Author Archives: African Socialist Movement
Official information from African Socialist Movement (ASM) has confirmed that a delegation of its leaders from Sierra Leone is due to arrive in the United States in early September this year to brief audiences in North America about the evolving situation in that West Africa country.
This delegation is expected to visit several cities to speak to students and community leaders across the United States and Canada between the months of September and October.
The visit, which comes few months ahead of the country’s legislative and presidential elections, is said to be part of an ongoing international campaign to win political support for the work of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) in Sierra Leone.
An ASM delegation is currently on a tour of Asia and South America to meet with political leaders and governments to share the situation of their country and win international opinion for their program.
A year ago, the movement’s leaders entered into a political coalition with Sierra Leone’s National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in preparations for the forthcoming elections in November. They say their objective is to overcome the monopoly of power by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All Peoples Congress (APC). Both parties have ruled Sierra Leone during the last fifty years.
Socialist leaders say their coalition arrangement with the NDA will allow them to run ten of their members for parliamentary and local council positions during the elections of November.
ASM’s Chairman, Chernoh Alpha Bah and his General Secretary Saa Famanda have already declared their intentions to contest for parliamentary positions in the forthcoming elections under the ticket of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). They will be among the ten representatives of the ASM who will be running for positions in the elections under the ticket of the NDA. Bah plans to contest in Makeni and Famanda in the outskirts of Waterloo, both areas are historically considered strongholds of the All Peoples Congress (APC), which has been in power since 2007.
ASM leaders in Freetown say the nearly five years of APC rule has intensified the miserable conditions of the masses and worsened the economic situation of the country.
“The international community needs a better understanding of the objective conditions of the people of Sierra Leone and why they have an obligation to support a genuine struggle to change these miserable conditions imposed on the country,” Chernoh Alpha Bah said in a telephone interview last night from Dubai, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
A statement issued by ASM’s Director of International Affairs, Ajamu Bandele said the tour offers an opportunity “to establish new relationships with each other so that it is possible for us to get familiar and cultivate principled solidarity between those brothers and sisters of this new generation of African leadership that are actively involved in the work to educate, organize, and mobilize our people, especially the youth, into the process of African liberation.”
Ajamu Bandele says the tour is aimed at educating American audiences about the work, program and activities of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) and to win them to a position of support.
The delegation that will be lead by ASM Chairman Chernoh Alpha Bah will also include the movement’s General Secretary Saa Famanda and two other representatives of the Sierra Leone media. They are scheduled to address audiences in Atlanta, Washington, Chicago, California, Florida and Philadelphia. They will be touring alongside Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X.
This year- 2008- marks seventy years since the West African Youth League (WAYL) contested and won the Freetown City Council elections in 1938. And it has been forty-three years since Wallace Johnson himself, founder and leader of the League, died in a mysterious car crash while attending a workers conference in Accra , Ghana .
But the West African Youth League, the first anti-colonial mass movement in West Africa that demanded the total and unconditional independence of Africa from European colonial domination, has been forgotten. With branches in Ghana , Nigeria and Sierra Leone , the League expressed a working class platform tied to an all-African state power that threatened the ability of British colonialism to continue its direct control and subjugation of what was then British West Africa .
Wallace Johnson: threat to European colonialism
Those were the years of immense disorder for international capitalism as European colonial domination of the world was been challenged by the colonized masses. Wallace Johnson became a severe threat to European colonialist influence in West Africa when he campaigned vigorously against European machinated imperialist wars around the world and the spread of nuclear weapons on the continent. He traveled across the region tirelessly organizing against colonial domination and as West Africa’s most prominent trade unionist and political organizer in the 1920s to 1940s, he typified an internationalist whose desire for a liberated, united African people endeared him to the poor and exploited workers of the world struggling against international capitalism and the colonial system responsible for the oppression and exploitation of the worlds peoples..
By 1938 when the West African Youth League contested the Freetown City Council elections, Wallace Johnson claimed a membership that was over 40, 000 in Freetown and the provinces of Sierra Leone . But following the victory of the League in the elections, the British became so afraid of Wallace Johnson’s popularity that they imprisoned him and throughout the course of the second imperialist war he was kept in jail and released only in 1944 to find out that the League itself had disintegrated as it was literally disarmed by the British colonialists following his imprisonment.
Setback for African liberation
We in the Africanist Movement believe that the imprisonment of Wallace Johnson does not only represent the disarmament of the West African Youth League but it equally served as a setback to the African liberation movement in Sierra Leone and West Africa . Wallace Johnson was not only imprisoned but the British schemed to undermine the influence and development of the West African Youth League into a revolutionary movement capable of providing leadership to the masses of our people in West Africa in their struggle to overthrow colonial domination and regain their total independence and right to self-determination as a people. It is this machinated destruction of progressive leadership that gave rise to middle class opportunists as the leaders of the so-called pro-independence movements that emerged after 1945 in Sierra Leone . These are the likes of Bankole Bright and others from the so-called Creole elites who after assuming leadership of the mockup pseudo anti-colonial movements in the colony did not only remain opposed to Wallace Johnson but also involved themselves in a struggle with the conservative political elites of the protectorate for control of the neo-colonial state that was been carved by British colonialists.
It is this unhealthy and selfish horizontally violent political struggle among these middle class groups that created the basis for the political fragmentations experienced by the people in this country. And it is as a consequence of this British neo-colonialist strategy, commencing with the defeat of Wallace Johnson, which created the divide between the colony and the protectorate and later snowballed into the north-west versus south-east alliances.
Creole middle class obscures Wallace Johnson’s work
But the greatest question that has not been answered is why has the work of Wallace Johnson and his significance to our historical and political discourses not emphasized in our many discussions?
