SLPP May Lose Presidential Votes & Parliamentary Seats In Kenema
Kenema District, according to the country’s map, is the third-biggest district, and the recently published ‘controversial’ census results present it as the most populated district in the country.
The district is well known for its ‘uncompromising’ political support towards the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party, since time immemorial. But with the prevailing economic condition in the country, and the fast growing popularity of the APC, the SLPP stands a great chance of losing a huge number of Presidential votes and few MP seats and wards in the Kenema District to the main opposition APC Party in the forthcoming 2023 General Elections.
Besides ‘The People’s Manifesto’ that gave great hope to not only the people of Kenema (Kenematonians) but also to the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone (Sierra Leoneans) by extension, the sugar-coated campaign messages brought to the people in the district before and during the 2018 General Election by their politician brothers and sisters that wanted the seat of power at all cost, placed the then ruling APC Party in the 2018 General Election in a bad light in that part of the country, and made the people of Kenema feel like God was coming to pour on them all the heavenly riches.
You wouldn’t dare talk about the good works of the government of former President Koroma in Kenema when the 2018 General Election was at the corner: you would receive the worst rebuke from SLPP big guns and supporters in that part of the country. It was never a secret that the APC government, under the leadership of former President Koroma, brought to the people in the district a lot of infrastructural developments. But politicians in the district succeeded in blindfolding the eyes of the people in the district by instilling in them stillborn promises that prevented the people of Kenema from not only seeing some of these developments done in the district by the former government, but also making them hate the then ruling APC Party and its supporters with passion.
Political intimidation, harassment, and hate messages were among some of the bad political strategies used by some SLPP supporters and politicians to silence supporters of other political parties, especially supporters of the opposition APC party.
Even though the people were shown love in different ways by the past government, they chose to throw massive support to the SLPP in the 2018 General Election, in the hope that there would be rapid development in the district under the SLPP government, as compared to what the APC government did. “Our own will not let us down, the APC has neglected our district for far too long, hunger is too much in the country”, to name but a few, were some of the campaign messages taken to the people in the district by SLPP politicians. These statements were said almost every day and in every nook and cranny of the district: these messages were like daily bread for “Kenematonians”.
Although ‘Kenematonians’ had every reason to have voted massively for the APC Party in 2018, because of some of the developments the party, under the leadership of former President Koroma, brought to the district, the people in the district decided to give Maada Bio a chance, because they wanted more developments to be done in their district, as they considered him as their “mudi” (our brother).
It’s not a secret that the expectation of the people in that part of the country has not yet been met by this government. They expected rapid infrastructural development, as opposed to what the then government did, job opportunities, and improvement in the condition of living, and so on. This has however left many in the district, especially youths, frustrated and disappointed. Thus, they are left with no option but to see how they can pay back this government by throwing their support to the APC Party come 2023, as it’s the main opposition party. A clear example is seen in the just concluded bye-election in Ward 011 in the Kenema district, where the ruling SLPP escaped defeat from the main opposition APC Party with their hair in their teeth.
Indeed, the result appeared shocking to many, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. More shocking results for APC would be seen or heard from that part of the country come 2023. The frustrating mood of the people in the district will not only put the SLPP at a very high risk of losing a huge number of Presidential votes, but also of losing a few MP seats and Wards to the APC Party come 2023.
By Francis Kalawa Koroma
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