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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

APC Is Crumbling
By Arnold Akibo-Betts
Feb 13, 2009, 17:06
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During the 2007 parliamentary and presidential elections campaigning, a number of nice-hearing promises were made by all the contesting political parties and their flag bearers.

Some of the far reaching promises made ever were by the then opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) party, which in its desperation to clinch power made all manner of promises be they realistic or not.

Among the numerous promises made by the APC and its presidential candidate, now President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, was one dealing with youths and their future in the governance structure of the country.

During the campaigning, APC made a solemn promise that when they come to power, they will priorities the welfare and holistic development of youths.

This kind of promise never came as a surprise, as it was clear from the unset that the youth vote meant a lot for all the contestants.

Although the youths were effectively divided among the various contesting political parties, it goes without saying that the bulk of them voted overwhelmingly for the APC, based of course on the volume of promises made by the party.

Now, the game is over, and its pay back time. A time when the eyes of youths from across the country are affixed on the APC government and President Koroma in particular, to fulfill all the lofty and head breaking promises made to them.

From all indications however, it has emerged clear that making a promise is far different from fulfilling it. A situation that has seen a sharp policy change insofar as promises made during the electioneering period are concerned.

It is clear that a guilty mind always finds a tight corner to hide, in order to avoid the wrath of those that may have been hurt either directly of indirectly through fake and unfulfilled promises.

Rather than coming down to the grassroots and socialize or share their afflictions with them, our new administrators are now seemingly playing the hide and seek game, wherein catching a glimpse of them has become a kind of taboo.

The long forgotten tinted eye glasses and windows on cars and jeeps have suddenly come back to style.

This is so because our Big Men no longer want to be seen just like that. They seem to be having everything at their disposal at the moment, and therefore care very little about those who actually did what was supposed to be done at the material time to get the party back to power after over a decade in the wilderness.

With their glasses always wind up, they make sure they are noticed by no one. Even to exchange greetings with the youths or merely waving a hand to them has become a problem.

The situation for the majority of youths including the whole lot of those who had sleepless nights campaigning for the party, remain much as they were, with nothing absolutely to show. And the frustrating thing is that there seem to be no end in sight to their problems.

Job opportunities remain scarce; the cost of living skyrocketing by the hour; thereby making life for youths very tantalizing.

This was not what the majority of youths across the country were expecting when they came out in their hundreds and thousands to vote overwhelmingly for the red party.

Where have all those sugar coated vibes gone? Some youths might ask.

What has become even worrying is the fact that rather than making life cozy for youths, they are instead subjected to all manner of harassment and intimidation.

Day in and day out, they are chased from to place to place or harassed to pay one tax after the other. Police officers are now seen frequenting ghettos where youths go to stress-out. The irony of it is that during the campaigning, such places where frequented by the politicians themselves to woo support.

For youths engaged in gainful activities such as bike okada riding or taxi/poda-poda driving, life is even more unbearable, as they are persistently harassed by police officers wanting to have a share of whatever income they generate.

The Pademba Road Maximum Prisons is reported to be overcrowded nowadays simply because the level of injustice against youths has seen scores of them being incarcerated for no just cause. Youths have suddenly become the common enemies of the system they strived so hard under extraneous circumstances to bring into existence.

Oh what a shame! They have failed us; no jobs, no shelter, no clothes, no food. One really wonders what has become of all those promises.

It goes without saying that the manner in which youths are being treated by the current regime is a recipe for another uncertain situation, as evident in the rise in the number of criminal activities and prostitution around the country.

Youths deserve to be treated seriously if only this country should move from its current stagnated position.

Until such is done, one can only conclude that the APC is crumbling. The youths of today are wise enough to distinguish between good and evil, and therefore have a mind of their own, and above all, the power to make and unmake.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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