We in the Africanist Movement believe that the concealment of the significance of Wallace Johnson and the West African Youth League to the political and historical development of our people in Sierra Leone is due to political and intellectual dishonesty of the middle class Creole political elites and intellectuals who have raised up Bankole Bright as representative of the genuine aspirations of the Creole community in Freetown as opposed to Wallace Johnson whose quest for undiluted African unity and internationalism superseded ethnic patriotism and individual gratification. So-called Creole historians, including the late Prof. Akintola Wyse, deliberately failed to do justice to this discourse partly because of their own selfish class aspirations and interests. They sacrificed Wallace Johnsonâ€™s great work in the alter in pursuit of meaningless delightful statuses. The late Prof. Akintola Wyse, as an example, enjoyed fame and spent several sleepless nights on flights and in airports to attend conferences and speaking engagements in Europe and America on the significance of reactionaries like Bankole Bright at the detriment of real heroes like Wallace Johnson. It is this Creole middle class tendency to obscure the relevance of Wallace Johnson and his great work that gave birth to the philosophy of Creole nationalism, which is today responsible for the contradictions currently bedeviling the Creole community in Freetown around the questions of nationality and identity.
Creole nationalism is a reactionary philosophy
Consequently, we in the Africanist Movement believe that Creole nationalism is not synonymous with African patriotism and in no way related to the struggle for the emancipation of the African from the yoke of colonialism. Creole nationalism is a tendency of the Creole middle class elite that is anchored on the reactionary stance of Bankole Bright. The philosophy of Creole nationalism is the product of the egoistic inclinations of the Creole intellectual elites against the true and genuine aspirations of the African working class found in Wallace Johnson.
Wallace Johnson is a trade unionist, a journalist and internationalist whose legacy triumphs beyond the warped philosophy of reactionary intellectual politicians whose struggle for personal aggrandizement, wealth, privilege and status denies them the opportunity of standing on the right side of history. It goes above the waffled, unprincipled head-over-heels approach to politics found in the thoughts and actions of power thirsty hustlers. Creole middle class opportunism has not only buried the defiant spirit and progressive leadership of Wallace Johnson but it has equally betrayed the rightful role and place of the so-called Creole community in the genuine struggle for the emancipation of the African from centuries of oppression and exploitation.
Our Struggle anchored on Wallace Johnson’s legacy
But seventy years later we have taken upon the task of forwarding the legacy of the West African Youth League by moving to build a concrete socialist party in Sierra Leone, founded on the values and ideals of Wallace Johnson, that would contend for power as part of a strategy to unite and liberate our people under an all-African socialist state. This is also part of the process of lifting up Wallace Johnson and his defiant spirit as shining and valuable example for the people in our struggle for a better future. We proudly embody the spirit of Wallace Johnson and carry on the legacy of the West African Youth League as a barometer in our struggle for state power. It is a struggle to rectify the limitations inherent in the League and to call into question the betrayal of Wallace Johnson by middle class opportunists whose view on political power did not go beyond the desire to selfishly advance their status and prestige at the expense of the welfare of the poor masses.
Raising Wallace Johnson disarms his critics
Critics have often pointed on the disintegration of the West African Youth League as evidence of Wallace Johnson’s failure and inexperience political strategy rather than the result of colonial repressive politics accelerated by the collaborative treachery of the middle class. The resurrection of the defiant spirit of Wallace Johnson and his valuable work disarms his critics of a selfish and baseless standpoint and by implication represents a threat to the existing deceitfulness of the middle class. It exposes and renders them powerless, defenseless and feeble in the face of the contest and struggle of the African working class for control over our own lives. This is an understanding collectively shared by those of us involved in the contemporary struggle for socialism in Sierra Leone and which we think should embody and constitute the most essential aspect of the political and historical discourses of our time. We remain proud that seventy years on, history still vindicates Wallace Johnson and his legacy still thrives on.Long Live ITA Wallace Johnson and forward the struggle for socialism in Sierra Leone.
Chernoh Exposes How The Uhuru Movement Plots Against Socialist Leaders In Sierra Leone! (By James Koroma )
An official document presented to an international audience in the Chinese capital, Beijing by the African Socialist Movement (ASM) has clearly revealed how the Uhuru Movement of Omali Yeshitela in Florida plotted against socialist leaders in Sierra Leone.
The twenty-page dossier, mostly a historical narrative dating back to 2005 of the relationship between socialist leaders in Sierra Leone and Omali Yeshitela’s Uhuru Movement in Florida, contains very revealing accounts of how the Uhuru Movement exploited the organizational success of an internationalist grassroots political struggle in West Africa and betrayed its leadership.
Socialist leaders in Sierra Leone said they operated with the Uhuru Movement in good faith but Omali Yeshitela anxiously schemed to subvert their organization and steal its members.
“They had created an impression in the United States and England that they owned the movement in Sierra Leone. That our existence and actual political development represents a practical manifestation of Omali Yeshitela’s so-called leadership and internationalism. Because of this erroneous and misleading distortion that they put out in the world, they were 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,” the document states, adding that the Uhuru Movement wanted to lord themselves over the Africanist Movement, which was why they embarked on a program to usurp the organization’s membership.
The document further narrates how a representative of the Uhuru Movement who visited Sierra Leone in 2008 as part of an exchange program between the two organizations was discovered to have been secretly instructed to enlist members of the socialist movement in Sierra Leone.
“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,” the document states, pointing out that socialist leaders in Sierra Leone were aware of the limitations of the Uhuru Movement.
“We knew that the Uhuru Movement had a lot to learn from our organizational techniques judging from our success in building a mass-based revolutionary movement. 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,” they said, adding that they had hoped that the Uhuru Movement will learn a lot on how to build a mass organization if some of their organizers would come to Sierra Leone and participate in the daily activities and programs of their movement.
“It was for this reason that Diop Olugblala was invited to Sierra Leone but we were to discover from the welcome meeting we held for him on the night of his arrival that he had been instructed by the Uhuru Movement leadership to come to Sierra Leone and secretly recruit members of our movement into the Uhuru Movement,” they said, while adding that Diop Olugbala even insulted the organizations.
“He stated 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,” the document pointed out.
Diop Olugbala is currently the president of a unit of the Uhuru Movement and was made a candidate by Omali Yeshitela in Philadelphia’s mayoral elections a year ago. Socialist leaders in Sierra Leone say they communicated their dissatisfaction on the conduct of certain Uhuru Movement members to their leaders.
