Charles Margai has become an enigma among his people an enigma among his people in Sierra Leone. He is not only difficult to be understood but also unpredictable. In one mood he could be a confidant and in the other he could strike some surprises. He is a Mercurial personality who cannot be trusted or distrusted in a hurry; he is mysterious, temperamental, controversial, outspoken and downright arrogant. He inspires confidence in some of his compatriots and arouses a sense of panic and resentment in others. In essence Charles Margai is a personality that the people love and hate at the same time.
Such is the personality of a man who has trail-blazed in the legal affairs and the politics of Sierra Leone over the years; born of an affluent family background. His father, Albert Margai, was one time Prime Minister of Sierra Leone; his uncle Sir Milton Margai the father of the nation.
In the legal practice he is rated as a good lawyer, feared and endowed with a powerful gift of articulation in the courtroom. His baritone voice is reported to have mesmerized and bullied colleague lawyers both old and new. In politics he could be portrayed as a political prostitute swinging like a pendulum. Out of malice, prejudice and pride he abandoned the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) founded by his parents and formed his own party – the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). He subsequently abandoned his party and declared for then ruling All People’s Congress (APC) now in opposition, where he was treated like an outsider and with contempt; he called it quits. His PMDC party fared the worst in the recent (2018) elections, like in all previous elections leaving him high and dry politically.
To the surprise of both political pundits and realists, Charles Margai became the first appointee by His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio under his New Direction government. It could be recalled that as recent as this year’s election campaign Charles Margai was sighted and heard on both radio and television spouting some of the worst unsavoury remarks about His Excellency President Bio who was gunning for the presidency that he is today. All that never mattered to President Bio as to defy all other reasons to name Charles Margai as his first cabinet minister as Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
Two months on the vibes about Charles Margai in the social media have been distasteful and quite disquiet, some unbelievable. An unsigned letter on the social media allegedly from the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice last week raised the bar about Mr. Margai’s doing if not undoing to the crescendo. Mr. Margai in that controversial letter had allegedly threatened to fire the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Ady Macauley, if he did not resign. He allegedly went on to demand the resignation of all the Judges with immediate effect or else they would face the music. The rumour on social media also had it that Margai allegedly ordered the Judges to match from the Law Court Building to his office and that he had earlier called the mother of the ACC Commissioner to advise her son to resign.
These are unimaginable things for an official of government to do except one with unadulterated ambition to a point of insanity. This author for one could not believe any of those rumours, and when the PRO from Margai’s office came on the air and denied that such letter did not emanate from that ministry, I believed him.
Just about a week after the Justice Ministry’s denial about that letter, this week Mr. Margai has been relieved of his job, barely two months on the job, the first to be appointed and first to be dismissed. This development gives credence to the saying that “there is no smoke without fire.” Government’s press release on the dismissal of Margai however did not state reason(s) why the man was dismissed which ascertains public conviction that Margai’s office was the author of that letter and that he had indulged in some other things unauthorized by His Excellency the President.
Whatever may be the reason why Margai has been shown the back door which the public yearns to know anyway, fits into the man’s Mercurial and mysterious character. This time round, he has reached his political Waterloo.
Meanwhile the popularity rate of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has risen to a high crescendo upon the dismissal of Mr. Charles Margai.
Charles Margai, what a fate of a man!