Monthly Archives: June 2012
Uhuru Movement Files Charges On Chernoh And Exposes Themselves As Hypocrites And In Alliance With The APC!
“As an act of self-defense against Chernoh’s attempt to have these comrades arrested, Fenty and Issa had no choice but to file counter charges against Chernoh, exposing the fact that they had simply been trying to retrieve resources that Chernoh stole from AAPDEP.” (http://uhurunews.com/story?resource_name=defend-the-freetown-3)
First of all let me just say that the Uhuru Movement has resorted to the lowest methods of counterrevolutionary assault in this unprincipled and CIA-styled campaign to assassinate the character of Chernoh Alpha M. Bah and the integrity of the African Socialist Movement of Sierra Leone. They have told whole lies and half truths concerning the history and relationship between the Africanist Movement and Uhuru Movement. Accusing Chernoh of being a neocolonialist, opportunist, thief, and tribalist in their original communique published on their official news site today they have released a communique admitting that they have filed charges against Chernoh!
Claiming that the African Socialist Movement stole a boat motor, radio transmitter, and a track of land from them the Uhuru Movement has been attempting to portray Chernoh as a political con man. When the fact of the matter is that the boat motor and radio transmitters were given to the Africanist Movement. Chernoh eloquently explains the entire history of this relationship and the split. He addresses every aspect of their slanderous assault and even shed light on the true motive for the attack.
The truth of the matter is that the Uhuru Movement is in bed with the ruling APC via. its members and supporters! It is without a doubt that the most militant voice in Sierra Leone politics is Chernoh Bah! In the middle of a historic election campaign in which revolutionary socialist are contesting for 10 seats in parliament and council the Uhuru Movement launches its attack!
Who’s interests are the Uhuru Movement serving? Surely not the masses of oppressed and poor workers and peasants in Sierra Leone! This recent attack exposes the Uhuru Movement as CIA operatives… They have used their mercenary forces in Sierra Leone to make harassing phone calls threatening his life and attacking his home! All of this in the mist of a slander campaign! And now they have filed charges on Chernoh Alpha M. Bah as he contest for a seat in parliament….
My momma always said “If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then… its a duck!” I couldn’t wrap my mind around the timing of this calculated attack against Chernoh and the ASM-SL but today it is clear that they are attempting to destroy this movement! There is a correct way to resolve contradictions within the revolutionary movement! Antagonistic and non antagonistic contradictions and from the outset of this “Fuck Ass” struggle the Uhuru Movement has been lying and slinging shit!
We responded to these attacks by calling on honest and principled forces to weigh in on this struggle. After the Uhuru Movement begin censoring its comment section on Uhuru News to silence the opposition and refusing to publish Chernoh’s response on their site… We had no choice but to utilize our own independent blogs to wage this struggle from using guerrilla tactics and social media to defend ourselves and call on the people to get involved with this struggle. To criticize this Cointelpro/CIA styled slander campaign!
Privately many came forward to express their unity but could not make public comments due to a fear of dragging their organizations into this struggle. This is a struggle that was opened up to the public to engage in but the Uhuru Movement has been so belligerent towards other African organizations throughout its 40 years of existence that many so called progressive and militant organizations are simply intimidated into silence and indifference! This is a serious struggle that is greater than the individuals and organizations directly involved.
Chernoh who has an 18 year history of vigilant protest and opposition of neocolonialism in Sierra leone and throughout Africa. Who built a mass movement of tens of thousands of young Africans in 8 West African countries before joining the efforts to build the African Socialist International. Who after the split with the Uhuru Movement didn’t miss a beat and entered the African Socialist Movement (formerly the Africanist Movement) into a strategic alliance with the National Democratic Alliance which it viewed as a progressive pro democratic political party to contest for 10 seats in the November 2012 elections in Sierra Leone.
Chernoh and his organization have not been members of the African Socialist International in over 18 months but the Uhuru Movement didn’t make these criticisms until a month ago while these comrades are engaged in a serious political struggle against the neocolonial ruling APC party. The same party that the Uhuru Movements associates and “members” are supporters and operatives of. The Uhuru Movement has helped to foster an environment that has resulted in the physical assault on Chernoh’s home and death threats.
I can’t help but to think about how the Nation of Islam and COINTELPRO fostered an environment of hostility and violence that resulted in the constant harassment, death threats, and attacks on Malcolm X’s home! I can’t stop thinking about how Malcolm X was being slandered and assaulted in imperialist and NOI media because he was publicly exposing Elijah Muhammad and the Nation Of Islam as a criminal and corrupt organization and movement, while simultaneously waging a serious political struggle against imperialism. It is common knowledge that Malcolm X made police reports and stated publicly in the media that the NOI was attempting to kill him. He was murdered with the names of those that were to kill him. He was going to be exposing them publicly. Ultimately, while many would attempt to paint it as only COINTELPRO the truth of the matter is that the NOI created the environmental circumstances for their infiltrators to assassinate Malcolm.
I relate this to what Chernoh is confronted with as he is constantly under attack by the neocolonialist in Sierra Leone and the Uhuru Movement! The Uhuru Movement is playing the role of the NOI in this scenario! And they are using their Uhuru/APC operatives to harass, make death threats, and physically attack Chernoh and other members of the African Socialist Movement. Chernoh’s report came after the physical assault on his home after residents called the police and he was encouraged by the leadership of the NDA to make a report of the threats and attack. This report did not result in any arrest! And not only was the so called Uhuru Members (APC operatives) interviewed as a result. Members of the African Socialist Movement was as well… Acts of political violence are escalating in Sierra Leone and Chernoh has been a constant problem for the ruling party throughout this campaign.
I keep hearing this bullshit as position about “peoples justice” suggesting that the proper way to address this issue is to shed blood or take life. What would the taking of life mean for Chernoh and the African Socialist Movement? What would that mean for the years of work that they have put in to position themselves for the next level of struggle? Chernoh is running for the equivalent of congress, while being slandered and provoked by the Uhuru Movement to act violently… This is some textbook CIA/FBI tactics being employed by the Uhuru Movement! Who stands to gain from the criminalization and destruction of Chernoh and the African Socialist Movement!
We are calling on all serious freedom fighters to intervene in this struggle! The Uhuru Movement must be held accountable for their actions! Leave your comments and statements of unity, anonymously if necessary!
HANDS OFF CHERNOH ALPHA M. BAH AND THE AFRICAN SOCIALIST MOVEMENT OF SIERRA LEONE!
THE INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT COMMITTEE OF THE AFRICAN SOCIALIST MOVEMENT IS ORGANIZING THE “AFRICAN UNITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY TOUR” FEATURING MALCOLM SHABAZZ (GRANDSON OF MALCOLM X) AND CHERNOH ALPHA M. BAH THROUGHOUT THE US AND CANADA…. TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION GO TO: http://www.africanunitytour.wordpress.com
Sierra Leone: Frequent Killing of ‘Innocent’ Civilians
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has strongly demanded that government immediately disarm all police officers armed with weapons “because they are killing people indiscriminately”.
The party’s official spokesperson, Chernor Alpha Bah, told Concord Times in a telephone interview yesterday that their call came as a result of the frequent killing of innocent civilians in the country by police officers. He noted that before now, his party had raised serious concerns over the purchase of weapons by the government for the Sierra Leone Police and also questioned the professionalism of the police in responding to incidences when they occur.
“In the past months, we have seen the un professionalism of the SLP in responding to problems when they occur. We call on the government to immediately disarm all police officers with weapons because they are killing innocent people indiscriminately. They should not be given weapons until they are professionally trained,” he demanded.
Bah described government’s recently instituted coroner’s investigation into violence incidences in Bumbuna, Bo and Wellington in which innocent civilians were killed allegedly by the police “as a ploy to fool and confuse the people that they doing something, but in actual sense they are not”.
“We feel that the coroner’s investigation is a way by the government tofool and confuse the public that they doing something. The incident in Bo was investigated and recommendations presented to President Koroma for action but nothing has been done to bring to justice the police officer that killed the okadarider,” he noted.
Bah voiced the NDA’s pessimism about the impartiality of the coroner’s investigation, noting that there are no defined rules of engagement in the police.
