The debate concluded and updating my Krio
Let me begin this column by congratulating the many boys and girls who were successful in this year’s BECCE examinations, the results of which were released late last week. The teachers deserve special commendation for their efforts; we are all aware of the strains under which the school authorities and the teachers have worked these last two years. Their success has been in spite of this government which has yet to bring out its blueprint for the education sector since they’ve continued to pour cold water on an existing system which was doing quite well. But like in all things since it came to power the policy of the APC has been one of “heads I win, tails you lose.” When it is a success story they claim the credit, but when the result is unfavourable, they are very quick to attribute it to the previous regime, that is, the last SLPP government. The contents of the Presidential speech to Parliament contained a number of such instances; but except for the fanatics like those who operate from the Old Railway line, from Bathurst Street and from Kissy Road, the public are seeing things for themselves.
Like I have always maintained, when our friends say “good morning or good day,” one is advised to look up at the sky before returning the complement because what they say is more often than not at variance with reality or worse still, with what they do. There was clear evidence of this in the Presidential address and I was pleased that the opposition SLPP tore it apart for what it really was.
Parliament recently enacted a new Bill pertaining to Paramount chieftaincy elections. There was a clause which received the endorsement of all who are truly interested in democracy and the preservation of traditional values. One was none official or political interference of the process. Before the bill was passed one newspaper admonished politicians to stay clear of the proceedings, while I expressed appreciation at the article in general, I called attention to his unsubstantiated allegation that the practice was common in the days of the SLPP, citing Kono and Kailahun districts in particular. I pointed out that of the 63 elections which took place in 2003, there was only one instance where a high ranking politician refused to adhere to the advice and had to pay a high and embarrassing price.
Now even before the proceedings have progressed there are reports of official interference in places as far apart as Bramaia chiefdom in the Kambia district and Kissy Teng chiefdom in the Kailahun district. One has heard rumblings in Tonkoh Limba and in Lugbu. It would appear that rather leaving it to the chiefdom councilors to elect their Paramount Chiefs as laid down by law, the APC are determined to get their men in everywhere. The events Kissy Teng indicate a combination of conspiracy and fraud allegedly being engineered by the Minister of Health. Although a class “A” chiefdom, the number of tax payers is under ten thousand so how come they have a preliminary councilors figure of 540 (FIVE HUNDRED & FORTY)? Each councilor is supposed to represent TWENTY tax payers including him/herself.
The tragedy is that a representative of NEC is involved in the exercise and how NEC fiddles with figures is still fresh in our minds. The expected date of publication of the Gazette is November 4, less than seven days to the date for the Declaration of Rights. The last time the APC did this kind of thing, the chiefdoms were landed with people who had no right to the chieftaincy; their affiliation tom the party was the main criterion. How long, but oh, how long must this go on and it is will be replicated all over the country.
Recently I wrote a sentence in this column in Krio when I said tin tranga. I have been educated that what the correct expression is tin trong, meaning things are difficult, and tem tranga, meaning times are hard. Thanks to my none-Krio tutor.
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