Political violence: Charles Margai’s Plan B?
Sierra Leone’s political make-up has over the years been dominated by a selected few. The coming of President Koroma in 2007 was therefore seen as a big blow to those who think, power should always remain in their hands. And because the people of Sierra Leone have again, demonstrated their readiness to re-elect President Koroma, we have seen how few people have started conspiring with each other to create political unrest in the country. But that will not be achieved. (Photo: John Baimba Sesay, author)
The 2007 election results are a clear demonstration of the power of the people. He was in opposition and was able to get hundreds of thousands of vote, what will happen now that President Koroma is now power and going for re-election? A clear landslide. When you toy with the will of the people, you are bound to fail in your political endeavors. This is a practical experience that former SLPP bigwigs-like Berewa et el will always share with those now running the affairs of their party. Today, just within four years of the Koroma led government, we can boast of electricity supply, we can boast of having made great success in the fight against corruption, in locally generating revenue for the infrastructural development of the country, among other gains.
At the international level, there has been a lot, said of President Koroma’s success. The Ernest Bai Koroma’s “administration has also garnered praise from international funding organizations as well as business and political leaders worldwide, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair – who has described Ernest Koroma as “an exceptional president who will lead his country to a bright future” — and billionaire George Soros. The Soros Foundation recently announced that, thanks to its confidence in President Koroma’s leadership, it would launch a banana plantation project in Bo, Sierra Leone, which will be budgeted at around US$50 million (l36.4 million) and will generate up to 10,000 jobs…” .This is an impressive report, on a President that has today remained, locally and internationally recognized for his outstanding leadership. And these are the gains that are about to be destroyed over night just because, some people think power should now change hands.
Political propaganda has been utilized to discredit President Koroma’s standing. That has failed. Now, violence has become the other tool, following the pronouncement of the Plan A and ‘B’ by Charles Margai. Militarism won’t work, in securing political power. We have indeed seen the trademark of militarism in display in the country, leading to the general elections since the SLPP elected (or better put selected?) their flag bearer. Sierra Leoneans now witnessing violence in the form of stabbing (as in the case with Lansanah Fadika at Fourah Bay) or violence in the form of killing, (as in the case with Bo when an Okada rider was killed for power) .They have also seen a new twist in the body polity of the country in the form of false political propaganda.
But there is one peculiar issue that should not, even if for the sake of national cohesion, be left to die a natural death. This has to do with Charles Margai’s pronouncement of a Plan A and Plan B for the pending elections. It is unfortunate that Charles Margai has not tried to demonstrate his relevance in Sierra Leone’s political make-up, for each time he acts or talks, he is most often than not, not appreciated even by the party he thinks he has control over. When he went to the SLPP Convention and spoke of a possible support for the SLPP by PMDC, the party was quick to refute such a statement. But the point is when thoroughly analyzed, Margai’s Plan A and B is closer to his determination to cause political unrest for the country. What we have seen the SLPP doing in recent time, with particular reference to the Fourah Bay bye-election is an indication that the Plan B that Margi was talking about was to ensure, violence be used in the coming election so as to intimidate voters.
As rightly put by one Samuel Ben. Turay, a Sierra Leonean journalist, “Just imagine, Margai spoke about his plans on 30th July 2011 and on 9th September the first violence happened in Kono between the internal affairs minister Musa Tarawallie and Vice President Sam Sumana and on the 17th September the second violence took place in Bo between supporters of both the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and the SLPP and the hottest one is the boycotting by MPs from both SLPP and the PMDC during the state opening of parliament…” Margai’s plan B is to see how violence could be used prior, during and after the elections. It is therefore even encouraging, that President Koroma has alerted the International Criminal Court to take note of political developments in Sierra Leone for further action, as and when necessary.
Let me draw the attention of Sierra Leoneans that since Charles Margai made his statement of Plan A and B last year, there have been series of political upheavals in the country. Logically therefore, one will conclude that Margai’s Plan B is political violence, knowing that President Koroma will win the November elections. His Plan A is to get Maada elected and that, he has succeeded in doing. They must be wo9king on the full implementation of the Plan B. But my view is many people will hear, but never see the coming elections, if they continue with what they have started in terms of provoking political unrest.
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