Original Article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201206210412.html
Smash Slander And Sabotage: A Response To The Uhuru Movements Attack On The African Socialist Movement By Chernoh Alpha M. Bah
Readers of the Uhuru News may have been obsessed during the last couple of days with what has now clearly and obviously become a calculated attempt by Omali Yeshitela and his Uhuru Movement to defame my hard-won reputation and the actual character of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) within the ranks of the African liberation movement.
It is now two weeks or so since the Uhuru Movement published an article in which it fabricated and falsified information with the objective of isolating me and equally destroying the sacrifices and great achievement of the hundreds of thousands of young men and women in Sierra Leone and West Africa who have been struggling for the last eleven years to overturn the objective conditions of poverty and misery imposed in our communities by imperialism and its neo-colonial agents in the region.
It is needless for me to state here that anyone who has profound knowledge of our relationship with the Uhuru Movement for the last few years – commencing in 2005 – need no additional information from anyone to arrive at the conclusion that the Omali Yeshitela group is once more making victims out of people who have refused to submit themselves to irrational dictatorship of the Uhuru Movement. They need no statement from anyone to realize that the article is an unsuccessful attempt by Omali Yeshitela and his group to falsify history by dishonestly amputating the facts surrounding the chronology of events that always governed our relationship with Omali Yeshitela and his Uhurus.
What is more striking is the fact that the authors of the article deliberately and unfairly attacked other individuals – Comrade Ajamu Bandele and his wife together with Matthew Willis – with foul language and invectives all in a bid to smear their character and good reputation for standing in solidarity with the African Socialist Movement (ASM) and the genuine struggle of African people in Sierra Leone. This is the highest level of victimization and psychological violence unfairly employed against individuals who have nothing to do with the so-called struggle that the Uhurus appear to be making against me and the movement under my leadership.
I was obviously in Belgium when the Uhuru Movement first published its attacks against me on the internet. Initially I had decided not to respond to an article I consider being groundless and a mere distraction from the very meaningful work that currently faces me. Upon reading the article, I sent Omali Yeshitela an email in which I told him that it is not my nature to respond to personal attacks directed against my work or disposition. The simple reason is that my reputation and outstanding character as an individual committed to the liberation of my people from the miserable conditions imposed in our communities by the class contradictions of neocolonialism and imperialism is everywhere. It is my firm conviction that the fabricated allegations published against me by the Uhuru Movement lacks the credible potentiality to destroy my impeccable history of consistent and committed struggle in West Africa. The allegations of so-called “theft” and “criminality” imputed on me by Omali Yeshitela and his group of lackeys has no validity.
I do not need to defend myself to any of the Uhurus because my credentials and profile as a combatant for the rights of African people to be free and self-determining supersedes all the vile attacks currently being published by the Uhuru Movement.
I still think that Omali Yeshitela and his group do not deserve the attention they are craving for through a response from me to the unprincipled diatribes they have been trading on the internet against me and other members of the International Support Committee of the African Socialist Movement under the leadership of Comrade Ajamu Bandele.
However, having observed the volume of calumny that is being directed against the comrades in our Support Committee and equally so the desperate attempt by the Uhuru Movement to falsify history through fabricated and distorted information around our relationship, I now feel obliged to add my voice to the discussion that has been going on for about two weeks now on the internet.
Let me start by saying upfront that the leadership of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) had initially conducted an open phone-call to Omali Yeshitela, the leader of the Uhurus, demanding that since it has taken its so-called struggle against the African Socialist Movement (ASM) to the court of public opinion via Uhuru News, they are under obligation to allow an open discussion on their website if they believe in the veracity of the allegations they have made in the article.
Unfortunately, Omali Yeshitela could not accept the terms of an open public discourse on the contents of the article they published attacking the characters and reputations of key revolutionaries within the African liberation movement. A press release was issued by the African Socialist Movement (ASM) making this demand public and asking that people whose names were mentioned in the article must be given the right to respond to the allegations imputed on them. This is the only way, we believe, people who are ignorant of the basis of the contradictions between us and the Uhuru Movement will have an opportunity to arrive at sound conclusions.
Sadly, we have learnt that the Uhuru News has for the first time – since its creation in March 2006 – adopted a policy of preventing people from making comments on any section of their website. They have unilaterally denied people the right to free speech and chose to deliberately pursue their unprincipled enterprise of slander and character assassination. By so doing, they are preventing people from having access to all the information relative to this situation.
I am therefore writing this piece not as a response to the Uhuru Movement – because they do not deserve any – but to help Africans outside of Sierra Leone who have become interested and worried with the shabby campaign of calumny organized by the Uhurus against me to have an opportunity to the other side of the story that the Uhuru Movement is trying to obscure from the international African community.
It is obvious that the article from the Uhuru Movement I am going to address contains many windy and subjective narrations raising issues that are completely irrelevant and thoughtless. In consequence therefore, I will concentrate with this first piece on those questions that appear to deal with the fabricated allegations. In subsequent articles on our relationship, I will endeavor to concentrate on the other trivialities raised in the article.
Our contact with the Uhuru Movement
In order for us to situate this discussion in its proper context, it will be fitting for us to examine the circumstances of our initial contact with the Uhuru Movement. Omali Yeshitela and his group have claimed that it was they who introduced me to the international community and to all the contacts I have in the African liberation movement.
That is to say, before our contact with the Uhuru Movement, we had no connections whatsoever outside of the borders of Sierra Leone, and that by implication; I was unknown to the outside world. Through this premise, the Uhuru Movement assumed for itself that it was responsible for my political development, and by extension the formation of a revolutionary movement in Sierra Leone. This is not only wrong and incorrect but it also represents a complete distortion and falsification of history.
It was not Omali Yeshitela or the Uhuru Movement that started the struggle in Sierra Leone. Neither is Omali Yeshitela or anyone in the Uhuru Movement responsible for my entrance into revolutionary political life. More than that also, it is not Omali Yeshitela or the Uhuru Movement that popularized me or the work of our Movement.
The fact is that I was born into a politically conscious family and by the age of 12 I was already actively involved in the political struggles of my country. I need not state here the role I played during Sierra Leone’s brutal civil conflict in the 1990s because it is well documented and the Uhuru Movement is quite aware of that even though they failed to mention it in their campaign of slander against me.
The truth is that for the last twenty or more years – since my childhood – I have been fighting for the emancipation of my people. I have committed my life and energy in defense of my people in times of war and periods of peace. I am both a victim and living witness of neocolonial oppression and exploitation. I grew-up in Sierra Leone at the apex of a war created by the ravenous exploitation of multinational corporations for control over the immense resources found in the country. I have lived through armed violence, survived it and equally fought against it.
As a journalist for a number of years, I employed the tools of mass communication to articulate the concerns and interests of African workers and poor peasants displaced by imperialist sponsored wars in Liberia and Guinea. I had used my journalism in revolutionary terms to expose the oppression and exploitation of African communities. I need not trumpet the fact that my outstanding work and uncompromising stance against West Africa’s neocolonial dictators during the 1990s forced me into exile and eventually landed me in some of the most oppressive prisons in the region.
It was this great sacrifice in defense of African people’s rights and self-determination that propelled me to a position of extreme danger and a platform of recognition within West Africa’s political terrain. It is the desire to challenge this naked political oppression and economic exploitation that equally forced me to build many organizations throughout the period of my struggle. From organizing youths against military rule in Sierra Leone to organizing journalists to advocate for social transformation and end to oppression, I came across some of the most renowned activists in the region – from Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria to Ghana, Cameroon and beyond.
My organizing abilities has remained a subject of discussion from the ghettos of Kono, Eastern Sierra Leone in West Africa to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in East Africa and the war-zones of Central Africa and refugee camps in Northern Africa. I had played host to many activists and fighters in Africa – from those in Casamance in Senegal to those in the Niger Delta in Nigeria and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan.
In 2001, I had organized one of the most populous militant revolutionary mass organizations in West Africa that spread across the colonial borders of Sierra Leone to Guinea right up to the Cameroons. In less than two years of its existence, the Africanist Movement mobilized a membership that was over 70, 000 youths across most parts of West Africa. This organizational success was solely the result of astute leadership and dynamism that was unparalleled in contemporary times. All this success occurred at a time when we never knew of Omali Yeshitela and his tiny Uhuru Movement.
