During campaigns leading to the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the then opposition (now ruling) All People’s Congress (APC) used their vibrant, yet damaging propaganda machine to falsely make believe by the people of this country the ‘ineptitude’ of the then ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) government to govern this nation.
By deliberate design, the citizens were led to believe that their needs could be easily fulfilled with corresponding rapid national development within a twinkle of an eye, should they give the APC their votes to clinch the citadel of power, thus the demise of the SLPP.
The APC exploited every means, including musicians and journalists backed by powerful orators in the persons of Victor Bockarie Foh, Alpha Kanu, Kemoh Sesay and a host of others to out smart the SLPP. The then opposition APC party made our gullible and largely susceptible illiterates to believe that the SLPP was an evil government that had all within their ambit to develop this country but deliberately failed to deliver. Many more were led to buy the wrong notion that the SLPP was tribally focused, and with no developmental agenda. There was a hoax to lure people into false belief that the international community has lost confidence in the administration of the SLPP government. Even an operation code named “Free Flow” which was launched by the SLPP to rid traders off the streets of Freetown was used as a campaign machinery to oust the erstwhile government.
All of these were happening with little or no regard to a popular adage which states: “When you dig a pit for someone to fall in, you should never forget that you might be the one.”
Due to the reality that the SLPP by then did not strongly counter those propaganda machines of the APC, as they were of the conviction that their works would speak louder, the APC succeeded in burying all the achievements of the SLPP, while horrifying its eleven-year administration.
The SLPP was chased out of power and the ‘messiah’ APC was ushered in with the hopes of the citizenry to be provided all basic necessities and rapid development of mama salone.
Sadly enough, since the rise to power of the APC, things seem to be going from bad to worse on a daily basis. The prices of basic food stuff and other utilities continue to rise, unemployment rate among the youth yet to be addressed, education is dropping at an alarming pace, violence and intimidation maintaining permanency thus threatening national harmony, backed by non performance of almost all the ministers and daily embarrassments faced by the ruling government to name but a few.
Let us take a look at the issue of the rise in prices of basic food stuff and other commodities. As far as my memory could recall, the APC used the price of a 50kg bag of rice which was Le55, 000 to campaign against the SLPP. Within months when they assumed governance, that prize had far exceeded to an extent that it now nearly triples the former cost.
The issue of youth unemployment was also used against the SLPP with promises that the APC will most definitely provide meaningful employments for the Sierra Leonean youth. It is well over 13 months now, but we are hearing nothing about youth employment. On the contrary rather those already employed continue to lose jobs, thus increasing the number of the unemployed in the country.
APC rule is being characterized by violence and intimidation of opposing members which was never the case during the reign of the SLPP. The opposition now finds it very difficult to exist, and has gradually started to degenerate to the point where the country has started losing its hard won pride of a democratic and tolerated country.
Within the 13 months’ rule of the APC, educational achievement is nothing to write home about with rapid drop in standards. This was evidenced by poor performance of students in the 2008 West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results. The less talked about the better.
On the issue of ‘lack of agenda’ of this administration for the betterment of this country, several things have happened within this short tenure of the APC that have led to uncountable embarrassments. In the midst of all these occurrences, the APC administration instead of implementing a robust strategy to tackle some of these issues it is bent on playing the blame shifting tactics and taking undue glories. The red administration is quick to claim credit for any good thing that happens to the country, of which most were achievements sourced by the erstwhile SLPP, and dishonestly cast blames on the SLPP for awful occurrences.
A typical example is thus: The APC was quick to claim ownership of the World Bank Doing Business Report that rated Sierra Leone top amongst its counterparts in the sub region but was also swift to deny responsibility of a Transparency International report that rated Sierra Leone apex in terms of corruption and drug abuse.
As if that is not enough, the APC administration on a frequent basis is greeted with several embarrassments which were hardly heard of during the reign of the SLPP.
All of what I am saying are naked facts, but my readers might need highlights of these issues just to refresh their memories. The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hindolo Trye is presently the topic of the day as he continues his urination spree on board planes. This continuous habit or ‘strange sickness’ of Hindolo Trye has not only succeeded in embarrassing the APC but has equally succeeded in presenting a nauseating image of the country to the world at large.
What of a whopping tax payers’ money of 75 billion Leones that the APC government agreed to pay a Lebanese national, Mohamed Kamel Wanza without consultations with the people of this country. As I am writing this piece, the status of that unexplained ‘ojukokoro’ deal is gradually suffering natural silence.
Not to talk of the bogusness of the Foreign Minister, Zainab Bangura which had severally resulted in dissemination of wrong and bogus information using government letterheads and foreign policy blunders. The electricity brouhaha that saw the Energy and Power Minister, Afsatu Kabba being ‘scapegoated’ is also part of the barrage of embarrassments this administration has faced. The presidential salary increment resulting in the resignation of Sanpha Koroma is even better not talked about.
The list is long and I can go on and on and on. My question now is this: since the red administration has proven beyond all reasonable doubts that they had ousted the SLPP with no grounds other than false propaganda, isn’t it high time they start apologizing to the SLPP or better still QUIT?
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.