The negative tribal incitement card which was first deployed by the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) against the ruling All Peoples Congress(APC) party has backfired on SLPP. Use of tribal incitement rather than cajoling the public with policies on respect for human rights and other such matters of import, have resulted in one of the party’s most prized assets to call it quits from the party he was born in. Major Ismail Sengu Koroma in an exclusive chat with this writer yesterday May 22nd 2012 said the SLPP’s use of overt tribalism “gravely bothers” him.
“I have traveled all around Sierra Leone in the last few months; quietly meeting my supporters and other citizens. I have been reading newspapers and listening quietly to information about the politics of the day. I have come to the firm, very firm conclusion that the SLPP as I knew it is no more,” the erudite and no-nonsense American Military Major stated adding “the current use of negative tribal incitement by the SLPP gravely bothers me”.
Major Ismail Koroma who had vowed less than a year ago to work hard with every drop of his blood to ensure the SLPP presidential candidate Maada Bio won the upcoming elections, insists he now has a change of mind and will now be “playing an active role in recruitment of members of the SLPP to quit SLPP and join the APC for progress of Sierra Leone”. He says this is because “the unfortunate information now being revealed about my brother Julius Maada Bio and some others in the SLPP makes the party look just like the old APC; thieving, divisive, tribalistic and quite backwards in outlook. Bereft of policies and plans to offer, the SLPP now relies on invoking tribal sentiments to win elections”.
Sengu Koroma was referring to a string of recently released negative information plaguing the candidacy of Julius Maada Bio including illegal passport sales and squirreling of such funds into offshore accounts as well as involvement in extra-judicial killings of innocent people including a pregnant woman.
He muses in irony that “Maada Bio is bad news for Sierra Leone. Whilst SLPP has been sinking in the estimation of many right thinking citizens, the current APC meanwhile, which I used to dismiss and criticise, has slowly been winning the hearts of my people all around the country. APC under Ernest Bai Koroma’s leadership, has been changed for the better whilst we were on the sidelines criticising possibly the greatest leader Sierra Leone has had to date, Ernest Bai Koroma”.
Continuing, he insists that “Today, APC as we knew it under Siaka Stevens and Joseph Momoh, has been turned around to now possess the core values for which SLPP was once known; tolerance and unity amongst others” and so he says “As a patriot, I find I have no alternative. I am turning my back on the SLPP and going to work hand in hand with the APC Leader to ensure he wins the 2012 elections and then continue to take our country forwards more and more”.
According to Major Koroma, the former President Tejan Kabbah “was not able to serve as well as he should have because he was plagued by military coups and settling a war he inherited but he was a great leader. President Ernest Koroma is however a much greater leader who has shown what a leader can do in peace time. Imagine since I was born Kailahun town never saw tarred roads or pipe borne water but all of these are being put in place by President Koroma”.
Sengu Koroma, a son of Kailahun with strong roots in Kenema also says it has not been difficult for him to convince former SLPP members of his concerns over the past few weeks.
“My SLPP people who believe in me, especially from Kenema and Kailahun already are telling me that APC is now much much better than SLPP and are already supporting President Koroma in their hundreds. That, I can assure you.” the US Military Major ended.
Watch Sengu Koroma on SLBC today.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.