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Sierra Leone News: After U na Ď V í & After U na Youth : As Democracy allows for Open Debates, New Slogans emerge from more sectors
May 1, 2014, 17:18
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The ongoing topical debate about who succeeds the popular President of Sierra Leone, seems to be bringing forth new slogans on an almost daily basis. Supporters of the call for the President to accede to a third term in office, first coined a slogan of ĎAFTER U NA Uí meaning, after your (Presidentís) current term ends, we want you back in that office. However, those vehemently opposed to such, immediately coined a sinister retort of ĎAFTER GBAGBO, NA Uí implying the country might be set into turmoil, death and destruction that will see the President arraigned at The Hague like former Ivorian President Gbagbo. However, that mention of a possible ĎGbagboí scenario did not go down well and many citizens condemned it as foreboding of evil thoughts for a country that had put wars and destruction behind it.¬† Alhaji I.B. Kargbo, Special Adviser to the President, was furious as he condemned attempts to compare President Koroma with the indicted former Ivorian President.


The rather sinister ĎGbagboí slogan had been popular with members of the two main opposition parties, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). However, the widespread condemnation for their analogy to ĎGbagboí have seen these two parties go back to the drawing board, drop the ĎGbagboí reference and now have coined a new retort based on recital of the A-B-C alphabet. It goes thus: ďAFTER U NA ĎVí for VACATE, VAMOOSE, VANISHĒ meaning the President should vacate, vamoose and vanish from the scene after his term ends.


The new slogan was first broken over the radio airwaves yesterday morning when SLPP Spokesman, Hon. Musa Tamba Sam joined Bamidele Thompson of PMDC, Mohamed Bangura of United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Hon. Robin Fallay of the ruling All Peoples Congress to debate ĎAfter U Nar Uí slogan and whether President Ernest Bai Koroma must be given a 3rd term.


In his submission, Hon. Musa Tamba Sam sarcastically said that in school when taught the alphabet as a child, he was told after the letter U was letter V. So, he said, ďAFTER U NA V for VACATE, VAMOOSE, VANISHĒ.


As the public laughed in big entertainment, even as Tamba Sam was retorting AFTER U NA ĎVí FOR VACATE, other activists were sending in text messages saying ďAFTER U NA ĎVí FOR VICTORY FOR THIRD TERMĒ.


Interestingly however, Tamba Sam went on to threaten that he will assemble thousands of people from across the country to demonstrate against a third term and he told international community to note, ďWe are heading directly for chaosĒ. He however emphasized that his party, the SLPP will take responsibility of crimes that may follow such, meaning the SLPP hierarchy are the ones who are prepared to be taken to join Gbagbo at The Hague.


The debate got more heated after Bamidele Thomson of PMDC accused Robin Fallay of ďbehaving childishly and not like a responsible big manĒ by calling for an extension of the tenure of the President.


Meanwhile, another slogan has emerged which has brought another fresh dimension to the debate on constitutional review of clauses about Presidency. Many youth activists are now making a public call for the constitution to be amended so the minimum age limit for a President¬† is dropped from 40 years. Their own slogan is: ĎAFTER U NA YOUTH!í


According to youths activists, they want Sierra Leone to copy Great Britain where a citizen in his twenties who is eligible for Parliament, is eligible to be British Prime Minister. The youths want  the 40 years constitutional age limit dropped.

A similar argument for term limit is being pushed by those who point out that there is no term limit on British Prime Ministers so there should be no term limits on Sierra Leone Presidents.

Like is expected in a healthy democracy with freedom of expression, this debate will continue and more slogans and retorts will be emerging.

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

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