“In a correspondence we addressed to Omali Yeshitela, 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,” they said.
However, the most revealing aspect of the document is the account on how the Uhuru Movement utilized an organization called All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) to subvert socialist leaders in Sierra Leone.
AAPDEP, an organization supposedly directed by an Alabama trained physicist, Dr. Aisha Fields was reportedly established in 2006 following a Northern America tour by Sierra Leone’s socialist leader, Chernoh Alpha Bah. During the tour, Bah had highlighted the objective conditions of people in Sierra Leone with specific emphasis on the high incidences of infant and maternal mortality in the country. The Uhuru Movement later established AAPDEP to raise resources from people who were moved by the conditions of people in Sierra Leone as reported by Mr. Bah. Information from the literature of the Uhuru Movement explained how hundreds of North Americans had returned diamonds in their possession because of Bah’s expose of the activities of multinationals and conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone.
A statement posted by the Uhuru Movement on its asiuhuru.org in April of 2006 attested to this fact when it states that: “It was as a result of this tour exposing that all diamonds are blood diamonds that a significant number of North Americans (white people) contributed diamonds in the call to return the diamonds that belong to Africans. The analysis influenced hundreds of people to volunteer their political and material support for the work being done in Sierra Leone and West Africa. Consequently, we now have forces who have stepped forward to volunteer their skills to build electrification, water purification, and prosthetics projects in order to transform the conditions created by the crisis. Now we are calling on all of you who signed up to support the work in Sierra Leone and West Africa to step forward and join the Sierra Leone Support Committee…”
Socialist leaders in Sierra Leone said the Uhuru Movement never built a Support Committee but proceed to build AAPDEP. They also complained in the document that Omali Yeshitela used their struggle and the conditions of African people in Sierra Leone to generate resources for himself and his organization.
A recent statement recently issued by Omavi Bailey, which is also annexed in the said document, equally disclosed how Central Committee meetings of the Uhuru Movement discussed plans to subdue the socialist leadership of Sierra Leone. Omavi Bailey’s statement was a direct response to a slanderous article published in late May on uhurunews.com by the Uhuru Movement attacking Chernoh Alpha Bah and his organization.
Omavi Bailey, one of the delegates of the Uhuru Movement at the first Africanist leadership conference of 2005 where relations between the Uhuru Movement and socialist leaders in West Africa were formalized, narrated how Omali Yeshitela and his group never intended on genuinely supporting the socialist efforts in West Africa. Omavi Bailey said categorically that the Uhuru Movement wanted to use the base of socialist leaders in Sierra Leone to build a legacy of Omali Yeshitela.
In the document, socialist leaders in Sierra Leone similarly reported that the Uhuru Movement’s program of subversion against them became more obvious when a woman they 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 AAPDEP 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,” they said and adds that the Uhuru Movement worked out a monthly salary for the woman 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. 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,” they stated in the document.
The document further revealed that the Uhuru Movement has no real presence in Sierra Leone but they are using the conditions of the people in that country to raise funds for themselves from innocent North Americans.
“The so-called AAPDEP projects in Sierra Leone are a fairy tale. The Uhuru Movement have adopted existing kindergarten schools that are actually run by church organizations and community partnership boards in Sierra Leone to brag about establishing institutions to better the conditions of existence of the people,” the document pointed out.
It also revealed that 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 Uhuru Movement or any of its associates in Sierra Leone that is tied to any revolutionary work or effort. In fact, the institutions the Uhuru Movement is claiming to have established in Sierra Leone have been there before the Uhuru Movement came into Sierra Leone. Most of these institutions have categorically stated in their mission statements that they are non-political,” the document categorically stated.
But a statement posted on uhurunews.com on July 24 announced an urgent call by the Uhuru Movement for US$5,000 which it says was needed to legitimize the operations of its nursing school in Sierra Leone.
“In order to continue to operate within the country, however, we must now become a government-accredited institution. Having met all other requirements of the Sierra Leone Nurses Board, we were just recently given a deadline of July 25 to pay the one-time accreditation fee of $5,000. Should we not meet this deadline, we run the risk of having the school closed until next year,” the Uhuru Movement claimed on its appeal for funds.
Ongoing investigations in Sierra Leone point to the fact that this is not true. According to Sierra Leone’s educational system, no institution is required to pay a fee to be accredited by the Education Ministry. Education Ministry sources state that all nursing institutions in the country are accredited by the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) of the University of Sierra Leone and supervised by the Ministry of Health.
Information at the Ministry of Education also state that nursing schools in Freetown under this administrative arrangement include the Connaught Nursing School, which has been upgraded into a Department of Nursing in the University of Sierra Leone’s College of Medicine and Allied Health Science, the 34 Military Nurses Training School and the Brookfields Nursing School respectively.
However, the dossier from socialist leaders in Freetown also state that the “AAPDEP nursing school” in question itself is a project of a group called the Passengers Welfare Organization (PAWEL). Information from Freetown indicates that the group’s leader has been desperately looking out for financial support to capacitate his nursing school.
Sources from records of the Africanist Movement indicate that PAWEL had attempted a relationship with socialist leaders in Freetown in 2007 but ties were broken that very year when PAWEL leaders visited president Koroma immediately after the elections that brought him to power.
“We never continued any relationship with PAWEL after the SPLM program because the leadership of PAWEL visited President Ernest Bai Koroma who had recently come to power after the elections of 2007 to pledge their support for his government,” socialist sources in Freetown state.
According to the report, socialist leaders later learnt that the Uhuru Movement has entered into a relationship with PAWEL and that the Nursing School of PAWEL had been transformed into an AAPDEP Nursing School. “This is the same nursing school that the Uhuru Movement is now raising funds for,” the document clearly pointed out.
However, African Socialist Movement (ASM) leaders in Freetown say that despite the betrayal from the Uhuru Movement, their work is progressing tremendously.
In March 2011, the ASM entered into a political coalition with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to provide a formidable challenge against two of Sierra Leone’s oldest political parties – the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and All People’s Congress (APC). These two parties have dominated Sierra Leone’s political landscape for the last fifty years.
