PMDC Press Release

24 November 2005 at 02:12 | 423 views

As the political temperature in Sierra Leone heats up following the recent confrontation between Charles Margai of the PMDC and Solomon Berewa of the SLPP, the Patriotic Vanguard rceived today a press release from the UK and Ireland branch of the PMDC. The document speaks for itself:

Berewa and The SLPP

Supporters and sympathisers of the People’s Movement For Democratic Change (PMDC) in the UK and the diaspora have been following events in Bo on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November 2005 which led to the arrest of Charles Francis Margai and his supporters. Charles Margai is the interim leader of the PMDC, which is yet to be registered.

As days go by, it is becoming very clear that the Bo incident was a wicked, deliberate, diabolical and staged managed ploy, recklessly orchestrated with contempt by the Kabbah/Berewa -led ruling SLPP Government against the peaceful, voiceless, defenceless, deprived and disadvantaged people of Bo, Charles Margai and his PMDC supporters. It was also designed to discredit Charles Margai and his supporters and to give a clear message to citizens of Bo that what APC did in Bo in 1977 they can do worse. But the SLPP should know better that the Bo people are not faint-hearted and cannot be intimidated, as they are more than capable of taking care of themselves.

Bo has always been seen as the natural habitat for the SLPP, but seeing Bo quickly slipping away from under its nose has thrown the so called Party faithful into tantrums hence needing a brutal response as a solution- APC style. The SLPP leadership do not need to remind us that they have all been staunch APC faithfuls for their actions say it all - the irrational jailing of journalist Paul Kamara, the death of journalist Harry Yasanneh, the attempt by Paramount Chief Bongay to banish a news broadcaster from Bo district, the incarceration of Chief Hinga Norman, the treatment of Susan Tauwah in London, the untimely and preventable death of Gloria Newman-Smart, the interference into the High Court decision on the Norman Vs SLPP case before the SLPP convention in Makeni, dubious circumstances around the way the convention itself was conducted, the sacking of Val Collier, delay in registering political parties and now the arrest of Charles Margai and his supporters. Gradually, the Berewa led SLPP leadership is showing its true colours. The leadership has demonstrating that it came into the SLPP from APC with all the dirty and inhumane tricks used against citizens and politicians alike in the APC days. Their true characters are coming out of their wolf clothes.

Nothing strange about this but what concerns us are that our democracy, our basic freedom and our civil rights are at risk. The country’s security is at risk too, considering the path SLPP have taken. SLPP have not only failed to deliver, address the basic needs and engage with the citizens of Sierra Leone, it has now embarked on stifling democracy in Sierra Leone, suppressing its citizens and killing all forms of opposition thus destroying democracy. What this means is that under the SLPP government of Kabba and Berewa nothing has changed and nothing will change. All the things we fought against under APC and all the elements that caused that senseless brutal war still exist, perpetuated by those masquerading as SLPP members serving in the SLPP government.

The incident in Bo, the perpetual erratic and psychopathic behaviour of Paramount Chief Rashid Bongay, the actions of the security forces and the decision taken to arrest Charles Margai and his supporters at a meeting of the SLPP big guns summoned by VP Berewa that night are all a stark reminder of how an incompetent government that only cares for itself, concerned only about its own survival and committed just to its own good and personal benefits can do anything and go to any length to stay in power even if it means ignoring all democratic principles and sacrificing the nation’s security and fragile peace. What we see unfolding in the boldest and bravest of ways, is a public rejection of VP Berewa and the entire SLPP by the people of Sierra Leone.

From the incident in Bo, Charles and his supporters have now been charged on two counts:

1). Processing through the streets of Bo without lawful authority

2). Disorderly behaviour likely to provoke a breach of the peace.

What a nonsensical, ridiculous and pathetic set of charges. What about treason? We know and even understand that charges of treason is where they are heading for against Charles Margai and his supporters. But we wait to see how wise Berewa and his SLPP are.

What the SLPP propaganda machine have not told us is that Berewa supporters were also out on the street in support of him and that he (Berewa) imported two trucks full of his so-called supporters from Makeni and Magburaka. We are not sure what constitutes lawful authority’ here but with all of Berewa’s supporters and thugs parading the streets of Bo, can someone also tell us if that was lawful? Can the SLPP propaganda machine also tell us that the police overreacted with undue force and in panic fired tear gas and live rounds of ammunition at harmless, defenceless and law abiding citizens of Bo town. In the light of this, it is clear that any disorderly behaviour likely then to provoke a breach of the peace came from the police. What these charges tell us is that the whole exercise is a stitch up and a deliberate attempt to unlawfully silence Mr Margai and the PMDC and all other democratic oppositions.

