Who should I vote for? A tale of two manifestos- Attempting to compare the incomparable
On the 04/02/2018, standing in a jam-packed hall in the centre of Port Loko town, Northern Sierra Leone, the retired brigadier Julius Maada Bio rose to his feet, and in his usual measured statesman-like tone that reflected the weighty solemnity of his pronouncements, the SLPP presidential candidate commended to Sierra Leoneans (and to the world in general) a document that represents the theoretical crystallisation of the New Direction.
This is the SLPP MANIFESTO for the 2018 presidential and general elections which the retired brigadier presented to the nation as “the roadmap” to unity, fairness, and the ultimate realisation of positive changes in every aspect of our national life.
The document is a conscious measure of the seriousness of the many challenges facing our country, with a corresponding juxtaposition of how to harness the promising potentials for socio-economic redemption.
There is a studied push for national self-realisation and a realistic assessment of the needed changes that is tailored to bring about the practical actualisation of the hopes and aspirations of the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans.
Beautifully crafted, thoroughly detailed and unfailingly realistic “the SLPP election manifesto” is a comprehensive roadmap and a pivotal articulation of a positive pathway towards the desired destination that seeks to educate our children, enlighten the population, train our youths, and generally install sanity and sobriety in a crumbling system while restoring dignity to an over-exploited population that has largely lost faith in our politics and in our politicians.
Compared to the rat-tail flyer of a copy and paste APC write-up, the SLPP MANIFESTO is oceans ahead in content as well as in character.
It behooves every Sierra Leonean voter to read these two documents, (or request to be read to) in order to help make an informed decision as to the way forward out of this pile of unacceptable national mess.
The documents, as presented, should be regarded as “political promissory notes” that should represent a vital binding contractual understanding between any incoming party and the people of Sierra Leone.
As wingless FLIES to FALCONS high so is the shallowness of the APC scribble to the soundness of the SLPP document.
One lazily buzzes in the shady pit of false generalisations and forced extrapolations while the superior work soars with ease, on the robustness of the details presented.
The APC product is weak on all fronts, watered-through to the very nose and bursting out with a foul flow of fumigating fakery.
Please don’t even bother to ask me about the specifics because it abounds in every phrase and sticks out in every sentence like so many loose bolts lazily dangling in a malfunctioning engine of a locomotive train designed to crash.
Luckily, when we arrive at that 7th March Junction Sierra Leoneans would have long smelled the danger and would certainly refuse to be pushed onto the coaches of a doomed locomotive while the Green Train is revving right and waiting.
Be rest assured that I will come to those “specifics” of the rust in the Red at some other time, as we continue this national discussion.
But for the purposes of this post, I prefer to largely stay with the general outlook.
True the APC write-up is dressed in a very attractive outlay the glossy coating of which does some justification to the thousands of dollars being demanded by a Nigerian PR firm that was originally hired to sanitise Samura’s darker image and to seek to retrieve his crashing candidature.
(This is the same PR firm which, through a cunning expansion of its remit, has bargained itself into more dollars than the pay-strapped doctors in Connaught or the unpaid lecturers at Njala could ever dream to see, much less to own.)
Of course, I agree with the gist of that Chinese proverb which, loosely translated, states that “Wherever there is stolen money to spend, one should expect every manner of a crook to congregate like voracious vultures to a stinking carcass.”
And talking about carcasses, the APC MANIFESTO is a really rotten one, that is as fatuous as it is fake. And believe me, it smells too!
Beyond the tantalising colour spray from the pricey printing press of the slick Nigerian promoters the APC BOOK OF LIES hardly has any coherence or clarity.
In fact any attempt to read through the ABC of APC’s so-called manifesto
is like opening a door marked “Honey in heaven” unsuspectingly unaware that daring a step beyond that door one is certain to be accosted by a monstrous swarm of flying snakes and scorpions shooting across shifting sand dunes with sinking skulls wrapped in failed “Agenda this” and “failing Agenda that” shrouds.
Whoever stitched this APC pretense together must have either being in a forgetful rush or consciously harbouring a deliberate disdain for the red brigade. It looks and sounds like the crude handle of a revenge cudgel hammered together by a group of angry ‘saboteurs’ who were kicked in the teeth during a certain “Makeni Konbention” and had suddenly got the opportunity to produce a surreal kindergarten script for enacting by a bunch of Corrupt Comedians.
As you keep reading through what the APC wants Sierra Leoneans to believe is a “Manifesto” your intellect is heavily assaulted by a savage smell of rank dishonesty and a patronising undercurrent of deliberate shiftiness that clearly brings to the fore a delusional trademark which can only belong to a party called “the APC”.
