Opinion

Train ride with an SLPP extremist

24 June 2011 at 04:24 | 1314 views

Commentary

By Joseph S. Sherman, USA.

The bitterness and grudges that engulf partisans of the SLPP against the APC government despite the tolerance and accommodation President Ernest Koroma is initiating in Sierra Leone is incomprehensible.

On June 12, 2012 while coming from Atlanta to attend a colloquium sponsored by my post-graduate school, I happen to meet a Sierra Leonean in the train, a member of the SLPP and native of Kailahun District in Sierra Leone.

Through a privileged conversation and not knowing my nationality and profession the SLPP man revealed that at all cost they the SLPP will unseat President Koroma either by covert or overt operations in 2012.

Interested in his revelation, I injected by saying that I hear of the marvelous work President Koroma is doing in Sierra Leone, so why can’t he be given chance to implement the good plans he has for Sierra Leone? Full of rage and bitterness, the SLPP diehard said, “What kind of development Koroma has done in Sierra Leone? “I assure you that 2012 will be the end of Koroma and the APC, and when the SLPP takes power they will invite the British government to appoint British permanent secretaries in all the provinces of Sierra Leone. “

Becoming a little uneasy about the man’s utterances especially linking our former colonial master to be involved in a plot to destabilize Sierra Leone, I asked the SLPP guy why should the British be interested in re-colonizing Sierra Leone after the country had gained her independence? I also asked him if the SLPP will not consider the act of involving the British as neocolonialism? He replied it matters not because what SLPP believes in will be implemented when they take power in 2012. The conversation attracted so many commuters in the train and some were looking at the SLPP man with disbelief for an African to make such utterances of going back to colonialism and planning to unseat a president at all cost in a country that is recovering form 11 years of a brutal and senseless war.

Without revealing who I was and pretending to be a foreigner from another African country, I asked the SLPP extremist, about Ex-President Kabbah of the SLPP if he could compare what he did for Sierra Leone during his 11 year tenure to what President Koroma has done for four years.

He replied that the SLPP made a mistake to have elected Ex-President Kabbah as standard bearer of the SLPP because President Kabbah is not a Sierra Leonean but a Guinean; that is the reason he gave so many government positions to the Mandingoes and Fullahs and he is still supporting Fullahs and Mandingoes to vie as presidential candidates for the SLPP to contest for the 2012 elections. He cited Osman Boie and Timbo who are of the Mandingo and Fullah tribes respectively. He however, said that the inner core of the SLPP have decided to isolate Ex-President Kabbah from all activities of the SLPP; instead they are now regarding Ex-Vice President Berewa as the father of the SLPP party where all issues pertaining to the party are to be forwarded. As a way of getting even with Ex-President Kabbah because of betraying the SLPP party during his tenure, the SLPP man said, SLPP operatives in the United States were responsible for the denial of the U.S. visa of Ex-President Kabbah to enter the United States. He further revealed that Ex-President Kabbah and Osman Boie connived to swindle the 1,444 carat diamond that mysteriously disappeared in Sierra Leone.

The man, who claimed that he contested against Ex-President Kabbah during the elections in Sierra Leone was going to a SLPP meeting in Washington, DC where he said they are strategizing on how to unseat President Koroma in 2012. They conversation ended when the train we boarded reached his destination in Washington, DC.

As a patriot and one interested in seeing stability in a country that tasted the scourges and bitterness of war and knowing how vindictive and power-drunk the SLPP party is, I will advise President Koroma not to sit on his oars. Inasmuch as political tolerance and accommodating the SLPP to take part in the development of Sierra Leone is in his agenda, he should bear in mind that the enemy will only succeed in destroying him and his good works when the enemy gets closer to him. We have seen schemes and machinations of the SLPP during late President Siaka Stevens and Joseph Saidu Momoh, where they accommodated partisans of the SLPP but in the end they brought in terror, coup d’état, and civil war in Sierra Leone because they want power at all cost with the haphazard notion that Serra Leone is only for them.

Evidence of my assertions is, the 11-year tenure of the SLPP brought untold sufferings, humiliation and deaths to Northerners and many innocent Sierra Leoneans. When they took power, they came with vengeance, people were murdered in cold-blood because of their ethnicity and political affiliation and today families of those murdered are seeking and crying for justice. President Koroma, your coming to power is exemplary because you didn’t take power to revenge or get even with your opponents; you even forgave Tom N’yumah who was hired by the SLPP to assassinate you in a hotel in Bo town during the electioneering campaign which is an indication that you are not vindictive and God fearing. However, you should closely watch your back because those who purport to support you or join the bandwagon for development in Sierra Leone have hidden agendas, they come as sheep in wolves clothing but are ravenous wolves ready to tear and cause mayhem.

The love northerners, westerners and few easterners and southerners have for you is immeasurable. But can northerners sit again and allow barbarians and hooligans of the SLPP to victimize and annihilate our people? President Koroma., inasmuch as you have the support of a majority of Sierra Leoneans and the international community, don’t sit on your oars because doing so is jeopardizing your supporters when the SLPP would assume power. As you are aware the SLPP is no respecter of life and international law. They defied the international community when Ex- President Kabbah was asked for restraint from executing soldiers and civilians that were accused of collaborating to oust him and are not given the due process of law to defend themselves in a competent court of justice and with the NPRC junta, a surrogate of the SLPP party committing the same crimes with impunity.

We in the diaspora appraise the good work you are doing for Sierra Leone and we will do everything to support you and unearth any clandestine activities the SLPP wants to implement in Sierra Leone. However, as you see the wind of change blowing in the world, where dictators and human rights abusers are brought to justice; we in Sierra Leone are calling on your government to implement the proposed inquest so that the aggrieved families of those murdered in cold blood and other collaborators of this act of impunity be brought to justice. Until justice prevails, the victims of the outrageous murders carried out by the NPRC and the SLPP will not rest in peace.

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