Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sierra Leone Democracy

Biometric Multiplication
The presidential and parliamentary elections in my native country Sierra Leone were over before they began. After going through the motions and waiting for a week the Electoral Commissioner called a press conference and told whoever had any complaints against the conduct of the polls to go report to the police. In Sierra Leone that is basically telling someone to go to hell! The opposition reporting government malpractice to the Sierra Leone police is akin to reporting a mother to her 5 year old daughter, nothing can come out of it. As they say in our native krio Language, "Kombra fart pan im pikin nar buff"
Five More Years

Brigadier Julius Bio
So after all the hullabaloo, the Electoral Commissioner, Rtd Sister Thorpe came out after a week and announced that President Koroma had 58%, Rtd. Brigadier Maada Bio had 38% and all the others had the rest, what ever percentage that amounted to.  Ambassador John Leigh put his shoes on top of his head and rushed out on the streets singing Sabanoh 75 and the dish ran away with the spoon.

Well as they say, every country has the government it deserves. Sometimes people wonder why Sierra Leone should even be classified as poor, let alone among the poorest nations in the world. The answer is obvious, if you give a Sierra Leonean a gun, he will shoot himself in the foot. Ernest Koroma wanted a second term, and he wanted it badly. In Africa when a president wants power that bad, he usually gets it.
Waiting for Santa Clause

There is no distinction between state and ruling party resources when it comes to elections in Sierra Leone. APC spent as much as they could, bringing voters from Guinea, reportedly stuffing ballot boxes and converting the few remaining independent journalists to praise singers extraordinaire. Basically, the country and its people will be subjected once again to 5 years of lopsided development, the same crap. Roads in the absence of food. People will travel on beautiful roads again, hungry, while the contracts for the construction of these roads will once again enrich members of the APC cabal and the even hungrier new defectors.

They Need to be in School
Well the President said things will get better this time. We will wait, watch and see, but as they, " the frog with no buttocks when it is young, will not likely grow one in old age", but of course, mutations are always possible, and we will all pray for things to get better in Sierra Leone, as some of us genuinely believe that there is absolutely no need why a single child in Sierra Leone should go to bed hungry.

Over here in USA it was an interesting week. The Powerball Jackpot was 550 million frigging dollars. The chances of winning was lower than being struck by lightning three times in bright sunshine on the cobbled streets of my hometown Segbwema. But of course we all ran out and bought Powerball, one never knows. What I would have done in Segbwema if I had won! But we lost and as they say, the dog's dream, dies in its stomach.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sierra Leone: From Hope to Hunger