Our first contact with the Uhuru Movement occurred sometime in June of 2005 through an email communication we received from Comrade Sowande Ediyiye; a member of what was then called the London-chapter of the Uhuru Movement. Comrade Sowande, a PhD student at the time from British Virgin Islands, had written to us informing us of a conference that was to be held in London to discuss efforts to build an organization referred to as the African Socialist International (ASI). Sowande’s email also requested our attendance to the conference and participation in the effort to build the ASI; a project of Omali Yeshitela. At the time, I was Director and leader of the Africanist Movement and simultaneously serving as a newspaper editor for one of Sierra Leone’s leading newspapers. This email correspondence from Comrade Sowande was discussed comprehensively in both leadership and mass meetings of the Africanist Movement, during which time we resolved to explore relationship with the Uhuru Movement as requested. The objective was to see how we could unite revolutionary movements across the African world into a single international organization. This was in line with the vision of the Africanist Movement.
In several correspondences with Comrade Sowande, we expressed our unambiguous unity to be part of any effort by African revolutionaries to unite our various struggles. It was in connection with such aspiration that we resolved to honor the invitation to meet with the leadership of the Uhuru Movement. As the leader of the Africanist Movement, it was my responsibility to proceed with the discussions as mandated by the members of my organization. This was how I travelled to London in October 2005 and met for the first time Omali Yeshitela and the few members forming the cabal of the Uhuru Movement. The costs associated with visas and travel to London for that meeting was paid by me and not the Uhuru Movement. It was at that October meeting in London that discussion around a possible relationship between the Africanist Movement and the Uhuru Movement was formally conducted. It was at that meeting also that a formal invitation was extended to the Uhuru Movement to attend the first leadership conference of the Africanist Movement, which was held in Makeni in November 2005, north of Sierra Leone.
So in essence the Uhuru Movement of Omali Yeshitela only entered in Sierra Leone in November 2005 as guests of the Africanist Movement to attend our leadership conference in Makeni. That conference was organized and financed by the resources of the Africanist Movement. All the delegates of the Uhuru Movement who included Gaida Kambon, Luwezi Kinshasa and Comrade Omavi Bailey never paid for anything relative to their visit and stay throughout the period of more than two weeks that they stayed in Sierra Leone as guests of the Africanist Movement. It was during that conference that we first discovered tendencies of betrayal from the Uhuru Movement when they secretly tried to recruit some members of Africanist Movement into the Uhuru Movement or African People’s Socialist Party. We even have a copy of an email in our archives in which Gaida Kambon secretly reported at the time to Omali Yeshitela that “the Africanist Movement is up for a grab.” It was obvious from that point that the Uhuru Movement obviously plotted to steal our membership. Evidences of these facts are equally well documented in a video footage put together by the Uhuru Movement from that conference.
Apart from distorting the narrative of the documentary, the Uhuru Movement produced a number of videos from footage of our activities that they have been selling throughout the world with no account being made on the proceeds of the sales of such videos. Nobody knows how much money the Uhuru Movement generated for itself out of the fundraising activities they conducted in the name of “helping the struggle in Sierra Leone.” Neither were they even honest to give a correct account of the chronology of events leading up to their connections with the Africanist Movement.
So with all of this, it is interesting that the Uhuru Movement will attempt to create the impression that it was they who introduced me to the world community just as they would want people to believe that it was Omali Yeshitela that is responsible for my political understanding and conclusion. This is completely wrong and dangerously misleading.
I had already successfully built a revolutionary mass organization with hundreds of thousands of members across West Africa before the Uhuru Movement came in contact with me. In fact, the Uhuru Movement was undeniably attracted to my outstanding political work and proven organizational strength and capacity. Sadly, throughout the period of our relationship, they had always struggled to wrongfully ascribe to themselves the organizational capacity and strength of the Africanist Movement by creating the impression within the African community in the United States and United Kingdom that the genesis and actual existence of a revolutionary struggle under my leadership in Sierra Leone and much of West Africa owes its credit to the Uhuru Movement. This is a completely misleading position. The Uhuru Movement was unknown in Sierra Leone before 2005 and it had never had a presence in Sierra Leone before then and it still lacks an actual presence in Sierra Leone up to now.
Uhuru Movement tried to usurp our work
This then brings to mind the fact that since 2005, while we continued to operate with the Uhuru Movement in good faith, Omali Yeshitela and his group were anxiously scheming to subvert our work. They had created the impression in the United States and England that they owned the Africanist Movement; that our existence and actual political development represents a practical manifestation of Omali Yeshitela’s so-called leadership and “internationalism.” This was a deliberate concoction by the Uhuru Movement to arrogantly place themselves above anyone else in the African liberation movement. All propaganda materials from the Uhuru Movement falsely apportioned our work to the supposed success of Omali Yeshitela. Because of this erroneous and misleading distortion that they put out in the world, the Uhuru Movement of Omali Yeshitela was unwilling to accept an organizational relationship with the Africanist Movement where both organizations will function on equal terms to promote the cause of African unity and liberation within a principled arrangement that was to ultimately result into the actual development of single, organic force on an international level. Instead they prefer not only to lord themselves over the Africanist Movement but embarked on a program to usurp our work.
While many of the comrades in Sierra Leone often complained about the misleading propaganda that was being disseminated by the Uhuru Movement, we in leadership of the Africanist Movement encouraged our members to accommodate the excesses with the understanding that we will struggle with Omali Yeshitela and his group to realize the need to rectify such erratic conduct. This was to serve as the basis of continuous disagreement between us throughout the period.
This situation reached an alarming point with the arrival of Diop Olugbala in Sierra Leone in 2008 on the invitation of the Africanist Movement leadership. At the time, we had discussed with the Uhuru Movement on the need for a cross-exchange of training programs between our organizations that will allow members of both organizations to benefit from experiences outside of their own organizations. We knew that the Uhuru Movement has a lot to learn from our organizational techniques judging from our success in building a mass-based revolutionary movement. This was true because we were always concerned with the fact that the Uhuru Movement, with its multitude of organizations, still lacks a mass presence and following even in St. Petersburg, Florida where it is headquartered.
Our hope was that the Uhuru Movement will learn a lot on how to build a mass organization if some of its organizers were to come to Sierra Leone and learn from us by participating in the daily activities and programs of our Movement.
This was why we invited Diop Olugbala from the Uhuru Movement to Sierra Leone. Interestingly, we were to discover from the welcome meeting we held for Diop Olugbala on the night of his arrival that he had been instructed by the Uhuru Movement leadership to come to Sierra Leone and recruit members of the Africanist Movement into the Uhuru Movement. In the process, Diop Olugbala immaturely incurred the wrath of members of Africanist Movement by stating that his organization did not consider our Movement a revolutionary organization, and that the only revolutionaries are those in the Uhuru Movement. This statement was completely outrageous and arrogant to the highest degree; and it annoyed every single member of the Africanist Movement.
In a correspondence we addressed to Omali Yeshitela few weeks after that, we expressed our dissatisfaction with the conduct of Diop Olugbala and the characterization of our Movement. Omali Yeshitela was to later distance his organization from the utterances of Diop Olugbala and offered apologies for the disparaging remarks made by his representative. Then the Uhuru Movement realized that it was impossible for it to employ subterfuge to control the Africanist Movement.
Omali Yeshitela moves from subterfuge to co-optation
Having then realized the futility of that strategy, Omali Yeshitela imagined that the best way to control the work of the Africanist Movement was by co-opting the leadership of the Movement into the ranks of the Uhurus. A month later, while on a visit to the Uhuru House in Florida, Omali Yeshitela asked me to take up membership of the Uhuru Movement. I stated emphatically that our position of unity with the Uhuru Movement was based on the objective of building the African Socialist International (ASI). I reminded them that this position is reflected in the 2005 communiqué passed at the leadership conference in Makeni announcing our unity to build the ASI.
At the time, the African Socialist International (ASI) was a skeletal project when the Uhuru Movement came in contact with us. It was its relationship with the Africanist Movement that gave oxygen to the ASI process and even the entire Uhuru Movement. The leadership of the Africanist Movement employed all the tools at our disposal to call on Africans across the world to be part of the process to build the ASI. It was our singular efforts at mobilization and mass propaganda that germinated the entire work of the ASI process from a position of comatose to real life. When we met the Uhuru Movement, the ASI was just a concept on paper with no structure and direction. Apart from the poorly attended yearly conferences; it achieved nothing absolutely to galvanize actual organizational influence that would have ensured its presence on the continent.
