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The scramble for Kailahun

The scramble for Kailahun

It was in the 17th century. the big mercantile powers, mainly England and France, then Spain, Portugal and to some extent Germany, saw Africa as an easy prey whose natural resources could be exploited not for the benefit of the poor Africans but to strength the power of the European powers from the natural resources of the countries. Britain and France got the lion’s share hence the widespread influence of those countries in our continent. The other powers got proportionately less. Mercifully today there are no imperial colonies to speak of. During the freshmen’s induction or introduction to University life in Bristol in 1956, I met Professor McInnis, then Professor of Imperial History in the University. I asked why imperial and he replied with the obvious question, “Don’t you know the history of your country and others like Nigeria, Gold Coast, Senegal etc?” Today the continent has been free of colonialism although in many places dictatorships have filled the vacuum with some African leaders actually creating dynasties so that they are succeeded by their offspring in place of the democratic institutions for which they clamoured and even fought wars with the Whiteman.

In Sierra Leone today there is scramble of a different nature; it is political and is seeking or ought to be seeking the hearts and minds of men and women in the Kailahun district. The APC has set its mind on that district as the nucleus of its intended foothold in the eastern region in general. Thus the Kailahun district is its target and constituency 04 which comprises the Kissi Tongie chiefdom the golden prize. It is the litmus test for the party. The party has been extravagant in its effort to woo especially the young people. Cash and motor cycles are distributed galore, special task forces have been set up with lavish funding; it is these task forces that are the eyes and feet of the President in the district and it is hoped that they will deliver Kissi Tongie to the ruling party.

With the cooperation of the SLPP district council chairman, a school intended for Tondolla in the Njaluahun chiefdom was transferred to Buedu the headquarters of Kissi Tongie. As I type this column the honourable Vice President is already in Kailahun, on a trip which will take in Kissi Tongie and Kissi Teng chiefdoms. This time it is not intended to make it a day trip from a base in Kailahun. On the contrary the hounourable VP is expected to spend a night each in Buedu and in Kangama. The people of Kissi Teng will no doubt be hoping for some good news about Yenga. The latter is the piece of Sierra Leone territory that the Guinea army occupied during the long rebel war in order to attack the RUF from the rear. It has remained there ever since, various diplomatic moves by former President Tejan-Kabbah along with President Johnson-Sirleef of Liberia in company with the then Prime Minister of Guinea have failed to move them. The APC had promised to liberate Yenga on coming to power. That was three years ago. Again, perhaps by the time you read this there will be a statement on Yenga following the YP’s visit. But back to Kissi Tongie where the ruling party is putting up Ret. Colonel Fallah Sewa as its candidate in the upcoming Parliamentary bye election. Both honourable Bobor-Sawyer and Falla Sewa are well aware that nothing but a massive infusion of cash and intimidation is going to get anyone to vote for Falla Sewa in that constituency. Indeed Paramount chief Sahr Nyuma Sengu Sankalla V has set the ball rolling by calling all section chiefs and threatening them with instant removal from office if Sewa doesn’t win that seat. Not to be outdone, various aspirants for the flag bearer position of the opposition SLPP have been visiting the district but for a different reason. They are out there to convince the delegates to the forth coming convention that they are the best compared with their colleagues. Ah but it’s all so friendly and without fanfare. The main thrust of the SLPP team will be in the district after March 5 and it will make a difference in spite of the red sun propaganda and extravaganza.

Can it be true? Has Christiana Thorpe admitted that there is NO LAW in our constitution relating to the cancellation of all votes in any polling station? Read the next edition for Puawui’s comments hopefully with a forward by Olu Gordon.

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