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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