The first real presence of the ASI therefore in Africa was to occur with the advent of the Africanist Movement. Through the Africanist Movement and its mass presence, Omali Yeshitela egoistically posed as a “commander of the African revolution” even with his obvious incapability to build actual organization.
The truth is that the first ever ASI conference with a real mass attendance to be held in the history of Omali Yeshitela’s existence as a so-called revolutionary was the one conveyed by the Africanist Movement in Freetown, Sierra Leone during the month of October 2008. It was also under my leadership and directives that the ASI entered East Africa. Before now, there was never any presence of the Uhuru Movement or the ASI in any part of East Africa. So the Africanist Movement is not only responsible for introducing Omali Yeshitela and his group to West Africa alone. But we are equally responsible for taking the ASI and the Uhuru Movement to East Africa. All of this could not be stated by the Uhuru Movement in their desperate efforts to smear my reputation and character.
However the fact is that, the Uhuru Movement has never proved to us that they are capable of building an organization with a mass character. As far as we know, Omali Yeshitela’s revolution and organizing capabilities have been limited only to the University Halls of North America and the poorly attended meetings of the Uhuru House in Florida and California.
From Africanist Movement to African Socialist Movement
Even though we knew of this extreme limitation of Omali Yeshitela and his Uhuru Movement, we were determined to advance the effort to build the single international revolutionary organization of Africans across the world that would fight for the liberation and unification of African people. Interestingly, a draft constitution of the ASI provided that all organizations wishing to be part of the process should be known as the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) of the area in which they are established except in areas where for historical reasons this could not be possible. This provision within the ASI constitution was, in our view, designed to test the actual commitment of any organization wishing to be part of the process.
Several discussions were held between August and September of 2009 within the ranks of the Africanist Movement to determine how we move into actualizing the communiqué passed at our leadership conference of 2005 in Makeni to build the ASI. A certain segment of the regional leaders, fearing the treachery of the Uhuru Movement as was being reflected in the history of our relationship, refused to continue with efforts to build the ASI. They opted out of the Africanist Movement on grounds that they do not trust a relationship with the Uhuru Movement any longer.
In consequence, a final meeting was conveyed on October 5, 2009 to determine a way forward. At the meeting attended by all regional leaders and organizers, more than eighty-five percents of the comrades resolved to follow the decision to transform the Africanist Movement into the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) of Sierra Leone as required by the constitution of the ASI and its main resolution document. This was in conjunction with the communiqué we passed at our 2005 leadership conference. It was equally resolved at that very meeting that to avoid confrontation between those of us who have united with the idea to build the APSP of Sierra Leone and the few other comrades who objected to a further relationship with the Uhuru Movement, it was unanimously agreed by everyone that the Africanist Movement should be dissolved. A final suggestion then emerged that efforts to build a back-up organization should also be undertaken. This back-up organization was to accommodate all those in disagreement with the decision to build the APSP. This was how the embryonic seeds of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) were planted into the political terrain of Sierra Leone. Its ultimate function was to build a mass based movement to galvanize comrades who did not want to be part of the ASI process but are still determined to advance the struggle against neocolonial oppression and exploitation.
A communiqué announcing our decision to dissolve the Africanist Movement to build the APSP was issued on October 8, 2009 and circulated widely across the world. The Uhuru News published the said communiqué with enthusiasm. As we announced the formation of the APSP of Sierra Leone, efforts were also announced to build the African Socialist Movement (ASM) simultaneously.
Omali Yeshitela’s lack of sincerity destroyed our efforts
But as it turned out, our experiment to build the APSP suffered a major setback due to the lack of sincerity by Omali Yeshitela and his group to genuinely build a real revolutionary party that will actually contest for real power. In the first place, the Uhuru Movement in its slanderous article stated wrongly that the decision to dissolve the Africanist Movement was unilaterally done by me and that the consultative conference held at the British Council Hall in Freetown was a fait accompli to position myself within the ranks of the petty bourgeoisie in Sierra Leone. And they even erroneously stated that I actually flouted the laws of Sierra Leone by announcing the formation of a party without having it registered.
This is completely dishonest. What the Uhuru Movement has failed to state is the fact that the decision to form the APSP of Sierra Leone was directly the instructions of Omali Yeshitela and that the entire leadership of the Uhuru Movement is equally aware of the limitations imposed on our struggle by the repugnant neocolonial legislations in force in Sierra Leone. We have copies of several email correspondences with Omali Yeshitela on this question. The truth is that the Uhuru Movement wanted us to establish a branch in Sierra Leone but they were unwilling to accept the burden of organizing such a formation in the country. At the said consultative conference to build the APSP, which had come about as a consequence of severe deliberation from our movement forces, the Uhuru Movement did it last unsuccessful attempt to enlist conference participants into their organization. Because they could not accomplish this sinister objective, they blamed me for preventing them from recruiting members of our Movement into the Uhuru Movement. It became obvious that what the Uhuru Movement was interested in was to subvert the work of our movement in a bid to create a branch under their leadership and control in Sierra Leone.
Our actual disagreement with Uhuru Movement
Our actual disagreement with the Uhuru Movement ultimately reached its climax in January of 2010; a month after the transformation of the Africanist Movement into the APSP of Sierra Leone. The current Sierra Leone government of Ernest Bai Koroma had introduced a 1% tax increase on goods and services across the country at a time when workers salaries had remained abysmally low.
A press conference was conveyed in the name of the newly established APSP in which we called for a struggle against the new tax legislation. The following day, shops and businesses across the country remained closed. That evening, the IMF and World Bank representatives issued a joint statement calling on the people of Sierra Leone to support the new tax legislation; a position which also warranted us to issue another statement condemning the World Bank and IMF officials. The next day, the country’s Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) issued an ultimate ban against the existence of the APSP on technical grounds that it was not a registered political party in the country. I organized several media events to challenge the position of the PPRC but it was obvious that for the APSP to exist in Sierra Leone, it had to fulfill the conditions laid down by the laws of the country. This includes the fact that it should have four offices across the country and the payment of a registration fee of US$500. There were no such offices for the APSP’s operation neither was there any money available to pay the stipulated registration fees.
At that point, we appeared to be faced with a dilemma because we were no longer allowed to organize in the name of the APSP in Sierra Leone. We attempted several discussions with the leadership of the Uhuru Movement on the way forward. Omali Yeshitela’s interest was not to legitimize the APSP; he rather requested that the idea of the party should be abandoned and that a branch of his International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) should be established in Sierra Leone instead of the APSP.
At this point, it became obvious to us that what the Uhuru Movement wanted was to justify that they have a branch in Sierra Leone and nothing more. They were never committed to building an actual revolutionary party that will struggle for the conquest of real political power.
We therefore refused to form InPDUM because we are not a branch of Omali Yeshitela’s group. And we also believed that the formation of InPDUM in Sierra Leone is in direct conflict with the process to build the African Socialist International (ASI), which was the actual basis of our relationship with the Uhuru Movement.
We communicated our position to Omali Yeshitela and the entire leadership of the Uhuru Movement. It was obvious at the time that the Uhuru Movement was very annoyed with our position not to build a branch of Omali Yeshitela’s group in Sierra Leone outside of the work of the ASI. Having realized that we have taken such a position, the Uhuru Movement then resolved on a strategy of poaching the less developed members of our Movement. They started contacting members who were mainly part of the security department of our organization into accepting bribes and promises of travel to the United States for further political training with the Uhuru Movement. Some of these individuals were part of the group of security forces we had assigned as close protection guards to Omali Yeshitela during his visit to Sierra Leone for the consultative conference of November 2009.
Reports of several phone calls and email correspondences from Uhuru Movement leaders to some of our members were communicated to the leadership of our Movement. We then realized that the Uhuru Movement has embarked on a program of subversive activities against our leadership on the ground in a bid to divide and conquer our base.
