ARMED MEN IN NEIGHBOURING LIBERIA? VERY SCARY STUFF
This is certainly not good news for our country - that armed foreigners entered Liberia. Apart from the potential for such a development causing trouble for our dear neighbours, there exists the possibility of Sierra Leone being drawn into another mess from across the border. It's that serious!
War criminal Charles Taylor who will spend the rest of his life in an English jail, launched a war in Liberia from across the border in Ivory Coast in December 1989. Slowly, but surely, that war destroyed the Mano River Union countries in many ways. So we understand why some people here are worried again. The circumstances in the MRU and the wider international community have changed drastically but when you are up against people determined to cause havoc, it's almost impossible to stop them.
So what can we do as a nation? We don't have all the answers but there are a few points we must throw into any serious consideration of the issues.
1. Let's first of all acknowledge that the cry by those Liberian senators about armed men crossing over from the Ivory Coast is a very serious issue and that such incursions threaten the national security of Sierra Leone.
2. We have a former Police Inspector General as ambassador in Liberia. We expect him to be at his best right now when it comes to intelligence-gathering and collective action.
3. Radio interviews are fine but the ONS in Freetown should stop talking now and engage high gear in their work for which they are reasonably well paid.
4. Frankly, there are hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans in Liberia whose safety we must always ensure. And we should never leave that to their host country. No way. After all a good number of the RUF cadre joined or were enlisted in Liberia and crossed the border.
5. In fact, we should assume that those 500 men have bad intentions towards Sierra Leone so that we must prepare right now to deal with any situation that may arise. Don't tell us we are alarmists. The memories of our war are still fresh.
6. Joint cross-border patrols and high-level security meetings involving all four MRU countries and ECOWAS and the UN should be happening without further delay. We still believe in the Cockroach philosophy of the late former UN boss in Sierra Leone, Daudi Ngelautwa Mwakawago. Treat every problem in the region as if it is happening in all the countries - or risk killing cockroaches in your house while roaches in the neighbouring house will keep storming yours.
HOW LONG BEFORE DONALD TRUMP FACES REALITY?
Donald Trump, the millionaire businessman seeking to become president of Obamaland must be feeling a little down after his defeat in the first vote in a long and intriguing race to the White House. Trump, who told a recent rally that he could even shoot people and still get elected, faced the ordinary man for the first time and left Iowa with a bloody nose. The boastful guy looked very chastened as he left for his next date with real people in New Hampshire.
Actually, we can help Trump increase his popularity by giving him some lines of attack. His statements against Mexicans and Muslims appear to have backfired badly resulting in a man seen as the undisputed front runner almost falling into third place. We warned him sometime ago that making outlandish political statements for his loyal fans was never the same as talking to undecided voters or even trying to win over those who can't stand your presence.
So, here we go and we charge no fees please Mr. Trump despite your wealth. And if you don't believe come and ask De Pa and his acolytes and even those who want to succeed them that we don't take money for doing our job:
1. Go back on that stage in Iowa and denounce Sarah Palin. Say you made a very bad mistake bringing her into you campaign even for the simple purpose of endorsing you.
2. Threaten the GOP that if they forced you out of the race you would definitely run as an independent candidate and spoil things around them. It's as simple as that.
3. You know, African-Americans are almost sure to vote against you in large numbers. The only way to stop that is to announce that all Temporary Protection Status people would become citizens by executive action the day you enter the White House, whether Congress agrees or not. Forget the Latinos. They are gone.
4. In fact, expand the Diversity Visa Lottery programme to take in hundreds of thousands of Africans in particular. They will always remember that when they turn up to vote. Scrap academic requirements.
5. Why not forget about the whole presidential bid and go home to spend more time with your grandchildren. We really mean MORE TIME. Haha!
SO WHAT LESSONS FOR SIERRA LEONE FROM US PRIMARIES?
Please consider this portion of the paper as a pure journalistic joke because the only lesson we think Sierra Leoneans can take away from the political process on Obama Land is that a really high turnout is a good thing for democracy. That's all!
In Sierra Leone, we don't have the kind of primaries now taking place in the most powerful country in the world. Here's what we have down here:
1. Presidential candidates are determined by a group of people called delegates in a crude electoral college system. Unlike their US counterparts who have no choice but to vote for the candidate on whose behalf they are elected, ours are notoriously corrupt. They can be bought.
2. Our delegates are so unreliable and corrupt that in 2007 they had to take an oath by eating raw meat backed by kola nuts to support a particular candidate.
3. At another time, those delegates were threatened with arson and death by those who elected them to represent their interests. They were on the verge of selling out like Judas Iscariot.
4. Believe it or not, in one of our movements, elections are totally irrelevant because their so-called democratic constitution provides that candidates can also be SELECTED. How can anybody talk about SELECTION and ELECTION in the same breath? Shame! Undemocratic! Backward!
5. We have to be honest with ourselves, the views of the ordinary people of this country mean nothing to those who've held political power in this country since independence.
6. If it were here, Obama would have determined every move within his party, as President. He would have declared himself as Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar combined. So no one should play unless he asks them to. What autocracy!
WE WELCOME AYATOLLAH SISTANI FROM SICK LEAVE ABROAD
So after more than a year away, Grand Ayatollah Sistani is back in Sierra Leone looking good. Yes looking good. We can't really say anything beyond that. When will he address the media? We hope it will be soon because a lot of people are asking a lot of questions. Yes we've seen a few pictures but it will be a fantastic idea for the Ayatollah to face the people's media. We are very happy he came back on a regular flight as opposed to the air ambulance that flew him abroad. God is good and we hope he keeps fit.
Just in case the Ayatollah decides to stay away, we want to use this opportunity to raise the following issues here for his consideration. We will accept his reply by email.
1. Has the Ayatollah resumed duty now - or does he intend to?
2. Has he received all salaries and other entitlements to cover the period of his absence or sick leave?
3. The political landscape is getting tough and rough, is the Ayatollah still able to play from the centre?
4. Was the Ayatollah in touch with what was left of his political base during his leave?
5. Does he consider himself a part of the Red Movement project in the post-De Pa era? By the way we heard him - like everyone else asking for one favour or another - heaping praises on De Pa. Anyway… that’s the way things are here, are all. We will return to his speech to De Pa at State House on another day.
Thank you very much for not letting the people down with your reply which we await with bated breath.
(C) Politico 03/02/16