From my many years of diligent research, I have come to the conclusion that there exists a certain small clique of Sierra Leoneans from South-East who believe they are ordained to rule this country. They would do anything, including attacking their own South-Eastern brothers and sisters in order to grab power. This clique sees the SLPP as a mere vehicle by which they can achieve their aims. Late Dr. Soyei (RIP) regularly lambasted them in newspaper and radio interviews as the “ethnic faction” within SLPP. To the clique, SLPP is just a tool and for them, brutalising even their innocent family members and fellow South-Easterners to get power is acceptable.
This clique regularly promotes a state of tribal consciousness on the South East using a variety of means such as stirring up feelings of persecution in the bosoms of South-Easterners. Or, floating alarms that ‘outsiders’ are planning to attack and/or suppress South East. A case in point is the recent seditious Press Release of February 2012 by Julius Maada Bio whose sole aim was to spark South-Eastern discontent against Koroma regime and move support to his Bio fronted SLPP as an alternative - based on regional and tribal sentiments.
|Paramount Chief Ngoumbuklah Kallon II of Jawei Chiefdom, Kailahun as he runs with outstretched arms to give a welcome hug to President Koroma on Daru Town Field. Inset at top left, is of the smiling Mende Chief in a warm embrace with the smiling Temne President. Chief Kallon tells Awareness Times that Koroma is loved by many in Daru.
In the past, such sentiments consolidated SLPP’s grip on South East. However, of late, significant chunk of South Easterners from those regions have rejected the ideology of this small clique. Thus, South-Easterners are coming out in droves to identify themselves with the ruling APC and to work in unifying the country and rejecting the supremacists. The ethnic tribal card which was served to South-Easterners over the years, by this clique has obviously failed to work as well as it used to do. No question that the South-East remains an opposition stronghold but SLPP knows Mende tribal card they used to wield has failed.
Running out of ideas; with an absence of viable alternatives to Koroma, the ethnic clique within the SLPP have resorted to stoking similar tribal sentiments up North in the hope that where they have lost ground in the South East with a failure of their Mende tribal stoking, they can gain with Temne tribal stoking.
It is a well known fact that President Koroma is born of a Limba mother and a Temne father. In an attempt to alienate him from the APC Flagbearer position, Koroma was accused by his APC challengers of being “half Temne Half Limba” and not a pure Temne. Sadly for his detractors, the Temnes who make up the bulk of his party’s support were not having any of this. They knew he was born of Temne father and standing next to his so-called “pure Temne” contenders, he was head and shoulders above them in stature, pedigree and just about everything else including a cleaner reputation.
Then came SLPP in 2007 elections. SLPP created a propaganda that Koroma was not of a Temne father but is Loko. They tried this tactics as a means of drumming up support amongst the Temnes for Momodu Koroma whom they described would be “the first Temne Vice President since S.I. Koroma”. It did not work as the Temnes rejected the SLPP wholesale.
SLPP in 2012, again with another Temne as running-mate, are now trying hard to push a fallacy that infact President Koroma himself has said he is not a Temne but a Loko. This is not true. The President never said he was Loko.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.