"De Pa" Momoh II?
Sierra Leone as a country today is at the edge of a precipice. Since the country adopted the presidential system of government under the late President Siaka Probyn Stevens, his party, the All Peoples Congress has shortchanged the country at every given opportunity. For 23 years under the rule of Siaka Stevens and his protege Joseph Saidu Momoh, Sierra Leone was converted from a solid and highly stable economy to an economic basket case. The old APC removed social responsibility, affection and respect for the public good and replaced it with the promotion of individualism. By uttering the single statement that "cows are meant to feed where they are tethered," Siaka Stevens officially sanctioned and blessed the vice of corruption and convinced those entrusted with public resources that it was their personal piggy bank, they could do as they and they were fools not to take for themselves.
"De People"
Those of us who were born in the era of Siaka Steven were able to see the country slide from the path of prosperity to the wide roads of hell in the space of less than a decade. When you tell young people nowadays that Freetown back in the early 70s used to have 24 hours electricity, they meet that statement with disbelief and skepticism. Some of us were lucky to have lived in Freetown during a period in which black outs were very infrequent. We slowly watched the transformation to a time when electricity blackouts became so frequent that when lights came on, the collective shout of " light don cam!" could be heard thundering throughout the city.
"The World's Best"
Many young Sierra Leoneans would be amazed to know that up to 1980, one unit of our local currency, the Leone, was more valuable than the dollar. Siaka Stevens decided in the 70s that multiparty democracy was bad for the country. He outlawed opposition parties and converted the country into a one party dictatorship under his All Peoples Congress with him at the helm. Politicians of every other party was either forced to join the APC or fallow in the political wilderness. In the absence of effective opposition, the rape and plunder of Sierra Leone began in earnest, every man for himself. The Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Board (SLPMB)and the National Diamond Mining Company (NDMC) were converted from institutions that enriched government and public coffers to ones that enriched the private pockets of Siaka Stevens and his colleagues and swelled private Swiss accounts. Today the children of some of these politicians cannot track these accounts and we all continue to live in poverty, while the Swiss continue to enjoy their cheese. The Bauxite Mines at SIEROMCO and the rutile mines at Sierra Rutile became the personal piggy bank of the "Pa" and his "comrades."
"The World's Enjoyers"
In the middle 80s, years of easy hedonistic living caught up with Siaka Stevens "Bandalay" and his ailing Vice President Sorie Ibrahim Koroma "Agba Satani". To prevent a power war between his successors and protect himself from any form of retribution, Siaka Stevens decided to blindside his political colleagues and force them to accept the head of the military, a semi-literate, womanizing and alcoholic political novice called Joseph Saidu Momoh, who had been extremely loyal to him during his tenure, as his successor. This fateful act sealed the destiny of Sierra Leone, as the poor Major General who was way over his head, without a clue in governance resorted to tribalism to entrench his hold on power thereby awakening the ethnic demons of the 60s and late seventies. 
"The World's Worst Under The World's Best"
Under the rule of Joseph Saidu Momoh, with the help of a lot of the old guard of both the APC and the current Sierra Leone Peoples Party, the whole scale plunder of Sierra Leone began in earnest. State coffers were emptied and Finance Minister Hassan Gbessay Kanu printed so much money that they had to print the notes in their thousands to keep up with the resulting runaway inflation. Joseph Saidu Momoh was able to convert Sierra Leone in just seven short years from a troubled economy into the poorest country in the world. Civil servants were no longer getting paid, SLPMB and NDMC collapsed, there were no money in banks and fuel shortages were the order of the day. Student leaders who resisted the APC kleptocracy were expelled from colleges and exiled out of the country.

Momoh drove Sierra Leone into organized chaos. Education was considered a privilege and assistance to colleges dwindled. With lecturers not getting paid or their pay not catching up with inflation, those who could leave left and those who could not hopped onto the political bandwagon. These frustrated educated politicians became smarter at corruption than Momoh and his ilk and the economy then went into a virtual free fall. Sierra Leone became a police state with the notorious Bambay Kamara at the helm, clamping down on freedom of speech and introducing a vague offense known as "careless talk" hiring taxi drivers to be enforcers. 

By the late early 90s things had gotten so bad that every sector of the country became demoralized. When a retired military corporal Foday Sankoh invaded Sierra Leone with the help of rebels from Liberia, the military was so demoralized that the only thing that prevented the rebels from overrunning the eastern part of the country in less than six months was the strategic location of the Moa Barracks at Daru and the timely intervention of Guinean forces in honor of an existing mutual defense pact with Sierra Leone. Thus started ten years of mayhem, rape, arson and depravity which every Sierra Leonean living today should vividly remember. Had it not been for the heroic efforts of a group of men and officers who kicked Momoh out of power, Sierra Leoneans may have had Foday Sankoh, a highly unstable sadistic human being still terrorizing the country.

After 6 years of the military, the people justifiably clamored for democracy and the military leader at the time, Brigadier Julius Maada Bio decided to honor the wishes of the people. He presided over orderly elections and handed power back to civilian rule under the leadership of veteran UN diplomats Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. Before handing over power, Maada Bio created an avenue for Sankoh and his rebels to start a dialogue with the government that would ultimately result in several peace accords that would end the war. In essence Bio encouraged the rebels to come out of the bush and onto the table.

Ahmed Tejan Kabba, a veteran UN retired diplomat took over the leadership of Sierra Leone and through sheer diplomatic ability was able to end the war and start rebuilding the infrastructure of the country. Tejan Kabba was seen as a credible leader by the international community. He reformed the police and started rebuilding institutions of governance. At the end of his rule, most of the country's debts had been forgiven, the economy was stabilized, the war was ended, NGOs were plentiful and he presided over the conduct of elections that resulted in the loss of power by his own party, due to the poor choice of candidate and the celestial promises Made by the opposition leader Ernest Bai Koroma.