ASM leaders say their alliance with the NDA will allow them to fill-out ten candidates for parliamentary and local council positions in the elections of November.
They said the current document on their relationship with the Uhuru Movement will be presented to all progressive and revolutionary governments and leaders around the world to prevent “the falsification of history by Omali Yeshitela.”
“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 will only be measured and tested when they are able to build a real revolutionary organization with a mass character,” the document concluded.
A delegation of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) is scheduled to arrive in the United States in mid September to educate people about its program and activities ahead of the elections of November in Sierra Leone.
ASM’s Director of International Affairs, Ajamu Bandele says the tour will occur alongside Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, a grandson of Malcolm X.
Article Originally Published At: http://www.africanews.com/site/Sierra_Leone_Uhuru_Movement_plots_against_socialist_leaders/list_messages/42025
The Chairman of the African Socialist Movement (ASM) of Sierra Leone has revealed how his efforts to build a workers party in that country two years ago were undermined by the Uhuru Movement based in Florida, United States of America.
Reading from a statement recently issued by the ASM in response to an attack by the Uhuru Movement, Chernoh Alpha Bah told an audience in the Chinese capital Beijing on Saturday night that his plans to transform his movement into a socialist party in Sierra Leone in 2009 was affected by “the lack of sincerity” on the part of those who had earlier encouraged him to undertake the said task.
“Our experiment to build the party 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 Sierra Leone,” he says, while dispelling accusations by the group that the decision was his alone.
“The decision to form a socialist party in Sierra Leone was directly the instructions of Omali Yeshitela and that the entire leadership of the Uhuru Movement was equally aware of the limitations imposed on my efforts in Sierra Leone,” Bah said, adding that he has copies of several email correspondences with Omali Yeshitela to justify this fact.
“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,” he said, while explaining that his disagreement with the Uhuru Movement reached a climax in January of 2010, a month after the attempt to transform the Africanist Movement into a socialist party.
“The Sierra Leone government had introduced a 15% tax increase on goods and services across the country at a time when workers salaries had remained abysmally low. We conveyed a press conference calling 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,” Bah told his audience.
He says the country’s Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) was to issue an ultimate ban against the existence of the party on technical grounds that it was not a registered political party in the country.
“It was obvious that for the party to exist in Sierra Leone, it had to fulfil 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,” he says whilst revealing that there were no such offices for the party’s operation neither was there any money available to pay the stipulated registration fees.
“We appeared to be faced with a dilemma because we were no longer allowed to organize in the name of the party in Sierra Leone. We attempted several discussions with the leadership of the Uhuru Movement on the way forward,” he said, adding that, “Omali Yeshitela’s interest was not to legitimize the party but 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 party.”
Bah says 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,” he revealed and stated that they refused to form InPDUM because they were not a branch of Omali Yeshitela’s group.
“We communicated this position to Omali Yeshitela and the entire leadership of the Uhuru Movement but it was obvious that they were very annoyed with our independent position,” he informed the gathering.
He said the Uhuru Movement wanted a relationship typical to what the Soviet Union had with Cuba and China in the 1960s.
“This we couldn’t accept,” he stated, while revealing that they were later to discover that the Uhuru Movement had embarked on an effort to bribe some members of his organizations into accepting requests to build InPDUM in exchange for 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,” he disclosed.
He says his organization has copies of several email correspondences from Uhuru Movement leaders to some of their members who were approached by the Uhuru Movement to betray the leadership of his organization.
“We had to discontinue our relationship when we realized that the Uhuru Movement had embarked on this program of subversive activities against our leadership on the ground in a bid to divide and conquer our base,” Bah stated.
Chernoh Alpha Bah, who is currently in China as part of an international tour to win political support for his African Socialist Movement (ASM), is currently the Official Spokesperson of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Sierra Leone.
In March 2010, the ASM formed a coalition with the NDA in preparation for the elections of November this year. The coalition arrangement, according to ASM sources, will allow ten of its members to contest for parliamentary and local council positions in the November elections in the country under the ticket of the NDA.
Chernoh Alpha Bah, as leader of the socialist movement, has already declared his plans to contest for a parliamentary position in Makeni – the home of president Koroma who has been in power since 2007. Other possible candidates of the ASM include Saa Famanda, General Secretary of the ASM, who is aspiring for a seat in Freetown’s rural district.
Mr. Bah’s international tour is scheduled to stop in Cuba, Venezuela, Thailand and ends up in the United States in September.
Ajamu Bandele, ASM’s Director of International Affairs based in the United States of America, who is coordinating the tour, says it provides an opportunity to “establish principled relationship with the genuine struggle of African people on the continent.”
A statement posted on http://www.africanunitytour.com says Mr. Bah will be touring the United States alongside Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of Malcolm X.
(official article can be found at: http://www.africanews.com/site/list_message/41559)
Spokesperson of the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in Sierra Leone has accused the country’s information minister of employing his newspaper to smear the reputation of opposition politicians who are critical of the government’s economic policies.
In a letter addressed to the country’s Independent Media Commission (IMC) against the New Citizen newspaper, NDA spokesman Chernoh Alpha Bah says the newspaper owned by the country’s Information Minister has been publishing an article “that contains very slanderous and defamatory information” against him and other “reputable citizens of the United States of America who are associated with his professional and organizational work.”
He says the truthfulness of the contents of the article, which appeared on the internet some two months ago from members of an organization that his movement was once associated with has been largely challenged by several political leaders and organizations across the United States of America and other places who are familiar with the actual basis of the disagreement between himself and the organization that first published the article in question.
“One would have therefore expected a good journalist to have undertaken a comprehensive research and investigation on the contradictions raised in the said article before going to press. Such an investigation would have required the said journalists to contact me as the primary subject of the article and other individuals who are unfairly attacked in the said article because of their organizational relationship with me,” Bah told the Independent Media Commission (IMC).
