Opinion

Gaojia to Protect Margai’s Legacy, if...

24 March 2009 at 15:35 | 584 views

By Albert Baron Ansu

Amidst the acrimony generated by the grass root campaign groundswell of US based psychologist, Steve Gaojia, ahead of the leadership election of Peoples Movement for Democratic Change, (PMDC) in Sierra Leone, it is clear that there is desperation in the camp of the incumbent, Charles Margai.

During his recent visit in the country, covering all regions on consultation, Gaojia received a barrage of anonymous calls, bad mouthing him and his mother, and threats on his life and supporters. His crime? Daring to aspire for the leadership of the political third force...Apparently, Margai’s conclaves of sycophants were incensed by the public overture of Steve Gaojia when he said: “I have come to the rescue of the crumbling PMDC...”

Political commentators in the country say the above comment in itself was not out of place, against the background of defections from the party, owing to the alleged uninspiring and somewhat dictatorial leadership style of the incumbent leader, Charles Margai. Before he could leave the shores of the country to return to the US, the man seen as the most likely to win the PMDC leadership delegate conference, Gaojia, assured the press that he is not the least daunted by the cowardly intimidating tactics of few people who are poised to drive away well intentioned persons from the party. He surprised the press in his conciliatory response to a question from one journalist who wanted to know whether Gaojia has agenda to fight back those who are behind the cusses and threats on his life.

“Let me tell you gentlemen, I am not in this race to fight Mr. Margai, rather I want to protect his political legacy, that is if he stays out of the race and supports me. I am going to win the leadership and when that happens I will make Margai into a father figure of the party...”

It is very unlikely that Charles Margai will back out of the race considering his maneuvers-bent on twisting constitutional provisions to disadvantage his rivals. This obvious extreme anxiety of a man who at the time of 2007 general election confided in friends that he will not run for another Presidential election, in the assurance of giving way to a more dynamic and youthful successor is among other things, stripping Margai of the respect many had for a politician of decent political pedigree.

After taking the PMDC to its first polls in 2007 and making relative gains, there is however much more in remiss on the balance sheet of Charles Margai. This is reflected in the growing disenchantment with his leadership style that is not giving to consultation and respect of the party structure. The ground is thus shifting under Margai, from the point of political analyst in the country.

In the unfolding circumstance Margai must shed off pride and go for the outstretched hand of Gaojia, who though aspiring to correct the mistakes of the incumbent still retains much respect for the Margai political legacy. Steve Gaojia believes that the inspiration behind the formation of the PMDC remains even more valid than before giving the faltering of the two dominant parties as evidenced by their recent mayhem in Pujehun, Kenema and Freetown. Under his leadership, Gaojia has assured to take the PMDC to the 2012 polls with the vision of true positive change which will be stressed with a view to improving the livelihood of Sierra Leoneans regardless of tribe, gender, political affiliation or religion.

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