In 2007 Ernest Bai Koroma brought back the APC, the party that had systematically disassembled the economy of the country promising attitudinal change and zero tolerance to corruption. He promised that food was going to be cheap and affordable, jobs were going to be created in their thousands and it was generally going to be a season of plenty. So what is the verdict.
"No Future"
Under  Ernest Bai Koroma, food prices have tripled, poverty has increased, unemployment is at more than 70% and hope is at less than 10%. The educational sector is in shambles, corruption is on the increase, public information has been replaced with propaganda, the truth has been replaced by lies, prostitution has increased by more than 500% and tribalism has been institutionalized. The police force has been compromised, salaries are not keeping up with the pace of inflation, the capital has become a mountain of filth with cholera running rampant in the country. Youths have been demoralized and converted into political thugs, drug and alcohol use among the population has increased and health care is in crisis. The president and his cronies are building mansions whilst the people are gradually being pushed into slums. Salaries are not being paid on time and the banks have again started to run out of money and to cap it all, the fuel lines have returned.

Sierra Leoneans are going to the polls tomorrow and we a have a real chance to get out of this quagmire. However we all need to be extremely vigilant, as all indications are that the Koroma cabal want to continue their privileged existence at the expense of the people. Thugs have started to appear in once peaceful areas of the country and the National Electoral Commission has already started to disqualify strong opposition candidates. For those Sierra Leoneans who have been praying for a better life for the past 40 years, God is once again giving us the opportunity to peacefully rid ourselves of this disastrous path on which we are headed. God works in mysterious ways and sometimes gives people the opportunity to answer their own prayers.

This current APC government is a cancer feeding on the cohesiveness of the country. Sierra Leone has never been as divided as it now is under this regimen. Ernest Koroma has demonstrated time and again that his loyalty is to APC and not to national unity and giving him five more years would be a calamity for the country. Let us rid ourselves of this ridiculous spectacle of arthritic old men posing as if they were athletic super stars. This government is built on a foundation of propaganda and lies and is a serious threat to the fragile peace we have won and maintained. Five more years of this mess, hell would look like a 5 star hotel. In his first term the president was declaring a week of fasting. If he wins, let us prepare for five years of fasting. APC is like poison, it is bad for Sierra leone



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Monday, November 12, 2012

All Peoples Congress Supporters on the Rampage in Segbwema

Yesterday APC youths supporting defected ex-SLPP Member of Parliament turned APC turncoat Robin Fallay went on the rampage in Segbwema, attacking the residence of SLPP candidate Abu Jajua who seems to be headed for a landslide victory in Kailahun constituency 7. An innocent youth was seriously wounded in the melee and was under observation yesterday at the Nixon Memorial Hospital in Segbwema.

According to information from Segbwema, Robin Fallay's supporters were angry at the SLPP decision not to automatically award the party symbol to him the sitting MP, but rather to award it on the basis of a contest which they knew he was bound to lose, as he claims that he had fallen out of favor with SLPP elders in the constituency.

During the final APC rally in Segbwema yesterday, Robin Fallay led a group of his  supporters on the streets of the mostly quiet town, raining insults on SLPP elders in the town and accusing them of ungratefulness. Angry at the poor turnout at the rally, a group of rowdy youths headed for the compound of Abu Jajua the SLPP candidate. Luckily no one was at home as they proceeded to comprehensively wreak havoc on the yard and destroy property. Fortunately, Abu Jajua was in Kenema yesterday when the attack occurred and no one was at the compound at the time.

This is indeed a very sad development as throughout the long political history of the constituency, there had been very bitter political contests, especially in the days of the I. K. Foday and Dr. Gbow rivalry, but the rivalry had never degenerated into violence as Segbwema was a close knit town whose families were highly interrelated and had always maintained respect for each other, even in periods of bitter political struggles.

The opinion around the Segbwema principality is that Robin Fallay who has promised to deliver the constituency to APC knows that he has no chance of doing so and is instead bent on bringing down violence and mayhem to prevent a peaceful ballot from taking place. Elders in the town who are aware of the diabolical plan are urging SLPP youths to remain calm in the face of the unwarranted provocation.

