In the SLPP, we practice what we preach
The call came just before 9 a.m. this morning. The voice sounded familiar and friendly, although I could not put a face to it. I have this weakness that out of politeness I hardly ask who is calling especially when the caller assumes that I should recognize his or her voice. When the person detects that I do not, then I would confess and apologize for my lapse. This particular caller however was not keen on my recognizing his voice. However, he was curious to know why I was devoting so much time on President Koroma’s proposed Kailahun visit. Was I sure I was not going to declare, or re-declare for the APC once Ernest and I met in Kailahun? Before I could reply he went on, “Tell me Puawui, on the several official visits by former President Tejan-Kabbab to Bombali district in the eleven years of his Presidency, how many times did any member of the then APC opposition pay a courtesy call on him? So what are you trying to prove, are you getting soft as you approach your 80th birthday?”
When he had finally got it all off his chest I very cooly and in the most pleasant voice, assured him that I had no intention of joining the Red Sun and that I hoped the consistency of my column would allay his fears.
Next I reminded him of names like Ibrahim Taqi, Sorie Leather, that is former Vice President SI Koroma, Sembu Fornah, Edward Kargbo, Dr. Mohamed Sorie Fornah, Gobio-Lamin and a host of others; these were or are all APC and friends of mine and we never allowed politics to interfere with our relationships; and I thank God for that.
Ibrahim Taqi who had a sharp mind and a most effective critic of the SLPP, was a prolific writer who gave Sir Albert Margai a hard time; IB never failed to call on me in Makeni on his way to or from Matotoka. Many of these people were also great friends of late Salia Jusu-Sheriff. I could recall how Salia initially cared for Sorie Fornah’s kids after Siaka Stevens had executed him and others.
I also reminded my caller that in the Old Bo Boys’ Association (OBBA), politics never interfered with our personal relationships. Notwithstanding what For di people and other pro APC newspapers try to propagate, the SLPP under President Tejan-Kabbah was an example of political tolerance and inclusion, a quality that this government has yet to equal, let alone surpass.
Even as I write this, Professor Lawrence Kamara is still languishing under suspension for no other reason than he was a perceived SLPP sympathizer from the south. I would not be surprised if they have not quietly slipped somebody of northern descent in his place. I concluded by persuading my caller that we in the SLPP must not change our character because of the way our opponents continue to behave. With that, my friend sounded convinced and pacified and then confessed that he held a similar view and merely wanted to prove that it was a defensible position. My family compound occupies a prominent place in Kailahun; it will be at the disposal of the arrangements’ committee for any VIPs.
Going back to the President’s news conference, it is amazing that many newspapers simply report it with expressions like “Ernest on the warpath, saboteurs exposed, Bai Bureh ready to strike etc.” After thirty months of slogans about cleaning up the SLPP mess, is that all his Excellency could come with? Could he not have just passed his evidence to the ACC or exposed the culprits on the spot? Surely that would have been better than being visibly angry or almost walking out of the hall with a huff? That would have confounded all the skeptics out there that the President meant business when he made his declaration on that fateful Monday of September 17, 2007. dis salone jornalis bisness nar so nor mor! The flatter and praise reminds me of the expression that Nero pleasured while Rome was on fire.Â Â
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