Immediately after appointing his first Cabinet in 1996, the late President Dr. Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah came under huge pressure from some key functionaries in the party. Some of those party functionaries were even later appointed as Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Some party supporters felt marginalized even though they had worked very hard for the party in opposition.
When he sensed their hostility, President Kabbah invited some key party officials and some disgruntled party supporters to his private residence at Juba for what he later referred to as a family meeting. At that meeting, President Kabbah made it very clear to them that, not everyone would be appointed Minister. He said that, there were many vacancies left to be filled and hoped that, by the end of the day, a good many of them would be given the opportunity to serve.
That meeting, to a very large extent, brought a brief respite to the party. Young party activists were angry that, President Kabbah brought a lot of outsiders into the Cabinet. They failed to realize that, President Kabbah was leading a coalition government at the time.
Immediately after he returned from exile in Conakry in March 1998, President Kabbah dissolved his entire Cabinet. Some senior party officials/members serving in the Cabinet at the time got axed.
In 1999, President Kabbah brought a lot of SLPP supporters in the Cabinet. President Kabbah once said, “As a Battalion Commander in a warfront, you always keep your best fighters in the back. You can always turn to them for protection when the battle rages on”. This was how he was able to console a rebellious faction within the party.
To all those who have not been fortunate to be appointed either as Ministers or Deputy Ministers by President Bio, all I can say to them is this: The Pa will never forget you! Continue to be loyal to the party and support the President to succeed. When the President succeeds, all genuine SLPP members and supporters will be proud of their party and their President.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio should invite the Party’s National Officers to a meeting, either at the party’s headquarters or at his private residence and talk to them to continue to prevail on party supporters who have felt marginalized, to be patient and continue to work for the good of the party.
Thankfully, President Bio has recognized the efforts of the party, by appointing two National Officers into his Cabinet; Hon. Edward Suluku alias Solution and Lt. (Rtd) Lahai Lawrence Leema.
APC Will Bounce Back In 2023. How?
Former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma made a loud return to his home city of Makeni last Friday. He told his audience that, he had returned to Makeni to retire for good. He expressed gratitude to the people of Makeni, for their support throughout his political journey that ended up at State House.
Whether one likes it or not, former President Koroma knows how to keep his party supporters alive. He perfectly understands the language they like to hear. And he spoke that language very well to them in Makeni last Friday.
As the man who stood in front of the APC Presidential campaign in the last election, President Koroma was man enough to take responsibility for the party’s defeat. That is what we call leadership. You carry the blame when things go wrong!
To a deafening applause, President Koroma told APC supporters in Makeni that, the party will bounce back in 2023. That statement was meant to energize the party’s main base. The reality is far-fetched. The question is: how would APC return to power in 2023 when President Bio’s free education will kick-in in September this year?
With the sick economy left behind by the APC, how does President Koroma intend to fight for the APC to bounce back in 2023?
With the appointment of a hands-on Cabinet, how does President Koroma intend to help the APC to bounce back in 2023?
With the rampant corruption perpetrated by senior officials of the APC, how does President Koroma intend to help the party to bounce back in 2023?
All said and done, the SLPP should work very hard and deliver on the promises made to the electorate in the party’s New Direction Manifesto. The SLPP needs to be reminded that, some of the votes they got in the North, Western Area and Kono district were not their votes. They were protest votes. The party should work very hard to keep those protest votes and energize their foot soldiers and their bases across the country.
I am reminded of a man who was left out of Ernest Bai Koroma’s Cabinet in 2007. He became very critical of the Koroma administration until he was given a job. When I interviewed him later, he said, “If you nor hala, den nor go yeri you voice”. Politics is a game of intrigues!
Special Appeal To SLPP
This is not the time to start a new civil war in the party. After ten years in opposition, the party has just returned to power. Let us support the President and his government to succeed. Let us consolidate the hard-won election victory, by working for the good of the country and for the good of the party.
Our President is a grassroots Politician. He needs to satisfy both party supporters and fight to broaden the party’s appeal across the country. After all, he has given important positions in the Cabinet to blue-blooded SLPP members like J.J. Saffa (Finance),
Alie Kabba (Foreign Affairs), Morie Manyeh (Mines), Alpha Wurie (Health), Alpha Timbo (Education), Mohamed Rado Swarray (Information and Communications), Kabineh Kallon (Transport and Aviation) etc.
It is better for our party to be in power than to be in opposition. So, let us all support our President and government to succeed.
One Country, One People!
One People, One Country!