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Politics of Opportunism

Politics of Opportunism

There is a vast difference between the manner in which our politicians operate in this country and the accepted standards in other democratic nations.

In Sierra Leone, we see party stalwarts suddenly changing colour as soon as the going gets tough as the case may be, when they realize that their hope of acquiring power or becoming ministers of heads of government has been dashed.

The reality of politicians changing their party affiliations has even resulted in one musician lampooning them with the song ‘Watermelon Politics’ or ‘chameleon politicians.’

Inasmuch as this might be a subject of laughter and jokes, it covers the serious malaise of the country’s future being played around and this is done at the detriment of the nation and the people.

This trait of Sierra Leonean politicians jumping from one party to another has created the uncomfortable situation wherein overnight politicians have been jumping into the bandwagon of political parties which are in the corridors of power.

And this is not a practice that is only seen now. We have to realize that back in the eighties, a single party was established not because of the then leadership, but because of the inability of politicians patiently occupying the opposition seat.

During the rule of the APC under Siaka Stevens, hundreds of high ranking officials of the SLPP jumped the bandwagon and joined forces with the APC.

Clearly, these politicians, including Dr. Sama Banya, Sallia Jusu Sheriff, Francis Minah and Joseph Bandabla Dauda, to name a few, started this negative system when they abandoned the SLPP like rats on board ship for the APC where they were given important positions in governance.

The hidden agenda of these politicians was not really for the good of the people, but rather for their personal aggrandizement. This explains why the APC under Siaka Stevens, though with great plans for the country woefully failed.

There is a need for Sierra Leone politicians to take a leaf from Senegal where President Abdulai Wade was an opposition leader for decades and survived various heads of state before finally winning the seat and bringing his party into governance.

Patience is a virtue, especially in politics where it is good for our politicians either as opposition or in the ruling government to maintain their stance and their identity. It is therefore worrisome at the rate at which core members of the SLPP continue to surreptitiously join forces with the ruling APC.

According to most of them, they are going over the line because they cannot afford to be in the opposition for a long period of time. To them, politics is about lining their pockets and reaping enough from the so called national cake.

The same situation it seems is now disturbing the PMDC where clandestinely, party members have been leaving en mass, and ending in the APC.

Inasmuch as this might mean more votes for the APC, it also means accepting bad apples who will, at the end of the day again abandon the APC for another party which ends up being the winner.

That is why the Political Party registration Commission should step in and show a civic responsibility to our politicians to maintain their stance and not forget they are here for the people and not the people for them.

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