He alleged that because the newspaper chose to publish the article ignoring the fact that its contents are largely defamatory and slanderous not only against him but also against other individuals “who have nothing to do with the politics of Sierra Leone let alone a government for which Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo – the proprietor of the said newspaper – is serving as a Minister of Information and Communication” constitute a plot initiated against his political image by the Minister who owns the newspaper.
“This couldn’t be unconnected to some plot initiated by Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo to employ his newspaper and other media institutions in an attempt to deliberately smear my reputation and character in the face of my constant objective criticism of the failures of the APC government that he is serving,” he stated.
Bah says the journalists of the New Citizen have violated the media code of practice and other instruments governing the conduct and activities of journalists and the media in Sierra Leone.
“The New Citizen has failed to honour the ethics governing the profession of journalism,” he charged.
The NDA Spokesman requested that the Independent Media Commission (IMC) should ensure that an “unqualified apology be published by the newspaper to him and other individuals unfairly mentioned in the article.”
Although Sierra Leone’s Information Minster, Ibrahim Ben Kragbo has not responded to the accusations of the NDA Spokesman, an editorial in the New Citizen has stated that their action is not influenced by the Minister.
However, in a letter dated 16th July the IMC has informed Mr. Bah that the issues of his complaint have been noted by the Commission.
“You will soon be informed of the date the Complaint Committee will meet to hear your complaint,” Terrence Knox Goba, Acting Executive Secretary of the IMC wrote to Mr. Bah.
The article is a vexed response from a group in the United States against the African Socialist Movement (ASM) – headed by Chernoh Alpha M. Bah – which formed a coalition with the NDA a year ago in preparation for the country’s elections in November this year. Mr. Bah himself will be contesting for a parliamentary position in Makeni – the home of president Koroma who has been in power since 2007.
“The APC and president Koroma do not deserve a second term and they must be voted out of office,” Bah has said on many radio programs during the last one year.
(original article published: http://www.africanews.com/site/list_message/41558)
The increasing reactionary efforts of the primitive African petty bourgeoisie in this country to defend their class interest have lead to the emergence of vague ideas and arguments purposefully designed to distort our efforts to organize ourselves for genuine liberation and unification of the oppressed masses of our people from neo-colonial and imperialist oppression and exploitation.
This is however not strange to us since we know that the African liberation movement in general has often found itself confronted with these obscuring ideas often emanating from the ever-increasing selfish ambitions of the primitive African petty bourgeoisie to accomplish their immediate political and economic motives through the exploitation of our people’s miserable conditions and aspirations for genuine change.
We in the Africanist Movement believe that this battle of ideas itself constitute a significant part of our struggle for self-determination and our continuous efforts to free ourselves from the numerous contradictions we are faced with as a people. It becomes extremely significant in our struggle since it allows us the opportunity to openly discuss and create a clear understanding of what our responsibility should be to our people. Its appropriateness becomes obvious when we see it as part of our desperate efforts to free ourselves from the death-threatening conditions that we continuously face today because of the actions and inactions of a failed neo-colonial puppet system imposed on us by imperialism and its corporate allies.
This situation can only be understood and taken seriously by the mass of our people if we address it from the basis of a fundamental responsibility we have to put into clear context certain debates over certain issues relating to our problems and our search for a concrete solution to resolve or put an end to these problems. It is obvious today that in Sierra Leone, like any place in Africa, we are faced with so many suggestions and opinions as we continue to find solutions. And the most difficult thing we are confronted with as well is the fact that even when these suggestions appear to identify the sources or circumstances of these problems, the suggestions themselves lack any ideological basis or explanation of the problems hence the suggestions themselves appear to revolve around the same contradictions. This has been and is still the most crucial issue we have to deal with in our struggle for self-determination especially so when certain sections of our people are now talking about a so-called “third force” approach to changing the current status quo.
Third force ideology is a reactionary argument
We all know that the argument advanced by “third force” proponents has its derivation on the reactionary argument that since our so-called independence, our people are being controlled and governed by a single class of individuals who have proficiently developed a fixed system that facilitates their permanent recycling from one position of power to another. And that this system itself has consequently created a situation whereby possibility for access to power has to be done through a marriage or political baptism with the system itself thereby making it impossible for any neutral force not tied to the system to rise to power. This year, for instance, the current Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) government headed by President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah has celebrated ten years of its continuous stay in power. Since 1996, the SLPP and Kabbah have been struggling and are still struggling to maintain control of political power regardless of ceaseless attempts that were made by both the army and former rebels to remove them from power. Kabbah himself is completing his second term as president of the country after he reportedly won two consecutive elections between 1996 and 2002. The SLPP came to power as a consequence of a general campaign for democracy undertaken by the mass of our people. At that time, the argument for a ballot-box solution was so popular that it gave rise to the emergence of what was then called the “election before peace” movement because the belief was that only elections can end our people’s problems.
Middle class opportunism betrayed our people and obscures our struggle
Consequently, our people were eventually miscarried to fight for a “ballot-box democracy” and they successfully removed a heinous military dictatorship from power but paving way for the imposition of a neo-colonial puppet administration that represents the interests of Britain and its imperialist allies. Now people who formed the vanguard of that campaign are equally tongue-tied and completely bewildered because they could not understand how this cohort of middle class sellouts could manipulate our conditions to attain their own selfish political aspirations. But this realization often comes belatedly because the masses of our people often find it extremely difficult to make profound summations to these situations since the aspirations of this class of individuals manifest themselves regularly and ultimately obscures our vision for the future.
It is the misleading actions and activities of this primitive class of selfish kleptomaniacs that is distorting our efforts and aspirations to genuinely free ourselves from the numerous contradictions we are faced with as a people. But the reality is that the current status quo itself is formed to serve the interest of this class and its continuous existence depends on our oppression and the denial of our right to be a self-determining people.
Since 1947, formation of political parties in this country has always had its basis on this notion of exploitation, greed and political banditry. It is the emergence of this status quo through an unhealthy and insincere struggle for power that resultantly created a dichotomy among the people and shaped the foundation for the further development of these corrupt middle class individuals who view political power as the license to personal aggrandizement and ultimate access to wealth and prestige in our society. And it is this phenomenal development that equally propelled and heightened a crude contest for power and greedy accumulation of wealth among these middle class puppets that manifested itself into the bloody onslaught that took the lives of over two hundred thousand of our brothers and sisters, and left the vast majority of our people homeless and without limbs.