Uhuru Movement uses AAPDEP to divide our base
This program of subversion became more obvious when a woman we had sent to the United States for medical training and fundraising with the Uhuru Movement was later unilaterally appointed by Omali Yeshitela to establish a branch of the Uhurus in Sierra Leone. The woman, a nurse midwife we had recruited and identified to help kick-start a community healthcare program to tackle the high incidences of infant and maternal mortality in Sierra Leone, was instructed by the Uhuru Movement to establish a branch of the All-African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) in Sierra Leone.
Having limited political understanding and experience, this woman saw the Uhuru Movement’s offer as a golden opportunity to earn a living. Already the Uhuru Movement had worked out a monthly salary for her to enable them control her actions and activities. While in the United States, she also gave the Uhuru Movement an impression that she leads a women’s movement in Sierra Leone called Women in National Development (WIND) comprising of traditional birth attendants.
In actual fact, while she has a relationship with some traditional birth attendants in the country, the so-called WIND organization did not exist. But for the Uhuru Movement, the nurse midwife had given them what they were looking out for: someone they can readily use to defend the myth about their existence in West Africa. Because this has been the impression they gave to the African community in the United States and elsewhere. They can not afford to have that myth broken down by obvious reality.
Uhuru Strategy ends up in Opportunist triangle
On her return to Sierra Leone, therefore, the nurse midwife had to organize the semblance of an organization to actualize what she told the Uhuru Movement. This was how she entered into a relationship with the Passengers Welfare Organization (PAWEL). For the last few years, the Passengers Welfare Organization had been running the semblance of a Nursing School in Sierra Leone but it has been unable to gain legal status. The leader of the group has been desperately looking out for financial support to capacitate his nursing school. Most people trained by the School the last few years could not be admitted into mainstream nursing practice. This has been very debilitating for the organization and its leadership.
In 2007, a friend of our Movement had introduced the leader of this organization to us. This was about the time that we were working on building a mass-based coalition of organizations to advance the struggle for national democratic rights in the country. PAWEL became one of forty other organizations that we enlisted as part of this broader coalition. In fact, this was the same time that we also developed the so-called Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) that the Uhuru Movement is accusing us of hijacking or having refused to disseminate.
In August of 2007, the Passengers Welfare Organization was one of the organizations that worked with us to coordinate the visit of representatives of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM); who had come to Sierra Leone to seek the support of our Movement for the Sudan Sensitization Project (SSP). We never continued any relationship with PAWEL after the SPLM program. The reason was obvious: after the elections of 2007, the leadership of PAWEL visited President Ernest Bai Koroma who had recently come to power after the elections to pledge their support for his government.
We were later to learn that the Uhuru Movement nurse midwife in Sierra Leone had entered into a relationship with PAWEL and that the Nursing School of PAWEL has been transformed into the so-called AAPDEP Nursing School. This is the same Nursing School that the Uhuru Movement is now trumpeting across the United States as its school in its desperate effort to raise funds in the name of a struggle in Sierra Leone.
In January this year, members of the Uhuru Movement visited Sierra Leone on the invitation of the nurse midwife. The visit of the Uhuru Movement was timed to coincide with a graduation of students from the school. Such an event is bound to attract members of the community whose relations are attending the said school. For the Uhuru Movement, it serves their purpose because they could obtain video footage to justify that they are doing work in Sierra Leone. They are desperate to show that they have a presence in the country. On the side of the Nurse Midwife and the leaders of PAWEL, it gives them some confidence in that they were able to pull together a crowd of people to showcase to the Uhuru Movement representatives. This they think would allow them to access funds from what the Uhurus will be raising in the United States.
This is obviously a triangle of opportunism involving the Uhuru Movement on the one side, and the Nurse Midwife and the PAWEL leadership on the other. On our part, we have been looking at this comic work with amusement. The reason being that the Uhuru Movement, which claims to be a revolutionary party, is now actually working with the most opportunistic forces directly tied to Sierra Leone’s neocolonialist parties – the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All Peoples Congress (APC). These are the two groups that have dominated the political landscape of Sierra Leone throughout the last fifty years.
Uhuru Movement has no presence in Sierra Leone
In consequence, we would like to point out clearly that the Uhuru Movement currently has no real presence in Sierra Leone. The so-called AAPDEP projects in Sierra Leone are a fairy tale. The Uhuru Movement can not adopt existing kindergarten schools that are actually run by church organizations and community partnership boards in Sierra Leone and brag about establishing institutions to better the conditions of existence of the people. Those schools and institutions are not under any Uhuru Movement influence. They are owned by Churches and Community Education Boards. Besides, all the so-called projects that the Uhuru Movement currently claims to be implementing are a complete farce. There is no single work that is currently being done by the Nurse Midwife or any of its associates in Sierra Leone that is tied to any revolutionary work or effort.
In fact, by their very nature all the institutions the Uhuru Movement is claiming to have established in Sierra Leone have been here before the Uhuru Movement came into Sierra Leone. Most of these institutions have categorically stated in their mission statements that they are non-political.
Where then is the Uhuru Movement in all of this? This is the greatest puzzle that the Uhuru Movement is struggling to solve. And they think the only way to do that is by smearing my reputation and character. We are opening the challenge to all Africans who are willing to travel to Sierra Leone to come and undertake an independent investigation into the facts of this situation. Omali Yeshitela and his Uhuru Movement have found themselves in a complete dilemma. How they are going to get out of it is their own guess.
Allegations concerning the radio transmitter
This brings me to the much trumpeted allegations of so-called theft and criminality that the Uhuru Movement has imputed on me. The Uhuru Movement alleges that I had stolen a radio transmitter from them. That I had used the transmitter to borrow money from people, and that I had promised jobs to members of my ethnic group in Makeni. They even went further to say that it was their so-called members in Sierra Leone who had located the stolen transmitter. This is completely preposterous and outrageous.
It is a clear manifestation of vendetta on the part of the Uhuru Movement against me and other comrades who have chosen to be dissociated from Omali Yeshitela for the obvious reasons already stated in this article. Everybody knows that to steal something literally means that you take it away insidiously or secretly without the knowledge of or willing approval of anyone. And this is not what happened between us and the Uhuru Movement.
The actual story is that since 2005 when we met the Uhuru Movement in London we submitted a project document to Omali Yeshitela suggesting the establishment of a revolutionary media organization to help raise the political understanding of the masses. The Uhuru Movement hijacked the project and proceeded to establish its own Uhuru News and the Uhuru Radio in March of 2006. Interestingly, I was the first to be interviewed by the said Uhuru Radio in Florida. We made several requests to the Uhuru Movement to assist us with a radio transmitter to enable us establish a local FM station in Sierra Leone. The Uhuru Movement was reluctant to help with this project because it never wanted to build the capacity of our forces on the ground. Although it was interested in profiting from our great work and success in mobilization, it was only in May 2009 that the Uhuru Movement finally offered a radio transmitter to establish our own radio station in Makeni.
The transmitter was a gift to our Movement. Interestingly, the said radio transmitter is still intact with us in the same boxes that it was handed to us in May of 2009. Although we have spent immense financial resources in having it registered and licensed, we have the radio transmitter and its accompanying equipments stored in Makeni.
When representatives of the Uhuru Movement visited Sierra Leone early this year, they came to my house demanding that we return the transmitter. I called on the comrades in Makeni to bring the transmitter and its equipment to Freetown to be handed over to the Uhuru Movement. The comrades protested that if the Uhuru Movement wants the transmitter, they should come to a mass meeting in Makeni to request that the transmitter they had offered to us should be returned to them. I communicated this to Luwezi Kinshasa who was part of the group that came. But the Uhuru Movement representatives were not very adamant to having a public meeting for such a purpose because this would have definitely further exposed them to outright ridicule.
So in essence the said transmitter is with us in Makeni in the same boxes as it was given to us in May 2009. But we now refuse to surrender it to the Uhuru Movement because it no longer belongs to them on matters of principle. It was offered to our Movement. We never stole it from anyone neither did we subject anyone to offer it to us under gunpoint. That is the story of the much talked-about radio transmitter.
We are not holding onto the radio transmitter because we can’t afford one. The fact is that the Uhuru Movement has taken us for granted. They came into our terrain to divide us and then abuse our intelligence.