An official complaint has been lodged by SLPP supporters to the Paramount Chief Sheriff Coker Jajua and the local police precinct. The Segbwema blog correspondent states that the situation is currently tense, but calm.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sierra Leone Beyond The Hype



The True World's Best
This week, Argentinian Soccer Maestro Lionel Messi reached another milestone, 76 goals in 2012, breaking Pele's record of 75 goals in a year and solidifying his soccer status as the "World's Best." Messi who is now universally accepted as one of the greatest players that ever touched a football has a status that is based on solid personal achievement. A hardworking, self effacing, quiet and selfless team player, he cultivated his skills on the streets of Argentina before the age of 10 and has not looked back since. He has also largely avoided the scandalous lifestyle that is usually the hallmark of genius and still maintains a relatively modest lifestyle. Messi worked hard for his title, has the scars to prove it and has the skills and goals to show for it.
" Hey I Earned It"
In the little West African nation of Sierra Leone, there is a pretender to Messi's title of "world's best", the nation's white haired middle aged president, Ernest Bai Koroma who has  decided that the best way to seek reelection is not to detail plans to get the country out of the economic quagmire he has sunk it into in four years, but to go around the country masquerading as a soccer maestro with a portly stomach, surrounded by crowds of rowdy supporters and sycophants shouting that he is the "world's best", while dancing to tunes composed by hooligans insulting the female vice presidential candidate of the main opposition party.
Word Best Fake Edition
The irony of the Sierra Leone situation is that the president masquerading as the "world's best," has taken a country on the threshold of economic recovery and turned into an economic basket case in just his first term in office, acquiring in the process massive wealth for himself, his cronies and members of his own immediate and extended family. While the president boasts of making roads and wasting millions on hastily conceived electrification schemes, the people continue to sink deeper into poverty, destitution and misery. The only saving grace for a lot of families in Sierra Leone is that during the drawn out civil war in the 90s, a lot of Sierra Leoneans were able to leave the mayhem behind and find resettlement in Western nations. These migrants or diasporans have become the bedrock and financial backbone of their families back home in many cases. Diasporans, in addition to coping with the high costs of living in the West, have to scrape together their little savings and help their relatives back home with not only consequential things, but even the mere basic necessities of life.
The Koroma Economy
For families without political affiliation and with no benevolent relatives in the diaspora, Sierra Leone today has become an earthly version of hell. Children in these families grow up with mineral, protein and vitamin deficiencies as can be seen by their bow legs, protruded stomachs, brown hairs and gaunt faces. An increase in the price of rice the main source of carbohydrate by over 200% in the years since the "world's best" became president means that most poor families now spend an astonishing 90% of their incomes on food. Children have to drop out of school at an early age to sell cigarettes, ice, cake and other small items on the streets to supplement whatever little income their families can scrape together, to be assured of a daily meal.

While the president's army of sycophantic journalists write in glowing terms about IMF projections about national income growth, most of these pretend intellectuals disregard the fact that national output figures have little impact on the standard of living of people in a country and what truly matters is the distribution of income. While Sierra Leone has seen a reopening of the country's iron ore mines, a rush for the country's valuable diamond deposits, a depletion of its forests for timber and a rape of its rutile and bauxite on a massive scale, only a mere 0.5% percent of people in the country are directly benefiting from this great increase in national output. The main beneficiaries of this whole scale sale of the country are the president, his cronies and top civil servants appointed mostly from his party and his growing circle of sycophants who have no interest in alleviating the suffering of the masses, but are more interested in joining presidential delegations to foreign countries at the furtherance of their own private businesses.

Education, which is the most important ingredient of development has become the main loser in the Koroma economy. Most people in the country can barely scrape together enough for mere survival, let alone have anything left to send their children to colleges. The few scholarships in the country are not distributed by academic academic, but is a tool for political reward. The sad result is that academically brilliant school graduates no longer have an advantage in college access, rather the colleges these days are mostly populated by mediocre students with political affiliations, potentially damaging the future of the country. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

What is so sad about Sierra Leone is that the people in the country have been through so much hell over the last 40 years, that most have accepted poverty as a reality. Families allow those with means to chase their school age daughters and encourage these daughters to engage in every perceivable vice, all in the name of survival. The public statement by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Paul Kamara, that Sierra Leone women were less expensive than chickens was met with a massive outcry, but his statement is symptomatic of the sorry state the country is in and is in no way an indictment of the character of our womenfolk. People have to survive and in the lack of jobs and hope, easy immoral money making has become just another instrument of survival.

Even the much touted free health care in the country has as much credibility as the president being the world's best. Healthcare in Sierra Leone is a tragedy. Hospitals lack everything, from doctors to bandages. Private pharmacies selling fake drugs from Nigeria and China have sprouted all over the place and even where the sick are prescribed the right medication, they end up ingesting fake chalk and clay from these countries. Government run hospitals are death traps and giving birth in any of these institutions is almost akin to committing suicide.

