For decades now, the surname Fadika in the Sierra Leone National polity has been associated with the All Peopleís Congress. The most prominent of this great family has been the current Ambassador to Iran, Alhaji Kemoh Fadika (alias Waju Waju) whose strong attachment to the APC over the years saw him benefit from the party as well as saw him play a tremendous role in ensuring the party once again assumed the reigns of power in 2007 after 15 years of APC roaming in the political wilderness. Probably the next most prominent is his younger brother, the 58 year old Lansana Fadika (alias Agbah) who became one of the most topical issues in the last fortnight after he declared his intention to move away from the familyís APC lineage and pitch tent with the APCís bitter political rival, the Sierra Leone Peopleís Party (SLPP). Lansana Fadika is a popular socialite, culture promoter, international businessman and youth activist who has now declared that he intends to run for and win the position of Western Area Chairperson for the SLPP at the SLPPís upcoming National Convention slated for March 6th and 7th this year. He has expressed his determination to ensure that SLPP wins "the vast majority of parliamentary seats" in the Western Area during the slated Presidential & Parliamentary Elections of Year 2012.
Awareness Timesí Publisher, Sylvia Olayinka Blyden sought out the views of Lansana Fadika to elicit if he was really serious given the close knit relationship between his family and the ruling APC and to also sound out some of his ideas which he intends to use to sway Freetown from red APC to green SLPP. The following are extracts from the recent chat between Blyden (SB) and Fadika (LF):
|SLPPís Lansana Fadika (The ĎAgbahí of Western Area)
SB: Many people have been left in disbelief when they heard that you have declared your support for the opposition SLPP. Your family is currently well placed to enjoy every possible sweet from the APC which is now in power. Why would you decide to link yourself to the SLPP which is now in opposition?
LF: Let me first of all correct you. I have been SLPP since before the 2002 Elections. If you research, you will find out the person who was behind the success of the One Million Man March in Freetown just before the 2002 Elections that swept Tejan Kabbah into a second term in office was me, Lansana Fadika. I believe in the SLPP and the current showing by the APC makes me ashamed to wish to be associated with them. The APC under Ernest Koroma is going down and the SLPP is the party of the future. I am not at all APC. Infact, I am determined to use all my skills to have the voters remove the APC from power come 2012 and replace them with the SLPP. Rest assured that I am 100% an SLPP man.
SB: 100% SLPP? Are you sure? Is there no small room for doubt? No niggling doubt?
LF: If it was mathematically possible to get 1 million percent, I would reply that I am 1 million percent sure. I am SLPP. I am green. I am staying green because it is freshness and fresh is healthy. Yes, I am SLPP to the backbone.
SB: Okay but other members of your family are deeply red meaning they are firmly entrenched as APC members. How will it be possible for you to co-exist with your other family members when you are going the other way? Your younger brother, Moseray Fadika for example, is known to be a very close ally of the current regime which you are now vowing to remove from power in 2012.
LF: Moseray and I have a lot of differences both personal and political. Infact, we are two completely different persons. Those who really know about the two of us know that Moseray has no influence over my political inclination. I am my own person and he is free to be whatever he wants to be. I have nothing to do with him and he has nothing to do with me politically. As for other members of my family, we are a family of diversity and we respect each other. As I told you before, long before Kabbah won the 2002 elections, I was already a green SLPP member whilst my own elder brother Kemoh Fadika went his own way and was a red APC member. Kemoh and Moseray cannot influence others in the family. The Fadika family is diverse with varying shades of opinion. One thing I can state categorically is that Lansana Fadika has been SLPP all this time and will never be APC.
SB: You have been one of the more successful Sierra Leonean businessmen and so you know the value of money in any undertaking whether political or otherwise. Right now, your party to my understanding is bankrupt to the extent that the Banks are chasing them down to liquidate the real estate collateral owned by the SLPP. Your party has no money and no means of sustaining itself in the foreseeable future. How and why are you so sure of victory come 2012 when you people are bankrupt?
LF: [chuckles] Ha ha ha. Money is not everything though it is important. Also, there are credible ways of raising money for a credible political alternative.
SB: Like what kind of ways? This is Africa and the APC is not like the SLPP which to be frank was quite naÔve when it was in power. The APC is much smarter politically and more streetwise and will not allow you SLPP their opposition to financially thrive. They will strangle whatever means of financial survival you might wish to use.
LF: [chuckles more] It is not only the Government that has money. When people relate to you; when people out there believe in you; when they are rooting for you because they believe in your leadership, they will put themselves out for you and find the money for you. The private sector has far more cash than the Government and the private sector is very unhappy with the Government right now. They will fund the re-emergence of the SLPP trust me. Also, the Diaspora based Sierra Leoneans will step up and sustain the SLPP until it comes back to power. Already, I have groups out there who are just waiting for me to win the Western Area Chairmanship so they can start pouring money into the SLPP. There are still other areas which I intend to use alongside the SLPP Leadership to raise cash for our party but I will not reveal all my ideas right now. I am keeping them close to my chest. But raising money to remove the APC from power is not going to be a problem. The APC has already failed the people.
SB: Well, you stated earlier that you will ensure Freetown changes back to the SLPP and the majority of Parliamentary seats will go to SLPP Candidates but even though you allege that the APC has already failed the people, yet in this monthís Bye-Elections, the APC had a comfortable win that sent Manley Spaine to Parliament whilst the SLPP lagged seriously behind with less than 35% of the votes going for them. For a party that you claim is now unpopular, are you not scared that they will not be so easy to remove? With all the alleged unpopularity, they had a comfortable win in the Western Area and even invaded your SLPPís former stronghold in Pujehun quite significantly. What makes you so confident that you will deliver Freetown to SLPP in 2012?
LF: Let me tell you something. Look at me in the eyes and read my lips as I say this. The SLPP will get no less than 65% of the Freetown votes in 2012. I have all my strategies worked out. They will not fail. It is very simple. 60% of the voters are youths of which 40% of these youths are members of various cultural organizations. I know these youths. I know their way of life. I know what makes them tick and what turns them off. I am going to use my knowledge of the youths to move them towards the better option of the SLPP and away from the APC.
SB: These percentage figures you are quoting. What makes you so sure of them? You sound quite confident?
LF: I reorganised and brought back the practice of cultural organizations back to our way of life. These organizations had been banned for years prior to my efforts to reawaken them as our culture so our youths could find a common identity to associate themselves with. I was elected as the Chairman of the Ordelay Union and held that position for nine good years. I live with the youths; I study them; I study their mentality and their way of life and most of all, I am a researcher so I say these figures and these statements with full confidence. I know how to turn Freetown youths from red APC to green SLPP and this is what I and others are going to do with a passion between now and 2012. The SLPP is the next Government.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
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