Opinion

Kabbah’s men stab him in the back

12 December 2007 at 11:10 | 40345 views

By Tony Bee, Sydney, Australia.

The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government which lost power to All People’s Congress (APC) recently in free and fair and peaceful elections has made another bit of history in the country.

They did this by throwing a bombshell on their former party leader and former president of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. It came as a surprise to many Sierra Leoneans and others when the SLPP members of parliament moved a motion in Parliament recently saying that their former party leader and nation’s ex-President should be indicted by the Special Court that was set up in the country by the UN to try all those responsible for the grave atrocities inflicted on the poor nation of Sierra Leone for the past 11 years.

First of all I would like to make one point clear: that I am not trying to defend ex-President Kabbah in anyway; in fact I also want him to be tried if he is guilty of anything. But as patriotic Sierra Leoneans, I would like to have a keen look at the dark cloud that surrounds this motion with a few questions, because I don’t like people to do personal vendetta, especially political vendetta against others at the expense of the poor suffering and defenceless masses in the country.

If I may ask these members of parliament (MPs) and their supporters questions, on whose interest were they asking for the trying of ex-President Kabbah at this very early period of the newly elected APC government?

Are they trying to repair the damage which they have caused the nation together with Kabbah, for which the people have rejected them at the poll?

Are they trying to use ex-president Kabbah as scapegoat to satisfy their political power hungry ambitions?

Are they also calling for the trying of ex-president Kabbah for not allowing them to use force or their Kamajors to continue harassing, intimidating, molesting and killing their fellow Sierra Leoneans in other to win the last elections at all costs which they described as being betrayal by ex-president Kabbah?

Or were they asking for the trial of ex-president Kabbah in the interest of peace, love, unity and development in the country? This whole thing is baffling to me.

I asked these questions because I believe that such a call should not have come from the SLPP MPs at this point in time when we need good suggestions and development programs from them that will raise the country from the pool of poverty which they had helped to create.

This call should have been made to the APC government by the ordinary people in the country because they are/were the sufferers and innocent victims of circumstance, but not by the SLPP Parliamentary members who have contributed immensely in the destruction of the country through very bad politics and greed.

I consider such a motion as a ploy to undermine the newly elected government of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The moving of such a motion by SLPP MPs against ex-president Kabbah is like what we called in one of our local dialects, "Wey ah sorkor for yu orl net, nar morning yu ask me waitin make me yaiye red (I was sleepless during the whole night because of your problem, in the morning you ask me why my eyes are red).

Here was ex-President Kabbah who stood firm and fought tooth and nail to see that the SLPP government is returned back power at all costs when it was kicked out by the military in 1997.

He did all things possible when all of them, the so-called SLPP MPs, were in exile in Guinea at the expense of the defenceless poor masses lives and properties that perished during that historic bloody period in Sierra Leone for their return to power.

Kabbah did that by contracting the services of the Nigerian military force that was dubbed ECOMOG and the creation of the Kamajors which many Sierra Leoneans described as a tribal group of killers that was created by the SLPP government to protect their political party’s interest rather than that of the country which they claimed to be created for.

Theses organizations led to the destruction of thousands of lives and property of our poor innocent people in the country just for the coming back to power of the SLPP government.

After all when the SLPP government retuned to power forcefully at the expense of the nation, they came and “repaid" themselves through corrupt practices for what they have spent during the fighting for their coming back into power at the detriment of the poor people that led to the rating of the country by the UNDP human development index as one of the least developed countries in the world.

Most of the developed world stopped giving their financial assistance to Sierra Leone because of the SLPP’s corrupt system of government. Now, they are the first Sierra Leoneans to officially call for the indictment of Kabbah to the UN Special Court. These SLPP MPs did a dishonest job and they are also showing their dishonesty and lack of integrity to their former leader.

If my memory could serve me well, when ex-President Kabbah and his members of government that are today calling for his trial were thrown out of power in 1997 and went to Guinea for asylum, in one of the first interviews he, Kabbah had with the BBC he boldly stated that he was the one that told ECOMOG to intervene and that the largely Nigerian force would not kill innicent civilians. That was of course a big lie as the Nigerian soldiers were nothing but mass murderers and looters. Kabbah also admitted that he knew about the coup but did nothing about it.

If ex-president Kabbah was doing all those terrible things, at the expense of the poor suffering and innocent people of Sierra Leone, for what interest was he doing that? Was it not for the survival of the SLPP government, which these ungrateful and unpatriotic MPs were also part and parcel of?

Who were the planners of the forceful removal of the AFRC/RUF from the seat of power in Freetown that caused the perishing of thousands of lives, the lives of our brothers and sisters in the country?

Wicked Sierra Leoneans burnt their brothers and sisters alive using petrol and vehicle tyres on them for the returning of the SLPP government to power, especially those who were advocating for a peaceful settlement through negotiation around the table rather than ECOMOG military intervention.

Who were responsible for the manipulation of the so-called youth to commit such inhuman and satanic atrocities in the bloody history of the country? Who was also responsible for the killing of some of the most senior and well-trained military men and the alleged pregnant military woman when the SLPP government was brutally reinstated to power?

If really the SLPP MPs want to show their patriotism and do their damage control strategy, why did they not ask the APC government for a speedy investigation of the death of young Alima Sheriff in Kenema, the recent mysterious killing of the Thomas family members in Bo district, the $30m electricity award contract scandal and above all the cause of the current price hike of the country’s staple food,rice?

Instead they marched out of Parliament to protest the dismissal of the former SLPP Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone who is just one person out of the 4.9 million Sierra Leoneans in the country, the man who perhaps might have already enriched himself at the expense of the nation.

On what motive or interest are they fighting over the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone’s dismissal? Is it for the interest of the nation or for the SLPP connection?

What I am trying to say is that if former President Kabbah is to be indicted by the Special Court to answer questions on charges of crimes against humanity or on charges of rampant corruption during his regime like the former president of Liberia, Bryant, who has been arrested and charged for corruption during his regime, the very SLPP MPs should not be left out because I do believe that ex-President Kabbah did not take unilateral decisions without the consent of some of his SLPP friends especially Dr Sama Banya who recently turned mathematician to discredit Sierra Leone’s patriotic Iron Lady, Dr Christiana Thorpe.

Banya also blames Kabbah for the SLPP losing the elections. Which means the intervention of ex-President Kabbah in the last elections has brought him hatred for not allowing them to use their brutal force and Kamajors to harass, intimidate, molest and kill their fellow Sierra Leoneans for them to win the elections at all costs.

So please ex-President Kabbah be ready to face the Special Court for crimes against humanity or for corruption charges in the country so that we will know those who are responsible for the destruction of the country for the past 11 years of war and the formation of the RUF and Kamajor groups. According to the saying, when you draw rope, the rope will draw the bush and all elephants, lions, tigers, and crocodiles will come to town. Or ”when you dig a pit for someone to fall in, remember, you might be the one to fall in,” says one of the pop singers.

President Earnest Bai Koroma of APC government, please beware. This is a lesson for you to learn in the politics of Sierra Leone from the SLPP MPs and former President Kabbah’s indictment issue. If you are joking with your party members, especially the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries your are joking with your position and life.

If your allow them to loot the country at the expense of the poor people that voted you into power that will result in your failure to deliver the expected goods in the country and the people will be very angry.

Surely they will call for your arrest and charge you for corruption. Therefore, there is time for you to act now.

The current Sierra Leoneans don’t believe in too much of talking and promises, they believe in doing practical things for them to see. Call your Ministers to give account of their work after their three months in office. Let them appear in the media to answer questions from the public, which is another way to curb corruption in the country.

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