|Dennis T. Saidu|
I just heard that my friend and buddy Dennis T. Saidu, who I have not heard from for quite a while is now the running mate of the All Peoples Congress friendly United Democratic Movement Party's leader Mohamed Bangura, who spends more time attacking Maada Julius Wonnie Bio the opposition Sierra Leone People Party's leader, than criticizing the Ernest Bai Koroma led government. In a remarkable case of political straight man talk, Mohamed Bangura admitted at the Electoral Commmission that his party had no chance of winning the presidency, but they just wanted some seats in Parliament, implying that his candidacy was either an ego trip, a popularity campaign or a bargaining chip.
|Dennis and I|
What really surprised me about the candidacy is the fact that my own man Dennis T. Saidu (Seiko 5) has left the People's Movement For Democratic Movement (PMDC)
Many people claim to have been PMDC pioneers or strong men. But Dennis Saidu epitomized the meaning of commitment to party and leadership. Dennis' love and enthusiasm for PMDC during the heydays of the party was simply phenomenal and that is putting it lightly. This young man committed almost 70% of his waking day to PMDC in those days and he would make the flight from Wisconsin to Sierra Leone anytime PMDC was having any major event, at considerable personal expense, talking time away from his family and relatives.
|Dennis and Daughter|
Those days I was not an active participant in Sierra Leone politics and Dennis somehow wanted me to jump on board the PMDC political bandwagon and pursued this conversion agenda with missionary zeal. Though I told him time and time again that my sympathies lay with the SLPP, he never relented. Anytime he went to Sierra Leone, he would take his video camera and record hours of PMDC events and bring them to Minneapolis from Milwaukee and make me sit through hours and hours of PMDC political events.
Dennis loved and cherished Charles Margai with messianic fervor in those days and Charles could do no wrong in his book. He simply adored the man, respected his political ideology and totally believed his litany of excuses for leaving the SLPP to form the PMDC. When Dennis came to Minneapolis, he never slept, but spent hundreds of dollars on phone cards talking to Freetown about PMDC. I would go to bed at 2.00am in the morning and get up at 7 and meet Dennis still on the line to Freetown. When I wanted to buy refreshment for Dennis, he would rather prefer we buy telephone cards, such was the extent of Seiko's commitment to PMDC.
Dennis and his sister Bridgette invited and hosted Charles Margai and PMDC in Wisconsin at the peak of the party's popularity at a fundraising event. The man drove to Minneapolis from Milwaukee twice to ensure that all his friends and relatives travelled the long distance from Minneapolis in Minnesota to Milwaukee in Wisconsin. His persistence led to a 7 car delegation of Minnesotans to the state of Wisconsin to hear and welcome Charles Margai. Before Margai's trip to Milwaukee, I had never left Minnesota since I came to USA and was not ready to go anywhere. But Dennis was so relentless that he was able to convince me to drive the almost 400 miles or more from Minneapolis to Milwaukee to see the great Charles Margai.
Of course when I heard Charles Margai talk in Milwaukee; stating that his party had given up on Segbwema but was hoping to win all the major towns in Kailahun District and that he intended to establish a benevolent dictatorship if he became president, I told Dennis that I would never support anybody who tells me he intends to be a dictator even before he became president. In my opinion dictators, even benevolent ones were at a threat to democracy. Hitler had started as a benevolent dictator and ended up dragging the world through hell, killing over 6 million Jews and over 15 million Russsians to name but a few. The word dictator somehow conjured in my mind a person who does not listen to others, nor valued their opinions and I told Dennis there and then that I would never support Charles Margai if he maintained that position. Of course to Dennis I was just talking to myself, as Charlie Boy could do no wrong. I saw the parallel between Margai and the other Charles in Liberia, the Taylor variety.
So when I read this morning on Awoko that Dennis quit PMDC for UDM, all that came to my mind is what the hell is wrong with Charles Margai?
In Milwaukee I met Ansu Lansana, Charles Margai, Dennis Saidu, Mohamed Tombo Bangura, Varfie Sheriff, Amara Mustpha, Ngaojia and many other PMDC enthusiasts at the time who were just in awe of Charles Margai. These guys would die for the man and were more than liking to do so.
Just recently I learnt that Ansu Lansana, Aggrey Aruna, Arrow John Bockarie, Steven Gaojia, Dauda Tombo Bangura, Mohamed Bangura and many other prominent PMDC pioneers and supporters have all left the party due to Charles Margai's messianic complex. But with Dennis Saidu leaving, the question I asked myself is, what the hell is wrong with Charles Margai? All these guys and many ladies were so loyal to this man. They stood by him even in defeat.
Like all other dictators though, Charles always wants hundred percent loyalty. His decisions were not to be questioned and given the number of intellectuals in his party, I once told Dennis that with him at the helm of the party, PMDC will implode and though it is still a party, it is no longer a major force, as the giants of the party, the real foot soldiers have abandoned PMDC.
Charles Margai, what the hell is wrong with you, are you an ............