Friday, September 28, 2012

Robin Fallay Jumps on the APC Gravy Train

MP Robin Fallay
The latest high profile defection from The Sierra Leone People's Party to the All Peoples Congress Party in Sierra Leone has come from the home of the Segbwema Blogger himself, Njaluahun Chiefdom. The member of Parliament for Segbwema and its satellite localities, the highly unpredictable and frequently erratic MP Robin Fallay, who was on the verge of losing the SLPP symbol mainly due to poor performance and chronic character flaws, has decided to become the latest member of the SLPP faction of the APC. In short, Fallay has joined the list of SLPP politicians who have decided to latch their immediate future political onto the coat tails of another Ernest Bai Koroma presidency.

On the platonic or superficial level, APC, by landing Robin Fallay, who was being pursued by the same APC for election registration malpractices seem to have scored a success against the SLPP just close to the elections in November.

As can be gleaned from pro-APC publications like Cocorioko and the Awarenesstimes, APC operatives are giddy with joy at landing Robin Fallay who they had recently been branding a criminal and political nonentity and in the early part of the year had him thrown into the dirty cells of a Kenema jail for several days, depriving him of his respect as a member of parliament and generally treating him like a lowly thug. He was also threatened with criminal prosecution for alleged direct involvement in the registration of under aged school children to vote in his Segbwema constituency.
APC's Newest Convert
Fallay's rapidly declining personal popularity in Segbwema combined with an imminent loss of his party symbol and the threat of legal intimidation by the APC seemed to have left the MP with very few future political options in the SLPP and for months it has been rumored that he was about to jump aboard Ernest Bai Koroma's APC gravy train which is currently willing to accept anybody in their quest to hold on to power in Sierra Leone by all means.

In a merely symbolic gesture and with all the fanfare of a craftily staged managed carnival,  APC operatives openly welcomed the alleged criminal now turned party saint Robin Fallay into their ranks in Segbwema and has already promised him the party symbol in the absence of any formality or vetting. At this stage in the APC mindset, all that matters is winning and if it involves awarding symbols to chimpanzees wearing red lipsticks, then they are willing to do so, no questions asked.

Robin Fallay's award of the SLPP symbol in 2007 was not based on any past personal achievement or history in the constituency, but largely as a symbol of respect to his dad Teacher Fallay who was one of the pioneers of education in the area and the near mythical heroic status of his late brother Captain Wallace Fallay, " Unbreakable", who had died defending the town during the peak of the civil war. Robin himself had spent some pretty unremarkable years in the United Kingdom, had come back and was helping veteran SLPP politician and current party Chairman John Benjamin run his night club business in Freetown. When the need arose for someone to be given the party symbol for the area after the death of Honorable I. K. Foday who had always won the constituency, Fallay seemed like a good choice, given his family legacy and the Segbwema tendency to honor the memory of their heros and his youthfulness.

Fallay, a vocal critic of the APC was a bone in the throat of the Ernest Koroma administration in parliament, frequently winning arguments in parliament against APC's bunch of largely mediocre MPs, many of whom had little clue about parliamentary procedures or even their roles in the august institution. Fallay was therefore both admired and at the same time resented by the APC.
Fallay in his SLPP days
At the constituency level however, Robin Fallay's political capital rapidly diminished. The people of Segbwema soon realized that he lack the fortitude of his father and the charisma and positive character traits of his late brother. He lost respect amongst the youths who saw him as having no interest in bringing projects to the area, but was beholden to the vices of drinking and smoking, and putting primacy on these things, he thought that youths will be happy as  long as he supplied them with alcohols and stuff to smoke whenever he visited the area. It was largely lost on Robin Fallay that Segbwema with a strong legacy of excellent schools had a higher per capita youth education ratio than most of the towns in Sierra Leone with 1 out of every 7 young person either being a college graduate or a graduate of the nursing school in Segbwema. Segbwema also has an inordinately large amount of educated intellectuals in the diaspora who were not too enamored at the prospect of being continually led by an individual who was almost a certified alcoholic.

Fallay's public drunkenness in a largely conservative and mostly Islamic area also meant that he was viewed as a nonconformist in spite of his position as a member of Parliament. In short, Robin's personal failures and character flaws were the catalysts for his declining political fortune in his constituency and the claim that SLPP elders were interested in seeing his downfall was just a product of his fertile imagination. The truth of the matter was that the shoes that Robin had been given to wear we're just too big for him, causing him both torment and frustration. He knew he had lost the people and he therefore has taken the politically easy route, that is go where the power is currently is.

Though APC seems to have scored a major coup, Fallay is largely old news as far as the people of Segbwema are concerned. The large crowd at the ceremony is just that. Nothing much happens in Segbwema, so even a fight between a man and his wife is usually a spectacle that will bring out a large crowd. Combine that with the news that APC is bringing money to distribute in the area and every old man too old to walk will have his sons carry him in a hammock to share on the national loot. Robin Fallay's support in Segbwema has mostly been restricted to his immediate family members and his defection as fearful as it may seem to the opposition, is just the noise of a pebble falling into an empty drum.

The Segbwema blog has been on an intellectual sabbath and is ready to resume blogging with immediate effect.
Segbwema Blogger

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