However, in November this year the African Socialist Movement (ASM) under my leadership will commence our FM broadcasts in Makeni with our own radio station – FREEDOM RADIO – with a brand new transmitter and equipments we have procured from Holland early this year. The transmitter from the Uhuru Movement will now remain with us in the same boxes and stored under our beds in Makeni. That is our position. And we are very determined to pursue it to its final conclusion. The same could be said of the reported stolen boat motor. But I have chosen to deal with the question of AAPDEP in a separate article, in which all issues surrounding the boat motor and other matters will be adequately addressed.
The question of the police
This also brings me to the question of the police. It has been wrongly reported on the internet by the Uhuru Movement that we have called the police against individuals who were formerly associated with us that the Uhuru Movement has bribed to build InPDUM in Sierra Leone. This is completely false and misleading. It appears that the Uhuru Movement is trying to make a storm out of a tea-cup. They are creating the semblance of a struggle where it doesn’t exist.
The fact is that on Saturday last week, a group of five young men who included Fenty Tholley and Issa Kamara besieged my residence in my absence and attacked my house throwing stones on the windows and the roof of the building. They also made several phone calls to my phone issuing death threats and invectives on me. They said the Uhuru Movement of Omali Yeshitela has instructed them to attack me and other members of the African Socialist Movement (ASM). They said the Uhuru Movement wanted me killed because, according to them, “I have betrayed Omali Yeshitela and the Uhuru Movement.”
The residents of the community who were concerned with the activities of these young men alerted the police and called on them to maintain order in the community. I was later advised by members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to contact the head of the Criminal Investigations Department to tender a report on threats against my life and the safety of members of my Movement. The police investigations included invitations to members of my Organizations as well who witnessed the attack on my house and the threatening phone calls.
But it appears that the Uhuru Movement has wrongly published the police invitation to Fenty Tholley and Issa Kamara, the actual perpetrators of the violence, on their website claiming that their “members” are under attack by the police.
It is important to note that the current conflict is the result of the Uhuru Movement’s divisive tendencies implanted in Sierra Leone. They have created animosity in our community with the objective of destroying a genuine African liberation movement.
But it is also important for people to understand that the Uhuru Movement has no organizational presence in Sierra Leone. Neither do they have a capacity to contend with any organization on the ground in Sierra Leone. And they know this is exactly the case. The few individuals they rely on to build InPDUM have no organizational skills and experience to pull together anything meaningful for the Uhuru Movement. The only real revolutionary organization on the ground here is the African Socialist Movement (ASM), which the Uhuru Movement is bent on destroying.
In consequence, therefore, I take this singular opportunity to call on all African people across the world to stand-up in principled unity and solidarity with the struggle of our people for self-determination. The African Socialist Movement (ASM) under my leadership will continue to fight for the liberation of our people and will never succumb to any effort by any organization or individual to destroy our vision and great sacrifices. We take this opportunity also to invite anyone, with a desire, to come to Sierra Leone to see for themselves the actual situation independent of what Omali Yeshitela and his group is reporting. In subsequent articles, I will endeavor to address the questions of my statement on the United Nations deployment in Sierra Leone. I intend to do this because I realized that the Uhuru Movement has dishonestly removed my statement out of its actual context to serve their diabolic intentions. But the truth is that, the Uhuru Movement has no moral authority to question or judge the correctness or incorrectness of our tactics and strategy. The effectiveness of the Uhuru Movement and Omali Yeshitela, in my view, will only be measured and tested when they are able to build a real revolutionary organization with a mass character. Anything less than that is childish gibberish. My position on this and other questions relative to the Uhuru Movement and Omali Yeshitela are directly informed by a scientific assessment of their work and conduct during the few years of our operations with them. The question of the Uhuru Movement, as far as we concerned, is now something behind our backs. We have moved on and we are making great progress in our efforts to overturn the verdict of imperialism and its neo-colonial minions in our communities. Till then, this is my humble submission on this matter. Forward to a free, united Africa and African people.
Editor’s note: Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is Chairman of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) and Official Spokesperson of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). He is a renowned journalist with multiple years of practice in Sierra Leone, Guinea and other parts of the world.
I’m writing this statement to weigh in on what I believe is an unprincipled attack and incorrect criticism being made against Comrade Chernoh Alpha M Bah. Before I am accused, no I am not a Chernoist nor a Yeshitelist, and I am not a member of either of their organizations. After reading the long drawn out criticism and some of the responses, I thought it necessary to give my position. Before I go any further, I think that it is important to state that this entire struggle is not fairly being made, because the vast majority of African people in Sierra Leone don’t have access to the internet to have their voices heard in this struggle, including the masses that support Chernoh.
First of all, I think it is dishonest to make a struggle labeling the leader of a genuine movement in West Africa as an imperialist over a boat motor, some land, and a radio. Is that what are struggle has been diminished to, a petty argument over resources that were donated to the People’s movement in Sierra Leone. All the work and publicity and promises to the people have been halted because the African Socialist Movement refuses to use the donations made to their movement to support programs of the Uhuru Movement in Sierra Leone that are currently working against the ASM. Or is this merely a beef due to the fact that the APSP no longer controls the movement in Sierra Leone? After working full-time in the party for about 5 years, if I called the Chairman a thief and demanded a return or refund on all the donations, resources, time, and work that I have given to the Uhuru Movement, that would be entirely unprincipled, because that was a willing donation that I made under the assumption that I was supporting a genuine revolutionary movement. In fact, if all those that have supported and sustained the Uhuru Movement over the years and now completely disagree and disunite with their organization demanded a return on all of their resources, the Organization would be literally bankrupt. So how is it fair, to demand a return of resources that you donated to the ASM because you now disunite with their organization. If that is the most principled way to resolve it, then the debt must be paid from both ends. The Uhuru Movement must return all that it has gained from their relationship with Chernoh as well. True solidarity is support without subordination.
One thing seems clear, the APSP stands to benefit more than the African Socialist Movement in their former relationship. I know for a fact that the Uhuru Movement is greatly indebted to the Africanist Movement for lending legitimacy, exposure, and opportunity to the APSP. Countless members, including some of those making this attack against Chernoh, were won to the Uhuru Movement by their relationship with Chernoh and his work in Sierra Leone. It is dishonest to paint the picture that the Uhuru Movement has been taken advantage of by the African Socialist Movement under the leadership of Chernoh Alpha M Bah, when it was in fact the APSP that was taking advantage of an opportunity to build itself off the work of the African Socialist Movement.
It has been stated by Chimurenga Waller that “the African working class can only have one Party”, and I guess that means one Chairman and one Movement; the Uhuru Movement and Chairman Omali Yeshitela. So clearly it was and has been the intent of the Uhuru movement to “own” the Africanist Movement from the beginning. That was the terms of their “solidarity.” Attempting to take advantage of the weaknesses of the People’s Movement in Sierra Leone is opportunistic, unprincipled, and dishonest.
I do not unite with the following points being made in the criticism:
“This is reactionary internationalism… This means they are not interested in overturning imperialism and the parasitic devastation imperialism imposes on Africa and the internationally dispersed African nation.
Chernoh’s actions expose him as a reactionary internationalist. He is willing to sacrifice the interests of the workers and toiling masses of Sierra Leone and Africa through building alliances and relationships with his counterpart in the U.S.” -APSP
Reactionary internationalism is building relationships with revolutionary organizations and mass movements under the terms that they join the APSP in an opportunistic attempt to co-op the movements of African people. Reactionary internationalism is recruiting Africans under the claim to be building a movement, yet the only work that is being done is centered around preserving the Chiarman’s legacy. I believe that the APSP just squandered the best chance it has ever had to actually advance the African revolution, due to its tradition of arrogance and culture of neo-colonial opportunism it has with African people and the African liberation movement. Plain and simple you cannot use or manipulate your own people in the name of freedom.
“During Chernoh’s involvement in the ASI, all projects of AAPDEP and the ASI in Sierra Leone were brought in from the outside. None of the AAPDEP work resulted in building AAPDEP, the ASI or the Uhuru Movement until Nurse Mary Koroma took leadership of the organization on the ground in Sierra Leone.