It is equally this same exploitative and oppressive desire to control and loot our resources that gave birth not only to this vicious system that functions as a pedestal for imperialist exploitation and oppression but also necessitated the implant and perpetuation of a failed neo-colonial system that remains insensitive to addressing the people’s problems. Today the vast majority of the masses in this country are living in abject poverty and without any access to our numerous resources whilst a thuggish ruling class who run a failed neo-colonial puppet state grow extremely rich by living on the blood of the people and continue to hold the rest of us hostage. Even those who are responsible for this chaotic phenomenon are conscious of the penury they inflict on us. It is a conscious decision they made to protect their own class interests – a primitive petty bourgeois interest designed to reap the people for the benefit of a handful of opportunistic sellouts.
Ideological analysis should form the basis of our struggle
That is why we in the Africanist Movement think it is our responsibility to add our voice to this whole debate over a “third force approach” to solving our people’s problems. We believe primarily that any serious solution to the problems we are confronted with in this country has to have a thorough ideological analysis of the current status quo with a view to helping our people understand the relationship they have with the system in question. And that this analysis itself should not only be based on the simple idea of our people’s aspiration for change, but should have its starting point on our efforts to overturn the existing social system which is the source of the troubles we continue to experience. More importantly, the analysis should also have the potency of presenting a world view that will help our people understand the circumstances that necessitated the existence of this system and how other oppressed people around the world are suffering as a consequence of our collective relationship to an international capitalist order that survives from our own oppression and exploitation. It is only through this systematic analysis that we will be able to juxtapose a strategy that will genuinely answer to our people’s ever increasing aspiration and desire for freedom from this stagnating system responsible for the miserable conditions we collectively face as a people.
Imperialism and neo-colonialism responsible for our misery
Our people should know fully well that this system is not an isolated system but is tied to an international exploiting system referred to as capitalism which itself became a world system as a consequence of the exploitation and oppression of Africa and African people worldwide. They should equally understand that it is this relationship between us and this international capitalist order or imperialist system that blocks and jeopardizes our struggle for self-determination and eventually snatches away our right to take control of our resources and decide how we should live or ought to live. They must also recognize that this process of suppression and or denial of our democratic right to decide how we should live have been made possible by the forceful installation of puppets on the rest of us who function exclusively as agents carrying out imperialist decisions and policies in our various communities. And that it is this international conspiracy, giving support and backing to a rogue middle class, necessitates the functioning of a neo-colonial system serving the interests of imperialism which in turn protects its continuous existence.
For instance, our conditions have worsened and they continue to deteriorate at super sonic speed since the British Union Jack was lowered in 1961 raising the question as to whether it was necessary for this country to demand “independence” from Britain. But the truth is that what happened in 1961 was not an event of independence but another transition of power from one group of colonial exploiters to another; the only difference being Africans taking control of state affairs but working for the interests of the same imperial power. Now 45 years after that event, the British themselves are visibly in the country running the affairs of the state.
The British Department for International Development is in charge of deciding whatever economic programme undertaken in the country while the British International Military Advisory Training Team is in charge of restructuring, training and controlling the country’s army. The office of national security is headed and supervised by British military officers, the senior defense adviser to the president is a British, Deputy Anti-Corruption Commissioner is a British, the Director of Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is a British, British judges now sit and adjudicate matters in our courts, the British train the police and until recently a British police officer was head of our police and the Commonwealth Police Training Team is still in charge of our police. In November last year, the British government also sent a team to the Sierra Leone Police Training School at Hastings to discuss arrangements of direct affiliation with Bradford University in England. This arrangement now allows police officers from Sierra Leone to be sent to England for advanced imperialist training whilst at the same time making it necessary for British police officers to come to Sierra Leone under the guise of training the country’s police. A British military base has already been created in the country and no one knows the current number of British troops stationed up the Freetown peninsula at Hill Station.
This is being done to provide protection and security for a puppet middle class who are frantic with fear over the increasing aspiration of the oppressed masses to overturn our suffering by ending the life span of this suffocating system. It is a counter insurgency programme designed primarily in response to our efforts to galvanize ourselves in defense of our inalienable right to self-determination.
Building of a third force is no solution
This is also a clear indication and open manifestation that the so-called building of a “third force” is no solution to this political struggle between the mass of our people and the primitive African petty bourgeoisie for the simple reason that the proponents of the “third force” alternative are themselves sections of the middle class who feel alienated from their compatriots due to the growing power struggle within and among the middle class parties themselves. It is this contest for power and leadership within the various existing middle class parties that has lead to the emergence of this other group of disgruntled power hungry politicians whose aim is to manipulate our sufferings and aspirations for genuine change to fulfill their political ambitions and economic motives.
This is exactly what we have witnessed in the formation and creation of all the political parties in this country starting from the All Peoples Congress (APC) under Siaka Stevens to Taimu Bangura’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and United National Peoples Party (UNPP) of Dr. John Kerefa Smarth, Abass Bundu’s Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) to Johnny Paul Koroma’s Peoples Liberation Party (PLP) and the Revolutionary United Front Party (RUFP), and lately Charles Margai’s Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC).
The reality is that none of these parties truly represent our needs and aspirations for genuine change. And neither of these parties nor do their various leaders have political programmes that seek to liberate us from neo-colonial and imperialist exploitation and oppression. These parties themselves lack any ideological programme that addresses and or explains the basis of the poverty and appalling conditions we collectively face as a people in this country. The reason being that the leaders of these parties are themselves members of the class that creates and propels our miserable existence. And the emergence of these parties in fact owe their motivations from the increasing power struggle evident among the primitive African petty bourgeoisie as a result of their desperate vaulting ambitious desires to loot and exploit our resources. It is this same insincere desire and hidden political agenda that has equally lead to the production and reproduction of this equivalently similar group of rogues piloting what they describe as “a third force approach” as a final solution to changing the status quo.
