Can APC survive SLPP’s “Paopa-ism?
To say the least, the largest and strongest opposition party, the All Peoples Congress (APC) party is in serious conflict with itself and from the outside; a house divided among them cannot stand.
While there seems to be some hope of mending intra-partisan cracks and squabbles before elections in 2023, the possibility of the APC surviving what looks like a carefully crafted long-time strategic political agenda now unleashed by the “Paopa Soja team” of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), is not just merely far-fetched, but practically impossible to fetch.
By all indications, the Paopa regime seems poised to overpower and dismember the APC not just for the short term, but for a very long time to come. In doing so, the administration has employed very drastic methods of both foul play and fair play; and interestingly, the APC is positively yielding to the pressure and resigning to their fate.
The Government Transition Report and subsequent establishment of the Commissions of Inquiry and implementation of the Government White Paper; the brutal suppression of protests and arrests of opposition members; the controversial removal and immediate replacement of ten elected opposition Members of Parliament leading to the appointment of a Speaker of Parliament from the ruling party were enough tactics of intimidation to frighten the opposition and entrenchment the regime.
The fear of being sent to jail and losing their property pushed many strongmen of the APC including former Cabinet Ministers and Party Executives, either overtly or covertly, to sell out to the Paopa; some of them aggrieved with the leadership of the party following the mode of selection of the 2017 presidential flag-bearer, leading to the formation of splinter groups, agitation for reforms within the party.
With a chain of litigation also haunting the survival of a unified party, the writing on the wall for the “Paopa Boys” to infiltrate and deflate the APC is getting clearer and bolder. With all the required resources at their disposal, the Paopa seems not to take any chances in the political chess.
It is important to underpin this article with the explicit and implicit ramifications of political selling-out and intimidation of the opposition. In the context of the former, expressed sell-outs only succeed in showing their true colours of not being trust-worthy or reliably fit for the leadership mantle, thereby putting the party on the right footing in choosing their leaders at all levels; they put their loyalty and commitment to the ideals of the party they profess to follow into unquestionable doubt.
Any determined mission or orchestrated ploy as displayed by the PAOPA in the last three years in governance to render the opposition non-existent has serious adverse and debilitating effects on the very survival and efficacy of democracy. The vogue in a democratic dispensation is to woo the opposition parties into inclusive Governance devoid of vengeance and retaliation or inimical acts of oppression.
Given the incidence of opposition stakeholders in the APC turning blind eyes and giving deaf ears to the harsh realities of the times for selfish gains, instead of engaging in constructive opposition, spells doom for the survival of the party and democracy in the face of a regime that is hell-bent in nailing the coffin of opposition.
A possible re-election of the Paopa Boys for a second term in Governance will provide a negative answer to the question whether the APC can survive the Paopa.
By Abdul Kuyateh
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