The All Peoples Congress party of Ernest Koroma brought the country to its knees in 23 years of misrule in the old dispensation. In just five years Sierra Leone is now a private asset labeled Koroma. In just five years, the president has gone from a man with above average means to one of the richest leaders in West Africa with mansions and private assets scattered about the country and his cronies engaged in every conceivable get rich scheme in the country and with the national elections just fews days away, any thought by the opposition that this present government will allow free and fair ballots, is a deep misunderstanding of the character of corruption.

The people are fed up and tired of APC's cosmetic development and propaganda, but the cabal in power is not ready nor willing to give up anytime soon and will use every tactic, legal or otherwise to cling on to power. The opposition has to be united, determined and alert, otherwise November 17th is just going to be a big scam that will give chance to the Koroma cartel to take the country to the undertaker for five more years. Hopefully the people will come out and vote.

I blog with BE Write

Friday, November 9, 2012

United Democratic Movement Comes out of The Closet




In Sierra Leone the leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) Mr. Mohamed Bangura, has finally decided to dispense with his clowning and self deception and declare for the ruling All Peoples Congress in order to spare his party the indignity of being the first party in African politics to score less than 50 votes in a national election. The UDM was a creation of the APC to undermine the cohesiveness of the leadership of the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC). It can be recalled that during the country's 2007 elections the PMDC had siphoned tens of thousands of votes from the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, creating the foundation for the resurgence of the APC. Charles Margai the PMDC leader's support for the APC in the second round of voting together with invalidation of votes in SLPP strongholds by the electoral commission had virtually guaranteed an APC victory.

APC initially expressed gratitude to Charles Margai for his support by giving his party members some token ministerial positions and treating him as a national celebrity. But the relationship quickly soured when Margai was secretly recorded making statements critical of the APC leader and the rampant tribalism in his party. Things got worse when Charles Margai began openly canoodling with SLPP leaders. In revenge mode APC set out to undermine Charles Margai by kicking his loyal followers out of government and promoting and appointing PMDC folks who posed a challenge to his leadership.  Mohamed Bangura the PMDC Secretary General was sponsored to head the UDM and he brought a sizable chunk of PMDC members with him. With the weakened stature of the PMDC, a lot of the pioneers headed back SLPP and today PMDC is a caricature of the force it was in 2007 and it is only in existence to satisfy the monumental ego of its leader, but in all respects its days of relevance are in the past. It grew too fast and matured too young and was never able to cultivate an ideology that was distinct from the existing parties.

The Segbwema blog was never convinced of the sincerity of UDM as a party, but has always viewed it as a convenient tool by the APC to undermine democracy in Sierra Leone. The UDM leader instead of criticizing government excesses was more interested in attacking the leaders of other opposition parties and attacking any diplomat critical of the government. In essence it was a toothless bulldog, an opposition party that did not oppose. The announcement by Mohamed Bangura that he was supporting APC even before the first vote has been cast is a surprise to only his wife and children as most Sierra Leoneans have long viewed him as a mere opportunist and tool of President Ernest Koroma. Of late he had taken to attending APC rallies and the fact that his face is on the ballot is one of the jokes of this campaign season.

Mohamed Bangura is an ambitious young man who had a genuine future in politics. Why he would allow himself to be used like this is the dilemma of the African youth. Many a young man in Africa have ambitions, but shallow pockets and survival invariably trumps principles, giving rise to a breed of inconsequential political prostitutes and irrelevant ego bloated nonentities. 

At the end of the day Mr. Bangura has had his three minutes of fame and may even be rewarded by a government job, as the only qualification for jobs these days in Sierra Leone is sycophancy, which is the reason you see fully grown men running behind a leader with a football in his hands calling him " The World's Best"



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Obama Wins: What A Relief

  Phew..........A sigh of Relief.

On Tuesday night, at approximately 2215 Central, I heard NBC call the US Presidential election for President Barack Hussein Obama. Earlier that evening, I had started to be hopeful of his victory when he captured Mitt Romney's home state Michigan, Paul Ryan's home state Wisconsin and Mitt Romney's adopted state Massachusetts. I started to believe that if these two men could not even win their home states after all the years of Romney campaigning and billions of dollars spent, there was no way they were going to defeat Team Obama, miracles barring.