It is our firm conviction that the building of another political party made up of disgruntled members of this status quo is no solution to our problems. Rather it will just serve to escalate and worsen the crisis that has been forced upon us by the numerous contradictions created by neo-colonialism and imperialism. Take Charles Margai and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) as an example. The PMDC obviously was born as a consequence of leadership acrimony that wrecked the SLPP in part because of the unwillingness of some party members to continue under the leadership of gerontocracts and the latter’s adamancy to create room for new and upcoming leadership. This been the case, it will be correct to say that Margai would have remained an SLPP member if the party had allowed him to be its leader. Since he resigned more than once from the party each time he looses in a convention, Margai’s decision to form the PMDC is born primarily from his conclusion that his continuation in the SLPP is a hindrance to his struggle for state power. Consequently, the PMDC is in no way a party that should represent itself to the people as a credible alternative to changing the status quo because its leadership is part of the status quo but opted out of it because they think their selfish political motives cannot be realized within the SLPP and are no longer compatible with those already in power.
Third force, a middle class strategy to win power at our expense
That is why we also say that the “third force approach” is consequently a plot conceived and hatched by the disgruntled sections of the middle class with the sole ambition of manipulating the people in their selfish struggle to seize power for themselves from their opposing middle class compatriots at our own expense. This has always been a common strategy utilized by those already in power who these “third force” proponents seek to replace through the support of the masses. And the truth is that the primitive African petty bourgeoisie are obviously aware of their insignificance and absolutely conscious of their inability to win a struggle without manipulating the people to accomplish their often selfish desires. Their insignifance is so obvious that it makes this minute class of individuals vulnerable and insecure without the instruments of coercion.
Our freedom lies in our ability to organize ourselves
This is exactly why we equally think it is essential for our people to understand that this system can not be changed by replacing one group of middle class individuals with another nor can it be through the creation of a novel party of some group of self-proclaimed saints who portray themselves as messiahs of the people. But the oppressed masses of our people have to organize themselves into a political organization of their own; one that is made up of the oppressed and exploited masses and represents their interests through a general programme for the future. By this we mean, we have to build and be part of an organization ourselves that has the ability, strength and capacity to lead our struggle for self-determination by ultimately fulfilling our aspirations to be free from neo-colonialism and imperialism. This is primarily important because our struggle for self-determination falls within our general effort to overturn a social system consciously imposed on us by imperialism and is consequently the source of all miserable conditions we face as a people. It is only the building of such political organization that will ultimately lead us to a coherent approach of how we can collectively end our suffering and regain control of our right to become a self-governing people. In the final analysis, it is only through such a process that the primitive African petty bourgeoisie will be destroyed — a process which equally means the defeat of imperialism and the restoration of our right to self-determination. That is our collective task as oppressed people!
Chernoh Is Invited To Participate In National Debate At The University Of Makeni Saturday October 20th
Chernoh Alpha M. Bah Issues An Official Complaint Against New Citizen Newspaper For Publishing Uhuru News Slander Article
It has been almost 2 months since the Uhuru Movement launched one of its most scathing smear campaigns against another African leader. This time however they underestimated the unity that would be found and failed to anticipate a serious struggle. I do not wish to stir things up with this post. We have decided to “Do The Work”, and let history absolve us, to borrow from Fidel Castro. Only to make public for the record the negative affects of waging such unprincipled public criticisms of other African leaders and the dangers of the enemies of our struggle seizing on our strife and utilizing it as a means to attack.
This is the perfect example of how careless and immature acts made in the name of some “correct policy of criticism” can unintentionally land one into a collaboration with imperialism. You will read below that the Uhuru Movements Slander Article has been published in Sierra Leone by a newspaper owned by the neocolonial Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo. He is the Minister of Information and Communications of the All Peoples Congress (APC) for the current government that utilizes his newspaper to attack political opponents.
We know that the Uhuru Movement understood that this could happen as they went to great lengths to mobilize their handful of “members” in Sierra Leone to stalk Chernoh and other members of the African Socialist Movement on radio shows, phone calls, and home attacks. But the people of Sierra Leone are an intelligent people that have witnessed the work and sacrifices of Chernoh for years and have untied with his constant criticism of both the neocolonial parties (SLPP & APC)! So it is clear to the people that these seemingly uncoordinated attacks are de facto conspiracies to undermine Chernoh as a leader of the working class and peasant masses in that country!
Any one who opposes the revolution opposes the people and they understand that. Whether you agree with the tactics and strategies of the ASM-SL it is blasphemy to label them anything less than a revolutionary mass movement.
I say that by default the Uhuru Movement and their members in Sierra Leone are partners with the APC! On more than one occasion since AAPDEP is in a relationship with Milton Bayoh, APC supporter and member. Since the “Freetown 3″ are reactionary deflectors and by default and their counter revolutionary actions are APC operatives and supporters. And now more recently the publishing of this Uhuru propaganda by the Minister Of Information and Communications of the neocolonial APC!
Because we are former members we know that the Uhuru Movement is fully aware of the risk involved in every decision that they make. So, we know that they probably intended or maybe suggested that this article be published by their APC cohorts. I dont know for sure but it is what it is. In the mist of the most significant election year in that countries history the APC and Uhuru Movement have informally joined forces against Chernoh, the ASM-SL, and the masses of people that support the movement.
From day one we summed this up as a classic cookie cut, COINELPRO/CIA style of attack and now it is becoming increasingly clear that we were correct in our criticism of not only the nature but the method of this unprincipled attack.
Our duty is to keep the people informed we welcome all constructive and objective criticism.
Official Complaint Filed By Chernoh And The ASM-SL
Friday July 14, 2012
Dear Sir; (The Chairperson of Independent Media Commission)
Complaint against Editor & Management of the New Citizen newspaper
I am writing to forward an official complaint against the Editor and also Management of The New Citizen newspaper owned by Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the current Minister of Information & Communications of the All People’s Congress (APC) government of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
As you may be aware, the Editor and Management of The New Citizen newspaper have been publishing an article that contains very slanderous and defamatory information against me and other reputable citizens of the United States of America who are associated with my professional and organizational work.
