Letter to editor

"Charles Margai is autocratic"---Hashim Daboh

1 April 2007 at 19:43 | 610 views

Phone: 07929944563

Mohamed Bob Mansaray
Chairman- PMDC Pennsylvania / Delaware

CC:The National Executive-North America PMDC

Mr. Chairman;

I am writing this with a heavy heart, but also confirmed in the belief that this is the right thing to do. The emergence of the PEOPLES MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (PMDC), and its rapid rise to be a strong contender in the leadership contest in Sierra Leone has brought hope to many within and without Sierra Leone .Its inception into the political arena has undoubtedly been a cause of hope for many in the long-suffering nation.

Indeed the PMDC has demonstrated a strong desire and capacity to fill the THIRD FORCE gap, making it a beacon of hope for many people in Sierra Leone . It certainly has generated hope in the resurrection of our highly challenged nationhood and pride in us as a people worthy of our place among others in the world.

It was in this vein, and enamoured personally by Charles Margai’s public rhetoric against public corruption, the chronic lack of transparency and probity in public affairs in Sierra Leone , that I decided to play an active role in pioneering the PMDC in North America especially. I had an unvarnished trust in Charles Margai’s leadership, however untested that leadership was; I wholeheartedly believed that he would provide an honest leadership for the country, leading to durable and positive change in the lives of our people. Since then I and most of you have made tremendous and selfless contributions in time, money and effort to make the PMDC a viable political force.

However, events in the past year have not been as promising as I had envisaged. In the first instance, the leadership of Charles Margai is troubling. I have come to the conclusion, based on what I have seen and heard of his leadership style, that he cannot make a good president. He has demonstrated a tendency to be autocratic, intolerant and probably just as corrupt a leader as those now in power at the moment. In fact some of his actions make the ‘evil’ Berewa/Kabbah gang appear moderate by comparison. I think that Charles Margai is simply not prepared to assume the mantle of national leadership of the Sierra Leone we all may have envisaged under a tenable leadership. Any mistake by anyone to make him President will almost certainly cause distress to many of his country men and women, and probably trigger instability and violence in the country.

As well as this realisation, I have been most troubled by the absolute reticence of many well-meaning and discerning people within the PMDC. I am talking about people who, like me, were lured into the PMDC by the hope that it would be different and better than what is on offer in Sierra Leone in the form of political leadership, but who have now realised that we were badly mistaken. I have waited for months in agony to see any light from the dark, but none has emerged.

Within the Movement, disquiet over the glaring abuse of everything ranging from simple administrative machinery to the party’s meagre finances has dominated meetings and general discussions amidst disbelief and disenchantment with the Party leadership. Many honest, respectable and well-known academics are shaking their heads in quiet recognition of the familiar tendency in the leadership history of the country, particularly as demonstrated in Siaka Stevens: an emerging cult of leadership around Charles Margai made worse by the fact that it is absolutely unearned.

This is very troubling. But many of these discerning people within the PMDC have decided to keep quiet either not to burn their bridges with the party top echelons for fear of being marginalized or banking on the hope that with time Charles Margai can be tamed and his boundless thirst for absolute power contained. This is obviously a very serious mistake. If history is any guide, we will all come to grief if action is not taken to stop Margai now.

I have come to the conclusion that it would be a disservice on my part, borne out of cowardice and lack of patriotism, to sit quietly or collude in building up this monster.

In the simplest way, I would love to share the aspirations of many of my country men and women who are disillusioned with the very slow pace of progress and development, the immense public corruption and the general ineptitude of the current Kabbah leadership despite substantial financial and material support from our international friends. But my outrage at the lack of effective leadership by the Kabbah gang should not blind me to the more threatening and corrosive force that Margai represents.

In view of this and many more, I implore you, Mr. Chairman, to consider this letter my official resignation from the PMDC. I have been agonising about taking this decision for months now, and I hope others will see it as an act of selflessness and patriotism.
I would want to take this opportunity to thank many of my comrades without whose guidance, selflessness and patriotic efforts we may not have achieved much of what we have today. To those who continue to sincerely doubt the leadership of Margai, but who have decided to keep quiet for fear of intimidation or otherwise, I express my heartfelt sympathy. But I have no doubt that the Movement has a pool of human resources that is capable of making the best of a situation in nation-building provided the old sierra Leonean tactic of ‘SYCOPHANCY’ history does not hold sway.

Good luck in your struggle to make things work in Sierra Leone .


Abdul H.K. Daboh

Founding Member / Formerly Interim Chairman
States of Pennsylvania & Delaware,PMDC
North America - USA