From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

SLPP former MPs sell birthright for ‘Coco-Ebbeh’
Aug 2, 2010, 13:24

The famous biblical story about Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of porridge is reflected in a local Krio parlance which reference greedy person(s) who sell bonafide rights for financial pittance to satisfy immediate human urges. In Krio, a bowl of porridge is known as "coco-ebbeh". This scenario played out last weekend when former Parliamentarians of the opposition SLPP party offered their services to President Koroma with attendant financial rewards.

It all happened when Koroma’s Southern Province Minister, Hon. Musa Tarawalie invited all former SLPP MPs who lost their seats in the 2007 Elections, to a meeting in Bo, ostensibly for them to hold a meeting with President Koroma who was in the South-Eastern cities of Bo and Kenema last weekend. On arrival, the former SLPP MPs were told by Tarawalie that only those who were prepared to openly declare that they would abandon the SLPP for the APC, would be allowed to meet with the President.

A small number of former SLPP MPs, led by Sam Maligie III, all expressed their willingness to sell away the ideals of the SLPP and take to the trenches in various South-Eastern constituencies to ensure President Koroma and the APC won the 2012 Elections. One of the former SLPP MPs from Kenema however stated that though he would campaign for Koroma, he would still remain to be an SLPP member whilst all the others agreed to now become APC members.

As for Sam Maligie III, a close friend and confidant of Elections Boss Dr. Christiana Thorpe, he made no secret of him detesting the SLPP which he described as his "former party". He told Musa Tarawalie and the gathering that his intense dislike for the SLPP pre-dated the 2007 Elections and came about as a result of him losing the SLPP symbol to re-contest the 2007 Elections as he had done in the 2002 Elections. He vigorously denounced the SLPP and swore to Musa Tarawalie that he would never go back to SLPP.

The new APC converts were then allowed to hold a meeting with President Koroma whilst those who refused to toe the line were sent away after receiving ‘transport fees’ of Le200,000. Whilst those sent away only pocketed a mere Le200,000 to cover the cost of their transportation, the new APC members who met with President Koroma were beneficiaries of huge sums of cash as part of ‘welcome to APC’ packages.

We will subsequently publish names of the former SLPP MPs who have sold themselves to APC for ‘coco-ebbeh’ as well as those who attended to Musa Tarawalie’s call but refused sell the SLPP ideals. We will also cover how a former MP almost didn’t get Le200,000 transport for damning APC as a failure.

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