Remember that after the SLPP convention in Makeni the newly selected Chairman of the party, Mr. UNS Jah, made a public pronouncement that the SLPP will wage a war against Charles Margai. On the 23rd of September, 2005 SLPP Councillors tried to stop Charles Margai holding a meeting in Pujehun. In May during the SLPP Southern Regional Convention in Bo, Chief Bongay tried to arrest people who carried Charles Margai shoulder high. This is over and above the fact that the SLPP have thrown him out of the party. We then begin to wonder what the heck is wrong with the SLPP and what is it they fear so much about this one man Charles Margai? Yet they say they want him to stay and fight within the party. What chance has he got and who within the SLPP cult, as backward thinking, wicked and corrupt as they are, is going to give Charles a fighting chance and a platform to wage war against them?

The SLPP have every reason to stifle democracy, to kill and oppress all forms of legitimate political challenges especially from Charles Margai. While the SLPP and Berewa are talking about continuity of President Kabbah’s failed policies, Charles is addressing real issues on youth unemployment, prosperity for all, equitable social justice, sustainable provisions of basic amenities and a positive overarching strategic policy for the whole of Sierra Leone. Beside the vast contrast in thinking, the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans have now wised up and have noticed the difference. The people of Sierra Leone can no longer be fooled by all those unsustainable, make-shift, electioneering policies and projects usually run by friends and family members of SLPP. The SLPP now claims there is constant supply of electricity in Freetown, the new high power generators are being installed and an invigorated effort to complete the dam. That is all fine but one tends to ask, where were all these projects for the past ten years and why now. The point we are making here is that all along, SLPP has been playing politics with people’s lives and livelihood and they still continue to do so in the most wretched of ways. This is dirty politics that the people of Sierra Leone don’t need at this time when we are looking for a new form of real and responsible leadership.

Arresting Charles Margai therefore and charging him will not help SLPP. If anything, such a move will only encourage and promulgate more support for Charles and remind more of us in the opposition to the despotic and tyrannical methods of governance by Berewa and the SLPP. In fact, Kabbah and Berewa and their ministers should be arrested and tried for negligence for failing to protect the nation and its citizens by allowing their government to be over thrown twice, paving the way for the AFRC and the RUF onslaught on innocent Sierra Leoneans. As Sierra Leoneans are powerless to try them, we have the power to bring them to account through the ballot box come 2007 and this is exactly what we must do for the sake of our country, our children and generations to come. By our will we can change the course of Sierra Leone’s political history by voting the People’s Movement for Democratic Change.

And the APC is no different from SLPP. They are all one and the same by every standard. As Sierra Leoneans, we now have the greatest opportunity ever via PMDC to go the third way, find a middle ground and start a new page in our political history. We need it and it will be very healthy for our democracy, our self-confidence, our moral as a nation and impression and acceptability in the eyes of the international community.

It is clear that SLPP have lost the plot, ran out of ideas and steam, feeling threatened and reverted to APC tactics and on the run but yet ever so determined to, by all means, eliminate whoever and whatever stands in their way even at the expense of the country’s security. This is the politics of the bully, the heartless, the reckless and the undemocratic. Far too long the government has taken the people of Sierra Leone for granted. It is now time and perhaps the only time to stand up and speak out against all the SLPP lies, corruption, impositions and cover-up before they destroy us finally. Imagine another five to ten years under Solo B with a single agenda to continue the failed and disastrous policies of President Kabba? Events in Bo on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November 2005 should be enough to tell you what the country will be in for. Also imagine another imposed successor of Solo B whose agenda will also be to continue with failed policies. The thoughts of such things are just scary. We either stop them now or we are doomed forever.

Supporters and sympathisers of PMDC, Sierra Leoneans in and out of Sierra Leone, friends of Sierra Leone and the International Community are all therefore worried and concern at this trying moment of our country that under Berewa the country will lose its identity and we may go back to what Sierra Leone was in the 80s and 90s. We hope not and may the good Lord forbid it but this will depend on every single Sierra Leonean to make sure it never happens. And the only way to do it is make the SLPP and APC accountable through the ballot box. Charles Margai and the PMDC mean well for the nation. Let us be brave, be positive, be proactive and be confident in our resolve to change the course of history and put a new face onto the political map of Sierra Leone. Let us be bold enough to try something new and radical where SLPP and APC have consistently failed our parents, heroes, children, young people and us. These two parties have lost all credibility and lack the ability, skills and personnel to drive the country to a new and vibrant stage in our life.

We have briefed the interested international community about the truth of the matter and events as they unfold - stand firmly and support true change and Democracy - support Charles Margai and the PMDC. Come 2007 vote Charles Margai and the PMDC for a better Sierra Leone.

From the Voice of Democracy of the PMDC supporters and sympathisers

Photo: Charles Margai,PMDC leader.