When Ohio was called for Obama, the conservative Fox News Network, which had spent four years assembling a panel of Obama haters to continuously lambast and lampoon The president, had some pretty long faces.

After the sound defeat of John McCain in 2008, Fox News, the Fair and Balanced Network had hired a veritable army of Obama Haters; Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, Glenn Beck, and some others. These had joined the Fox's resident haters Sean Hannity and Bill Oreilly, to distort, minimize, demean and misrepresent every achievement and statement of the president over the last four years. They were ready to give audience to any right wing nut who had anything disparaging to say about the president. Crazies like Ann Coulter were frequent on Fox News, spreading their lies, bitterness, fear and malice.

For four years, Fox News did all they could to delegitimize the presidency of Barack Obama. They questioned his citizenship, they demonized his bailout of iconic American financial institutions that were on the verge of bank bankruptcy, even though the demise of these institutions would have had tragic consequences for the American economy. They described his bailout of the American auto makers GM and Chrysler as interference in free market capitalism and a government takeover of private business. They described his affordable health care act as socialism and a war on small businesses. When consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren acted to limit the excesses of banks, they demonized her and forced the president to drop her from leading the consumer protection agency.

Every single day Republicans and Fox News told the world that President Barack Obama was an abysmal failure who blamed others for his problems. When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, the American economy was in the greatest recession since the great depression of the 30s, with the economy shedding over 700 thousand jobs a months. The housing market was in free fall as the major lenders had collapsed. The country was engaged in two long and expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight and no dates for withdrawal. The major American automakers GM, Chrysler and Ford, the demand for whose fleet of SUVs had been hit hard by historic gas price hikes and crippled by rising labor costs had been virtually on the verge of bankruptcy at the same time, leading to the certain demise of the American car industry and take over of the lucrative American Market by the Japanese trio of Toyota, Honda and Mazda. In 2008 the major housing lenders Country Wide, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, were buried under tons of bad mortgages resulting from years of people being sold properties they could either not afford or being sold properties at low introductory rates that became unaffordable as soon as these rates were jerked up. Students left college with thousand of dollars in loans and few jobs. 47 million people and counting were without health insurance in 2008 and insurance companies were refusing to sell policies to people with preexisting conditions.This was the economy Barack Obama inherited in 2008. It was similar to a man winning a million dollar wooden mansion in a lottery and then finding out that every single beam was termite infested and the renovation was worth 10 million dollars. The problems were such that in just four years, Barack Obama's hair turned from jet black to silver gray and the fresh face that had resembled hope became lined with contours of frustration and determination.

Barack Obama went to work immediately. His first act was a bill guaranteeing equal pay for women in similar jobs with men. He then set out to bail out prime financial institutions that were the bedrock of the American economy and whose failures would have severely impeded economic recovery. These bailouts were not in the form of government grants, but loans to be repaid at a later date. These bailouts also allowed the government more oversight into some of the more nefarious practices of these institutions. The president signed legislation that prevented banks from charging exorbitant fees and overdrafts without customer approval, thus putting more monies in the pockets of individuals and stimulating demand. The president helped the automakers with cash infusions that enabled them reform their production methods and in just four years regain their status as world leaders. Housing lenders were also assisted to enable the remain solvent while regulations were put in place to prevent the excesses of the past. The president acted to remove middle men in the delivery of public student loans and reduced the interest on these loans, whilst ensuring that student interest loan repayment was not greater than 10% of income. The president passed the Affordable Health care act that expanded access to health coverage to millions of Americans. The President also carefully withdraw combat troops from Iraq and boosted the number of troops in Afghanistan in preparation for a more effective withdrawal in 2004. The president and his men then focused on going after the leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and in just four years decimated their leadership, including the assassination of America's archenemy Osama Bin Laden in an operation that resulted in the death of the terrorist mastermind without the loss of a single American life.

After four years of digging the country out of a hole, the economy is adding jobs again. After four years of obstruction by the Republican Party who are more gifted at fear mongering than presenting practical solutions, there is a genuine optimism that the economy is heading in the right direction and the people spoke loudly on Tuesday by giving the president 303 electoral votes, with Florida still out, because of Republican shenanigans to suppress the vote.