From 2005, when we first came into contact with Chernoh, until sometime in 2011, when Chernoh left our movement because he was no longer able to advance his own personal agenda and under criticism from the ASI, Chernoh created absolutely nothing that contributed to the development of the revolution, our movement or the people of Sierra Leone and Africa.” -APSP
It seems like what you really are saying is that the Uhuru Movement, APSP, and the ASI are disappointed that Chernoh did not build the Uhuru Movement in Sierra Leone. Why should he build the Uhuru movement when there is already a strong movement on the ground in Sierra Leone; unless it was to opportunistically advance the selfish interest of the Uhuru Movement and the Chairman’s legacy at the expense of the People’s movement in Sierra Leone. This is especially correct when there is nothing pointing to any evidence of success that the APSP has had building the Uhuru Movement in the US. The better question is what has the Uhuru Movement done for the People of Sierra Leone, except for try to co-op and control their movement? If you want to support a genuine movement, the Party should have supported it without having to own it!
FORMER PARTY FORCES
There are scores of such persons. They lurk in dark spaces and throughout cyber space waiting to pounce on any contradiction involving our Party and Movement and some wait to do whatever harm they can do to the Party, all to justify their retreat from revolutionary principles by making the Party the enemy. In fact, for some attacking the Party is their primary goal in life. Needless to say, their attack on the Party is aiding and abetting imperialism.
What the people really need to understand is that the Uhuru Movement has taken advantage of more Africans that they will ever be able to organize. That is the real reason they have created so many enemies. It has been the revolving door of opportunistic relationships that has burnt the bridges between the Party and the People time and time again. The party exploits and then drops its own forces quick with an unspoken philosophy of “If One dies get another.” However, what makes it worse is that when these forces attempt to organize outside of the Uhuru movement they are called reactionary internationalist, etc. I believe that if they Uhuru movement wants to genuinely build a mass movement and develop a revolutionary party, then it has to commit itself to serving the people, investing in its cadre, and maintaining principled relationships.
Chernoh slandered and accused of being an agent of imperialist white power
“Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is not only a thief, but he is also someone consciously at work to aid and abet imperialism in its ongoing assault on the freedom and happiness of African people in Sierra Leone and throughout the world. Chernoh Alpha M. Bah is an agent of imperialist white power that had wormed his way into the midst of our revolution and he must be exposed.” –APSP
Are you serious? It was the APSP that needed the Africanist movement to validate its claim that it had a genuine grassroots movement. Whose revolution are you referring to when you say “our revolution.” Are you speaking of the personal revolution of the Chairman and his handful of followers, because you clearly cannot be referring to the masses of people in the African Socialist Movement that believe in Chernoh’s leadership. Really, it is the Uhuru Movement that has been behaving like the imperialist by forming neo-colonial relationships with African revolutionaries like Chernoh and when they no longer serve their interest they throw them away and grab the next one. That is the intention of the relationship that the Uhuru Movement had with Chernoh and the Africanist Movement from the beginning.
The Uhuru Movement brags about its 40 years of experience. Why is it that they couldn’t recognize an imperialist from a revolutionary in 6 years of working together? Or is it that the Uhuru Movement was blinded by their opportunism, and now that Chernoh refused to submit his movement to a neo-colonial relationship with the APSP he goes from being a hard core revolutionary to an imperialist overnight, according to the APSP. In fact, this should alarm all the members of the Uhuru Movement. If you refuse to submit yourself in an opportunistic relationship to build the Chairman’s legacy you will be labeled as the enemy, the imperialist. Simply put, anyone who is a revolutionary will be labeled as an Imperialist by the APSP if they are not working under the leadership of the APSP.
January 2012 visit sounds like a coup
Much of what we did not understand earlier was made clearer when AAPDEP and ASI leaders from the U.S. and England visited Sierra Leone in January 2012. While in Sierra Leone we had an opportunity to meet with some of the members of our movement we had lost contact with because of Chernoh’s refusal to provide their contact information, despite our repeated demands.
This sounds like the APSP are trying to steal members from the African Socialist Movement of Sierra Leone or even organize a coup against its leadership. How is this a principled relationship respecting the work and territory of the African Socialist Movement in Sierra Leone. Furthermore, why must the Uhuru Movement be in the center of the movement in Sierra Leone in order for it to be revolutionary?
Chernoh violates centralism without democracy
Chernoh also refused to adopt the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) as the organizational vehicle for carrying out the work, including popularizing the RNDP.
Building InPDUM was the ASI proposal for revolutionary political work in Sierra Leone in the face of his dissolution of the Africanist youth movement. Chernoh claimed that our members in Sierra Leone voted to reject the InPDUM proposal.
Chernoh stated that only the Party could be built there or the members of the movement would consider us as going backwards. It had to be the Party or nothing.
What democratic centralism? How is the ASI able to uphold democratic centralism when there is not an ASI congress that holds the leadership accountable that I’m aware of? I do know, however, that the APSP’s Chairman and Central Committee are only held in check by the Party Congress that has only occurred twice in more than 15 years. There is no democracy in the APSP just Centralism revolving around the commands and agenda of the Chairman.
So the Chairman demands that Chernoh submit to the APSP and dissolve the Africanist movement and build InPDUM and the APSP. I’m glad he didn’t build that broken ass process. Why couldn’t they support the Africanist movement to build on what they had already developed? It must be because the arrogance of the APSP leaves them to believe they are the only way to freedom, despite what the people want. I wonder did the APSP consider the pride and amount of work the people have put into building their own movement. Instead they wanted to force the Africanist movement to build a US born flawed and dysfunctional mass organization, another brain-child of the Chairman. What kind of revolution can be lead with disregard for what the people want. It’s a party bloated with self-righteous arrogance.
Chernoh hijacks ASI platform to seek office
Chernoh has no program other than his own self-interest, so he is attempting to hijack and steal the people’s Revolutionary National Democratic Program. In addition, Chernoh’s campaign literature completely revised history by erasing his prior connection and obligation to the ASI and Uhuru Movement. In other words Chernoh is attempting to actually steal the prestige of the ASI and Uhuru Movement by kidnapping our program, pretending it is his.
I agree that they Chairman’s name should be on the document of the NDRP just as he should give credit to all the theorist he borrowed from in developing Yeshitelism. However, if the Platform is correct why should he not use it? When he was a member of the ASI it was ok for him to use the platform. Now that the African Socialist Movement is not controlled by the ASI he is being criticized for using the platform. I thought the platform was for the people. If anything the ASI should be supportive of that position, and let go of this competitive power hungry egoism. Let the people have the platform. I do however unite that Chernoh should give credit to Chairman Omali for writing the NDRP. It is a part of his legacy.
Secondly, the Party produced a Sierra Leone edition of The Burning Spear newspaper while in Sierra Leone. This was done under the leadership of Omowale Kefing, The Spear editor at the time. While Chernoh is trained as a journalist and has had articles appearing in various media sources in West Africa, he did nothing but drag his feet in the process of getting The Spear, the political organ of the ASI and the African working class, published and distributed in Sierra Leone.
In order to understand this question, one has to pose the question is the Burining Spear in the best interest for the movement in Sierra Leone to maintain a media presence and distribute the ideas of its leadership. If not then again this would sound like opportunism. Why would you demand that Chernoh, an award winning journalist, write, print, and distribute the Burning Spear, a newspaper the Chairman founded which has a dismal and embarrassing distribution, when he has the ability to advance the position and ideas of the African Liberation Struggle with the journalism work that he is already doing in the region? To me it seems that it is more important to use Chernoh and the Africanist movement to advance the interest of the Uhuru Movement and the legacy of the Chairman despite how it will affect the struggle in Sierra Leone. If anything the comrades should be supported in building their own capacity, instead of entering into a relationship of colonial dependency with the Uhuru Movement. Unless the Burning Spear is the media apparatus that is in the best interest of serving the international African Revolution which seems to have the largest presence in Sierra Leone.
The Chairman’s title as the “big man” is challenged by Chernoh
“First, Chernoh refused to allow the people to make financial contributions to the conference, which would have allowed them to become stakeholders in the conference and the effort to build the African People’s Socialist Party in Sierra Leone. Chernoh claimed the people were too poor to make contributions to their own liberation. Instead, disregarding the position of the ASI he unilaterally decided to leave the people dependent on his “good will.” -APSP
How is it correct to make “poor” Africans, who barely have any financial resources pay for a conference when there are comrades who have the ability to pay? Why is it that the only way they can make their contribution is financially. If the Uhuru Movement truly wants the people to participate in their own revolution why wouldn’t you support the development of their own organization and instead of making them build the Uhuru Movement.
