Town 2.

The PMDC has played it smart by matching up Rado Yoki with erudite Lawyer Aggrey Aruna. This fight is expected to be the most interesting, and will be keenly followed, as both of these candidates are not only friends, but are true buddies, whose paths have crossed in diverse ways, in and out of school. These two, know the dirty linens of one another and the expectations are that these little skeletons will be washed in public when the dice is rolled.

Of the two, Rado is more equipped to shut down Aggrey, as he has many arsenals at his disposal. As Secretary to the Lebanese business tycoon Fawaz,Rado has already won many friends within the business community, and the many locals he meets and helps on a daily basis. Don’t forget the critical role Fawaz will play, for he is going to be a factor to tip the balance in favor of his junior employee, who he has come to respect and thrust over the years.

Fawaz is sure to muster his Lebanese community to toss out the ‘bucks’ and woe voters for a Rado victory. Who ever told you that working for a Lebanese is an easy job? For Rado to survive and work with Fawaz over these years must have being a working relationship built around trust. Fawaz will definitely want to see and deal with Rado as MP than an Aggrey politician watching his back.

Hon Cecil Hanciles was again re-elected to lead the party in the hot seat of Bo Town 1 over his challenger Rev. Kanagbo from the US. The Hon is expected to face-off with the PMDC’s likely nominee - Mr. Mohamed Tholley, who will bring youthfulness and a fresh perspective into the political ball game of this constituency, unheard of in years.

At face value, it seems a straight fight for Hon Cecil Hanciles, who himself had boasted that he was going to punish and knock down his challenger in a straight fight. Pundits are however saying that, the Honourable’s clout and long years of grip on local politics, is not an indicator of victory, for the PMDC challenger who happens to be a fine gentleman, will spar squarely and take this fight right to the finishing tape, and give the incumbent a run for his money.

For Bo Town 3, it was a foregone conclusion that Mr. John Bosco Musa was the stronger and most favored of the candidates going to the polls, and there was no surprise here when he emerged as party symbol holder. His victory however became clouded in controversy not because of his competence or popularity, but because his challenger Hon Musa Conteh (from Blama) sees him as flouting the rules of the game by not resigning his position as Director of the Manjama Agricultural Institution, which is partly funded by the government. Nobody is expecting a reversal of the nomination, on this petition. If indeed John Bosco’s candidacy truly holds, he will go ‘head to head’ with an activist and human rights campaigner - Ms. Frances Rogers, of the PMDC. The SLPP is expected to win in this constituency.

SLPP has put forth a very strong and able woman as party flag bearer for Bo Town 4, in the person of Ms. Neneh Lebbie. Neneh is pitched to slug it out with Alie Baker of Tinkonko Road, from the PMDC. The stakes are high for Neneh, and the expectations of victory falls in her lap in a very big way.

SLPP party loyalists in Tikonko Central will be casting ballots for another young and erudite household name - Eric Jumo. Eric has bucks, and connections, and has a bag load of experience garnered over the years as head of Triple RRR (now NaSCA) in Bo. The people of Bo and Tikonko see this race as clean shaven and a work over for Eric Jumo.

There is good news in the offing for the ruling part’s generation XXX, as more and more young men and women are entrusted with leadership roles and responsibilities, and given the platform to articulate their voice. John Tucker aka JT, stands tall as one of the youngest and dynamic of the SLPP hopefuls upon whose thrust the Party relies to cruise through in the upcoming Parliamentary elections. JT if nominated will contest as MP for the Lumley Constituency, and many are tipping him to have an easy victory over any challenger from either the APC or PMDC.

It must be recalled that John Tucker was one of the four SLPP councilors who survived an APC sweep of the local council elections in May 2003, when he won himself a seat for the Lumley West III Ward. The assumption is that if the young and inexperienced JT could pull it big when the odds were high; surely he will be victorious now that he has added some clout, brokered some experience and continues to deliver services to the Lumley community, for which he is hailed. JT has in his report card over a very short tenure constructed and rehabilitated a community centre, markets, bore holes, and latrines for the community. There is a growing clarion call by the Lumley community spanning across youths, elders, men and women, to have JT as their Parliamentary representative to bolster his efforts of re-building their community, and for adequate representation, lost out on them over years of neglect. The Lumley community sees in JT, as one they can count on, and one who is there for them at all times, and even in the middle of the night.

The buzz so far hallmarks the defeat of Sam Maligi - former NPRC strongman and OIC Executive Director, who attempted to unseat incumbent and son of the soil - Arthur Harvey. Sam Maligi’s assumption of victory was based on a false assumption, opting to campaign on name recognition, built around his NPRC glamour days, and his alleged romance or association with NEC Chair - Christiana Thorpe.

The Deputy Speaker Hon Elizabeth Alpha-Lavalie (photo) survived the storm, and will be running on the party’s ticket to represent the people of Bagbo and Lugbu chiefdom. It must be recalled that the honorable parliamentarian was humiliated by her constituents on her recent visits to the chiefdom on the occasion of the 41st Annual Speech Day and Thanksgiving Ceremony of the Sir Albert Secondary School - Sumbuya.

The hon. came unscathed from this scare unleashed by her constituents, who saw her as being out of touch, and far withdrawn from their needs. In Elizabeth Lavalie, the constituents saw no true representation, and there was no evidence of development tied to her aprons on behalf of the community. However embarrassed she was in the past, she managed to pull it off, and no one can say for sure how she did it. As deputy speaker and parliamentarian, she has proven that she is one of Sierra Leone’s finest female politicians in modern times, and just maybe the people of Lugbu and Bagbo decided or were prevailed upon to give her a second chance. The iron lady as she is fondly called is an asset not only to local politics, but national and international politics as well.