It might interest you to note that the truthfulness of the contents of the article, which appeared on the internet some two months ago from members of an organization that we were once associated with and largely based on a one-sided opinion from the writer(s), has been largely challenged by several political leaders and organizations across the United States of America and other places who are familiar with the actual basis of the disagreement between myself and the organization that first published the article in question.
These responses, which include my own personal response to the matters alleged in the defamatory article, are all available on the internet. Other testimonies from members of other socialist parties and organizations in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland, who have suffered from the same defamatory tendencies from the same organization, are also available on the internet alongside the same article that The New Citizen has been publishing.
One would have therefore expected a good journalist to have undertaken a comprehensive research and investigation on the contradictions raised in the said article before going to press. Such an investigation would have required the said journalists to contact me as the primary subject of the article and other individuals who are unfairly attacked in the said article because of their organizational relationship with me. This is not what the journalists of The New Citizen have done. In stead, they chose to published the article ignoring the fact that its contents are largely defamatory and slanderous not only against me and but also against the character and reputation of other individuals who have nothing to do with the politics of Sierra Leone let alone a government for which Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo – the proprietor of the said newspaper – is serving as a Minister of Information and Communication.
They deliberately failed to contact me or any of the individuals mentioned in the article. The Editor of the newspaper and its Management equally failed to entertain our own valid reaction to the obviously slanderous material they have been publishing against us since Tuesday July 10, 2012 regardless of the fact that I have personally visited their offices to demand that our side of the story ought to be published. This happened in the presence of Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the Minister of Information and Communication, who is also the proprietor of the newspaper.
I am therefore writing to bring to your notice that The New Citizen newspaper, apart from publishing a very defamatory and slanderous article whose allegations they can not prove, is in violation of the Media Code of Practice and all other instruments governing the conduct and activities of journalists and the media in Sierra Leone. The New Citizen has failed to honour the ethics governing the profession of journalism.
It is obvious that the attitude of the said journalists as manifested in their handling of the said article could not be unconnected to some plot initiated by Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo to employ his newspaper and other media institutions in an attempt to deliberately smear my reputation and character in the face of my constant objective criticism of the failures of the APC government that he is serving. The current unprincipled conduct of The New Citizen newspaper against me can not be divorced from this dishonest style of political propaganda of the APC orchestrated by its Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo against members of the opposition who are very critical of government economic programs and policies during the last four years.
In consequence, I am therefore bringing this issue to your notice and it is my hope that you will immediately intervene to help and encourage the journalists of the New Citizen to respect the provisions of the Media Code of Practice and the other instruments governing the conduct and activities of journalists.
As we approach the elections of November, the role of the media in maintaining peace can only be enhanced through objective reporting and independent discharge of its functions and responsibilities to society.
I am demanding on behalf of my other colleagues, the following:
i) That the New Citizen publishes an unqualified apology to me and the individuals unfairly mentioned in the article in question
ii) That the New Citizen equally publishes verbatim and in full all of our responses available on the internet on the subject of the article they have been serialising.
I look forward to your action on the subject of this compliant. I thank you in advance for your usual cooperation and understanding. An acknowledgement of this correspondence will be greatly appreciated.
Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, NDA Spokesman
Chernoh Slams The Neocolonial All People’s Congress, “Agenda For Change” For Increasing The Misery And Suffering Of The People
Sierra Leone: NDA’s Mission to Wreck Koroma’s Second Term Bid
BY IBRAHIM TARAWALLIE, 4 JULY 2012
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) – one of the most critical political outfits of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) regime – has once again taken President Ernest Bai Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Change’ to task, saying “it has done nothing but increased the misery and suffering of the people”.
Speaking to newsmen at his party’s headquarters on Duke Street in Freetown, NDA spokesperson Chernor Alpha Bah charged the Koroma-led administration of woefully failing to improve the welfare of Sierra Leoneans, claiming: “What is inside the ‘Agenda for Change’ are misguided policies that have turned this country into a corrupt society.”
He noted that key to the NDA’s agenda as a party is “to ensure that the APC does not have a second term because of their incompetence and failure to address the country’s worsening economic situation”.
“We are saying publicly that President Koroma’s ‘Agenda for Change’ has increased the misery and suffering of the people,” Bah sputtered. “We cannot talk about development when the people are suffering to get social services and the inflation rate is high. They have paid lip-service to the portion of development.”
According to the NDA spokesperson, the APC is desperate to secure a second term at all cost rather than reducing the high inflation and poverty rate and providing the much needed social services for the masses.
“We cannot agree to be under a government that has misused our economy for the past five years. Since the inception of the free health care in 2010, there has been no progress,” Bah further charged, while accusing the APC and SLPP of being the protagonists of the country’s underdevelopment.
When contacted by Concord Times for his reaction to the NDA man’s stinging attack on his government, Minister of Information and Communications – who doubles as the government spokesperson – Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, described the NDA’s claims as “laughable and a deliberate act of mischief or ignorance on their part”.
According to the minister, the ‘Agenda for Change’ is the only government policy framework since independence to address development issues that are people-oriented. Other governments, he maintained, attempted to run the state without clear-cut policies.
“The Agenda for Change addresses issues relating to infrastructural development,” insisted Mr. Kargbo. “It has increased electricity supply, brought about the free health care programme and improved agricultural productivity, among others. So to suggest that the document created hardship is a deliberate act of mischief or ignorance on the part of the NDA and their spokesman. The country continues to be applauded worldwide for coming from a state of morass to one of the fastest growing economy.”
The Information Minister opined that children and pregnant women are getting free medical care, which was not the case before. The APC government, he added, has also eliminated custom duty on rice to ensure that the product, which is the country’s staple food, is affordable.
“This is a people’s government. We are recognised by international financial institutions as having a growing economy,” Kargbo stressed. “We are moving to a new strategy which is the ‘Agenda for Prosperity’. We are the best government this country has ever had and no government has performed as we have done. The NDA will never run a government in this country.”