I remember true socialism being practiced when I and the APSP first went to Sierra Leone as guests of the Africanist Movement. These comrades worked together, lived together, shared everything and fed each other to build their movement. They were true communist like I never have witnessed in the Uhuru Movement. Now that the Uhuru Movement brings its middle class style and standard of organizing, how do you expect the people in Sierra Leone to be able to afford to participate. I attended the first conference in Sierra Leone that the APSP participated in and witnessed the excitement and eagerness of the people to participate in their own conference. How they fed the people and accommodated an overflow crowd, and solved all the logistical issues by pooling their own resources and even making great economic sacrifices to host the APSP.
“Finally, perhaps the most revealing of all was Chernoh’s absolute refusal to even get the contact information from the participants of the conference and put it in a process to use to build on in order to establish the Party in Sierra Leone.
The ASI delegation left the conference without any real knowledge of who the many people who attended the conference were and where they were located in Sierra Leone, something that would obviously be needed if there was a genuine intent to build the Party there.
In reality, the Party did not actually exist in Sierra Leone and Chernoh had even broken Sierra Leone law by declaring its existence, knowing fully well what it took to legally register the Party. He had made a unilateral decision to dissolve the Africanist Movement, a mass youth organization he had created and led, without even informing many of the people who were part of the organization.
He gambled that since the Uhuru Movement was so determined to build an organization to liberate our people in Sierra Leone we would be forced to fork over the money Chernoh wanted to use to establish the Party as a legal registered organization, especially since the Africanist Movement no longer existed.
It was a poorly disguised attempt to extort the African Socialist International and the revolution for the resources to advance his own selfish petty bourgeois interests.
Instead, we determined that Chernoh had the responsibility to build the movement and the Party using the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) written for him by the ASI to mobilize the masses.
Having already refused to promote the RNDP because of the alleged illiteracy of the masses, the idea of assuming responsibility for raising the resources for the Party through winning support among the masses was unacceptable to Chernoh.” -APSP
Extortion really? It looks painfully clear that the heart of the criticism is not about a boat motor, radio transmitter, or a piece of land but Chernoh’s ultimate refusal to discard the peoples movement in exchange for building the Uhuru Movement. Why should he, when he is the leader of a successful movement built by the people of Sierra Leone. Why should the people of Sierra Leone build InPDUM an organization that has never been successfully built. In fact, why shouldn’t the APSP build the African Socialist Movement in the US and London. If anything it was InPDUM and the APSP that has failed to successfully be built, but the APSP is bent on destroying a legitimate movement on the ground in Sierra Leone for what seems to be purely selfish reasons.
8 FACTS ABOUT THIS STRUGGLE
1. DESTROYING AFRICAN UNITY:
I believe besides the unprincipled relationships and the petty arguments over a boat motor and radio transmitter, the real issue is how the APSP is sabotaging the ability of Africans from different fronts to form principled African Unity. The APSP is ruining the opportunity for Africans on the continent to want to work with their comrades in the US. However, it is no different that how the Party has turned more Africans off from political life than it has brought into political life. Now that is true aiding and abetting of Imperialism.
2. APSC is more powerful than the APSP: (more opportunism)
On April 11 2012 Penny Hess called Chernoh Bah an Imperialist in her scathing attack made publically on facebook. How does the party allow the APSC’s white leader Penny Hess to launch an attack against an African leader of a revolutionary movement that the party has not publically disengaged? If white people can force and manipulate African leaders to attack one another, then how is the Uhuru movement’s relationship with white people any less opportunistic than the neo-colonial leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.
If you want to talk about stealing or thieves. The Uhuru Group steals years from the lives of genuine African activist and revolutionaries, their resources, time, ideas, and relationships in the fallacious claim of leading the African Revolution. In fact, I believe it was the Uhuru Movements intention to steal the Africanist Movement from its leadership.
4. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT:
I was there in Sierra Leone when the APSP met the Africanist movement for the first time. I can recall how dynamic and influential the Africanist Movement was without the help of the Uhuru Movement. I remember how Chernoh had built the movement that the Chairman never could. In fact, Chernoh held a conference where he was able to bring forces from Guinea, Liberia, and other West African countries. The truth is that Chernoh held the apparatus that the ASI needed to make its theoretical revolution a practical reality. I can recall the meetings that I participated in where leaders of the Central Committee discussed the need to recruit Chernoh into their ranks or better yet get Chernoh to bow down and submit the Africanist movement to the leadership of the APSP. The APSP invited Chernoh to the US and inflated the reputation and track record of the Uhuru Movement, its capacity, and the number of members that it has. I recall the tactics that the APSP used to convince Chernoh to submit to the APSP. What was obvious is that the APSP never intended on supporting the Africanist movement in the name of solidarity and comradery, with respect for their work and leaderhip on the West African front of the African Revolution. The terms of their support were purely opportunistic. Literally the APSP would go from a rag tag organization of 20 to 30 party members to an international party with tens of thousands of members. If they were going to be supportive, the Africanist movement would have to completely submit to the rule and law of the APSP. Something like the opportunistic relationship that the USSR had with the Cuban Revolution. The party has a hardline position that the Party submits to no one; but the real position is that everyone has to submit to the party.
5. OBVIOUS OPPORTUNISM:
If everything that you say is true, Engaging Chernoh was about opportunism. If you knew that Chernoh wasn’t a genuine force and had neo-colonial aspirations, why did you continue to make him the golden child of the Uhuru Movement? It seems to me like he was important as long as he was in the pocket of the Uhuru movement, but the moment he no longer submitted to working in the interest of the Uhuru Movement and does what he believes is in the best interest of the people of Sierra Leone, he all of a sudden becomes an imperialist petty-bourgeois force. Anyone in their right mind can see the opportunism in that position.
So it seems like the message being sent is that its ok to deal with imperialist as long as it works in the interested of the APSP or helps to advance the agenda of the ASI, but at the moment it no longer serves your interest you cry that you are a victim and were hood winked. Yeah right. It actually is the other way around. You thought that you were going to be able to dupe Chernoh into turning over the reigns and interests of the Africanist movement to the APSP. Once the comrade was fed-up with the commands and opportunism of the APSP and realized how the party attempted to subjugate the movement in Sierra Leone into a neo-colonial relationship he bounced and now you all of a sudden have all these criticisms that you want to make. That’s what happens when you engage in unprincipled and opportunistic relationships.
6. BIG MAN:
If it is about trying to be the Big Man its not Chernoh it’s the Chairman… The APSP from the beginning set the terms for their support; the only way they would support the Africanist Movement was if Chernoh subjugated himself to the absolute leadership/ownership of the APSP. It was Chernoh that refuses to be bought.
7. INTERNATIONAL OPPORTUNISM:
In my experience with the Uhuru Movement, I am not surprised with the unprincipled and opportunistic nature of this relationship. With the history and reputation that the party has with its own members and the African community in the US, it is no wonder why the international relationship also fail to be maintained. The party has to believe what they truly already understand you can’t win a revolution with dishonesty and opportunism. You can’t fake a revolution. You also cannot build a genuine revolutionary movement on the legacy of a single person.
8. THE TRUTH:
The truth is the ‘Big Man’ Chairman Omali is the biggest cause of the failure of the Uhuru Movement. Not because he hasn’t put in work and contributed to the struggle of our people, but because he has allowed the movement to be built around his ego. The work of the APSP in the last 15 years has consisted of making the Chairman a house-hold name, building his tour, his books, his vision. At least in this period there has not been any genuine effort to build a movement, and it is completely obvious. All resources have been used to build the Chairman’s brain-child, the ASI, so that his legacy can live on. Any real effort to build a genuine movement for the people has been undermined. However, what makes this so unprincipled, is that the Party claims to be the only legitimate African revolutionary organization on the planet, but truly has no intention on building a mass movement. Many of the forces that join the organization realize this and become demoralized with the infinite cycle of failure and internal-sabotage. If they were honest they would say join this organization if you want to be part of the group that preserves the legacy of the Chairman.