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The 2017 Grand Coalition


The 2017 Grand Coalition

By Foday Daboh…..

“Forming a grand coalition is not far fetched, because Sir Milton Margai did exactly that in the late 1950s.”

“(and hopefully the ceremony is facilitated by Maada Bio, the then Chairman of the SLPP).”
Last week as a friend of mine and I watched the video of Pa Kabba’s funeral at the National Stadium, we discussed the powerful imagery of His Excellency EBK presiding over the whole event, the crowd uplifted by Jimmy B and the artist’s youthful and superb performance, and the crowd’s rapt attention as they absorbed the grand finale of EBK’s powerful and honorable tribute to his predecessor. Is this a sign that our hard won democracy is consolidating incrementally?

Jessy Jackson used to say “Keep Hope Alive”, and that hope gave us Obama. So as young men we discussed an event in March 2018 where EBK passes the baton to KKY, as Kabba passed it on to him (and hopefully the ceremony is facilitated by Maada Bio, the then Chairman of the SLPP). More importantly, we hope for a Grand Coalition of reform-minded champions from various parties plus the youth, unified under a KKY leadership for 2017.

Forming a grand coalition is not far fetched, because Sir Milton Margai did exactly that in the late 1950s. In order to get a deal for our independence, Sir Milton Margai teamed up with Dr. Karefa-Smart and the Northern chiefs (Bai Farma Tas, Yumkella, Pa Alikali Modu, Alimamy Dura, Bai Koblo, and Kandeh Kolleh; plus Southern and Eastern chiefs and leaders such as Madam Ella Koblo-Gulama, Taplima-Gobeh, Jaiya-Kai Kai. Then he forged a strategic Alliance with other political parties such as that led by H.E. Siaka Stevens and his brother H.E. Albert Margai; then he forged a partnership with very prominent Western Area leaders such Nelson Williams, Rogers Wright, Berthan Macauley, Solomon- Pratt, Dr. Easmon, Beoku-Betts, Dove-Edwin, Brown-Mack, Banja Tejan-Sie, M.S. Moustapha and Kandeh Bureh.
Sir Milton, with humility, patience and tolerance created his grand coalition, with unity of purpose and one vision for an independent Salone.

KKY noted that Kabba “chose” to integrate society. His Excellency EBK stated in the eulogy that Pa Kabba, with great tolerance and skill brought everyone together at another crucial time in our country’s history to secure peace and declared “De War Dondon” in 2002. We also observed that though a few pundits had attacked KKY for stating the true facts in his written tribute, he was exonerated at the Stadium. Pa Berewa, in his tribute exonerated KKY when he said “if President Kabba was not a democrat, I would have been president today”. This confirmed KKY’s statement that Kabba chose not to subvert democracy in 2007. Jimmy-B asked why did we not hear all these achievements and praise all this time when President Kabba was alive? This confirmed KKY’s assertion that by design or omission many did not talk about the Kabba legacy for almost a decade.

Our movement is built around the dream of a grand coalition of reformers and technocrats to take over in 2018. We know that every party has progressives. We also know that there are many people who may hate politics, but want a greater and a better Salone (that is built on current successes while avoiding the failures) We also know that demographic changes and urbanization have led to mass movements of our people. Hence, to win in 2017 we want to create coalitions and strategic alliances across the East, West, North and South. In the short time to 2017, the goal is not to start a new party, it is to persuade people not to worry about tribe, party color or mud-slinging and witch-hunts, but rather to focus on the long-term prosperity of our country. Later they can follow the person with the better vision for the country. They can follow the UNIFIER who says “there are no green or red Sierra Leoneans”.

We expect that KKY will answer the call to mobilize and galvanize such a grand coalition? He has the pedigree, open-mindedness and the skills to forge the required alliances. We know that through marriage, he is connected to 7 Chieftaincy houses across the four regions. For example, his maternal grandfather and namesake, was Chief Kandeh Kolleh of Tambakah Chiefdom, Bombali District. We know that he has built relationships in all regions because of his schooling, marriage and his development work. Leh we dae go normor……..

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