I disagree with Hon. Ansu Kaikai
One of our front-page news stories that appeared in this newspaper yesterday, was a quotation headline attributed to the oldest serving Parliamentarian of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai.
In the story, “United we stand, divided we fall,” Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai, who is the Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, laments the ugly scenario affecting the peace, unity and stability within their party hierarchy.
He raised concern over the current impasse within the party and the frequent confrontations among supporters of one intending candidate against another.
Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai, who said he is also determined to run for the SLPP flag-bearership, posited that whatever may have happened in the recent past or may be happening now within the party, would only be attributed to over ambitiousness of some members with no regard to the rule of law and public order.
He maintained that he is determined to go for the flag bearer race because, according to him, the present unusual behaviours of supporters of Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella have become unbearable.
As the oldest SLPP Member of Parliament, it is good news that Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai has started lamenting the ugly scenario that has almost torn the party apart, which includes lack of peace, unity and stability in the party as he rightly stated, and the over ambitiousness of some party members with no regard to the rule of law and public order.
If you ask me, I would tell you that those problems need to be adequately addressed before the SLPP will have any chance of winning elections in this country, otherwise the party will be doomed, and then it will go into gloom, and then oblivion.
That notwithstanding however, I disagree with Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai when he was quoted in the story as saying that “The present unusual behaviours of supporters of Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella have become unbearable.”
My only reaction to his fabulous claim is that the MP is saying half truth and if the truth must be said, the likes of Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai should be bold enough now as party elders to call things by their right names. Among those supporting Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, which of the supporters’ behaviours have become unbearable? Are they Julius Maada Bio’s supporters or those of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella’s?
I may sound a bit like an apologist but I loathe people who are supposed to stand up to situations but fail to do so because of hypocrisy. Those who have been following the political trends in the SLPP have no doubts in their minds that it is only one man who has held the party to ransom and that person is Julius Maada Bio. He is the problem of the current impasse in the party because some so-called National Executive Officers of the National Executive Council (NEC) have come out openly in support of him, thus giving the impression that no level playing field would be created for other intending flag bearer aspirants.
For example, the SLPP Deputy National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Alexander Harding, and the Regional Vice Chairman East, former Hon. Philip Tetema Tondoneh, have all said in various radio interviews that the only flag bearer for SLPP is Julius Maada Bio.
This is the crux of the matter but it seems that Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai is shying away from the truth by dragging Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella into the mess caused by Julius Maada Bio’s supporters, when the former himself is victim of the untoward behaviours of the latter’s supporters.
Besides, Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai himself knows that the SLPP National Secretariat on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown is no-go area for non-Julius Maada Bio supporters. His support group, Pa-o-pa, has stationed a large number of hoodlums at the party headquarters that have humiliated and brutalized many descent members of the party, including party officials such as the National Chairman and Leader, Chief Shebora Somano Kapen III, and the National Secretary General, Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie Esq., who have long been barred from gaining access to their offices at the party secretariat.
I am sure Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai knows about this ugly development, yet he hasn’t the temerity to single out Julius Maada Bio for what is happening in the party but to drag Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella into the mess.
I believe Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai is very unfair with Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella or else he would not have claimed that his supporters are party of the unorthodox happenings in the SLPP, which to him, have become unbearable.
Should someone ask where was the longest serving SLPP Parliamentarian when the former Director General of UNIDO, his old mother and supporters were humiliated at the SLPP National Secretariat on Monday, 23rd August, 2015 when he went to consult with NEC officers and to clarify his membership status in the party?
Both Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella and his mother were almost beaten up whilst his supporters were chased from the scene with machetes, knives, sticks, stones and other offensive weapons by the Pa-o-pa hoodlums that have embarrassingly made the secretariat a ghetto where alcohol and narcotic substances are sold on daily basis.
Yet, Hon. Alhaji Ansu Kaikai sees nothing wrong in that but to associate Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella’s supporters with the uncouth behaviours of Julius Maada Bio’s supporters. To me this is most unfair. I therefore challenge the MP to give an instance where the former UN official’s supporters have put up any behaviour that is unbearable whether in Freetown, Bo, Kenema or Makeni, or anywhere else in the country.
What the SLPP should do to get out of this political mess is not hypocrisy but to stand up to the situation and say nothing but the truth, the whole truth to save the party from drowning in the abysmal depth of oblivion.
The problems in the SLPP seem to be complex but identifiable. But since many party stakeholders have already taken sides, including Parliamentarians and National Executive officers, there is more to those problems than actually meets the eye. None of them have the courage to say or accept the truth that the only hope for the SLPP in the 2018 Presidential poll is to choose a Presidential candidate who can appeal to voters across the country instead of having someone whose popularity does not go beyond the strongholds of the party.
I will therefore advise the party stakeholders to be very nationalistic in their consideration for a Presidential candidate instead of allowing sentiments to take the better part of them. But if they allow sentiments to dictate the choice of their Presidential candidate, the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) will definitely win the 2018 elections with consummate ease and that will keep the SLPP in the opposition for another ten or eleven years in addition to the eleven years President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will be spending in office.
By Ensa Gondor Konneh
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