Mitt Romney, the president's challenger, bolstered by millions of dollars of super PAC negative advertising, did all he could to convince the people that the president was a failure and that people were worse of now than they were four years ago when the economy was in free fall and there were foreclosed signs wherever you turned. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan characterized Obama supporters like us as losers who depended on entitlements and whose votes they did not care for. Well they were wrong, as millions of Obama supporters are normal hard working Americans who just do not want to go back to another Bush presidency and are tired of the Republican Tea Party politics of anger.

Republicans are saying that they lost because they strayed from conservative principles. Republicans are losing because they are failing to realize that this country is changing and becoming more diverse. Most immigrants in America see the Republican Party as a closed club. Instead of embracing minorities they go out of their way to alienate them. They alienate women and look down on the poor. If the Republican Party does not realize that the world around them is changing, they will only be winning legislative elections in the future, but they can kiss the presidency goodbye forever.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Sierra Leone Political News Round Up: The emperor's Clothes

President Ernest Koroma  and Jezebel Blyden
The presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone are just two weeks away and the campaigns are in full gear. The All Peoples Congress with its propaganda army of approximately 70% of Sierra Leone's journalists and pseudo independent radio stations have done their best to convince the people that things are better off than they were in 2007, but the majority of people are not buying the propaganda. Panic has slowly started to invade APC ranks as the realization is hitting home that people are no longer prepared to look at stale cassava water and call it fresh palm wine. APC has over the years tried to pass a fattened brown cat as a lion, but unfortunately,  instead of roaring, it can only say "miaow"

All the promises of 2007, the 20 thousand Leone rice, the 24 hour electricity, the food self sufficiency, the thousands of jobs, have vanished into thin air. The Krio people say "Dog dream die nar im belleh"  No matter how ambitious a cat is, it can never pilot a plane successfully.

The Rise of The Common Man

Pa Koroma has been given five years, he has done his best,  he has put in all he has and the people were never hungrier than they are now. Five more years is not going to change anything. The truth of the matter is that Pa Koroma has simply run out of ideas. If he is given five more years our country will be reduced to a nation whose population has only one ambition, looking for food to eat. When a man's greatest ambition in life is to fill his stomach, that is a sad state to be in as that is the most primitive of human desires, the very bottom of human hierarchy of needs.
The Pa Is Working For Him

The hardship in Sierra Leone today is almost criminal, whilst APC supporters parade around the country with inflated stomachs wearing T-shirts claiming "De Pa Dae Wok," mothers are having to put their children to bed not sure of where the next meal will come from, as almost two hundred thousand Leones a bag has put rice out of the realm of affordability of the average Sierra Leonean family. You can shave a chimpanzee, dress it up in diamond embroidered robes, rub its mouth with best lipstick, don its face with the most expensive makeup, but you can never make it beautiful. Ugly is ugly, and APC under Koroma is ugly for Sierra Leone, plain and simple, and even primary school pupils have now accepted this. If hunger was a war crime, then the APC leadership would be prime candidates for not so cozy rooms in the Hague.
The Pa's Work

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Sierra Leoneans have voted for Koroma and been rewarded with hunger and poverty. To expect that voting for him again will result in prosperity is like trying to make your husband into a faithful man by repeating the wedding. No matter how you decorate red pepper, it will always burn your mouth. Pa Koroma has done what he can, the people thank him, but it now time for him to say goodbye. For five years the people have been sold fake insurance, luckily the car did not have a major accident, now is the time to try a new company. By 2017 Sierra Leone should be a donor nation, according to De Pa. "Well Pa, dar wan nar lie, under you, ee nor go happen"

After all the crowd swelling maneuvers, the new face of President Koroma's APC is now verbal insults and physical attacks on the opposition women folk. The opposition vice presidential candidate Dr. Kadi Sesay this week became target number one. APC thugs composed special songs insulting the distinguished lady whilst their leaders danced to the songs, in an act that was not only despicable for its primitiveness, but dishonored the leadership of APC even more than the lady they were trying to humiliate, as it showed the true character of the  leadership of a party that has driven the country into the edge of darkness. Today's politics is the politics of 70s Sierra Leone.
Dr. Kadi Sesay

As I gazed at Hurricane Sandy devastating the East Coast this week and saw the response, empathy and actions of President Barack Obama and pictured the throngs of supporters dancing on the streets of Freetown shouting world's best at a president carrying a football, all I could imagine was that the emperor has no clothes.