Everything I have said here may sound like mere hyperbolic rhetorics but there is a deliberate intent on my part to provoke your reading dare because the truism of my statements can be easily verified by a comparative run through of the two manifestos.
Without undermining my call for a “read” with many details of sorts, let me however just point to a few ignoble examples here.
And where best to begin than in the heart of that trending word in town: “DIASPORA”.
After collecting their “voluntary contributions” and moving to effectively murder their political aspirations, the APC (in a move that savagely mirrors the MAKENI saga) tosses out a flamboyant bait to a group they had just blankly disenfranchised.
Under a separate heading marked “the Diaspora” the crooked APC manifesto shamelessly announces a proposal for “a diaspora week” using “the third week of every December” to meet and interact with people from the diaspora. No doubt, in the hope of clawing some financial favours from the disenfranchised lot.
Not even Brutus would have been so lethal a foxy back-stabber!
For the rest of the Sierra Leonean populace, it gets more gritty:
Whereas the SLPP rightly recognises EDUCATION as a fundamental pillar of our national development and seeks to make healthcare and quality learning FREELY available to all primary and secondary school children, the best the APC could come up with in this regards is a promise “to facilitate tuition and book loans” for students.
Who will get that “loan” and how is nothing they care to mention at all. And equally blank is the issue of affordability for repayment.
On the ECONOMY, here is a quote from their very shady manifesto:
“Over the past ten years, the APC, under President Koroma, has moved Sierra Leone from very poor growth rates to THE SECOND FASTEST GROWING ECONOMY IN THE WORLD”.
Can you beat that insult?
No wonder this political FRANCHISE of a party is bursting wide with uneducated “Ph.D.” carriers who fraudulently parade themselves in the full view of a less than amused world of the conscious.
And why should anyone be surprised when one such clueless “Ph.D. claimant” decided to TEACH his mesmerized APC audience his own particular version of “development economics” during which lecture he demonstrated to his listeners his DEEP understanding of how “national economies develop”.
Listen to his pathetic boast during an open campaign event:
“I know how to access loans from the US, from the UK, from Nigeria, from Ivory Coast – let them come to Samura Kamara, I will teach them”.
And to see his audience actually clap for this crap…………dear God almighty, please forgive us the sins we committed to deserve the exposure of our innocent people to the “lectures” of such an “amazing professor”.
What I can’t tell for sure is whether “this teacher” actually believes in the stuff he preaches or if he is just one heck of a grandiose self-deluder.
Whatever it is, I consider that grandstanding “public lecture” as an unforgivable insult to real teachers. Particularly those trained to teach “economics” of and specialty.
I was wondering what we would have got next, in terms of details, from a man who opened up his “development” topic on such a bogus premise! Namely, that “development” is defined by your “understanding of how to secure loans from as many countries” as you could convince (or con) into chaining your nation with dollars!
What a serious slap to our standard-less education!
What a great shame to Sierra Leone!
Who can blame the African Development Bank (ADB) for summarily dismissing this same self-styled “development economist” with a warning never again to go anywhere near their offices?
And here is that same man been thrust upon the APC who are trying to offload their human TOLONGBO baggage on our already overburdened country.
We have had enough of that rot for more decades than we would care to remember.
So let us quickly turn over the page to the SLPP MANIFESTO.
Of course, the ultimate strength of this powerful document does not merely lie in the solidity of its content but more-so in the unquestionable fact that the SLPP has been the only party that has unfailingly delivered on its promises to the people and has always pushed towards building national institutions and developing our human capacity.
And right now the SLPP is being led by Brigadier-General (rtd) Julius Maada Bio, a man who has undeniably built his political career on FULFILLING CRUCIAL PROMISES to the nation.
So beyond the message, we have a messenger we can trust!
And that messenger is no other than a man whose word has been his bond, from his primary school days right up to his ascension to the office now sought after by him as well as by some that he had employed while at the helm.
Ultimately, therefore, this election is going to be fought as a choice between a celebrated fraudster and a disciplined patriot with a commendable record of trust and sacrifice from his school days right up to his performance in the highest office in the land.
My hope is that Sierra Leoneans would be allowed to make that choice in an atmosphere that is free, fair, unfettered and unclouded!
For that is the only way forward!
By Abdulai Braima – a London-based Sierra Leonean Social Media Commentator on current issues dealing with Social, Political and Cultural events as they unfold by the hour.