23rd July 2017
SLPP Politician Attacked for Voicing Nice Comments About APC Minister!
By the Ranger (16/05/17)
Sierra Leone has become a country where politicians face chastisements if they praise an opposition politician for doing good things.
In short, it is a ‘taboo’ to levy any form of praise on a politician who is not a member of your political party no matter what ‘goodies’ that opposition politician has done for the good of the nation. (Pictured: I.J. Kabbah, was chastised for simply being a patriotic Sierra Leonean).
Democracy for us in Africa where people do not respect the views of others, poses a big challenge in freely expressing one’s ideas, opinions and views, as well as freely associating with others.
This is in reference to the castigation recently received by the wife of former SLPP party President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, Mrs. Isata Jabbie Kabbah. Her only crime is making favourable comments about the ruling APC government Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, known commonly as JFK.
The attack on SLPP’s I.J. Kabbah for liberally praising a member of the APC party clearly shows that the opposition SLPP is not liberal and tolerant enough to accommodate dissenting views or opinions as expected in a democratic political setting.
Reports say I.J. Kabbah in a recently held public gathering, she sincerely opined that notwithstanding her being a member of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, JFK is a respectable and honourable public figure who is fit to be the country’s next Head of State.
Her utterance enraged some SLPP hotheads to the point of attacking her office and physically attacking staff and visitors they met there. The timely intervention of the police clearly prevented the worst from happening on that fateful day.
It has amply been proven that presently there is a modicum of free speech, freedom of the press to criticise government, high tolerance for dissenting views, but what this singular event of the verbal and physical assault on I.J. Kabbah shows, is that the SLPP has not got the democratic and ethical credentials necessary to be entrusted with running of the State.
The country is a multi-party democracy in which the constitution strongly guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of expression and association.
It should be noted that all the political squabbling that has beset the SLPP for many years now stems from the intolerance of its members to opposing views, ideas and opinions. Such unwarranted attack on I.J. Kabbah is an open affront to freedom of speech and association, essential features of any true democratic society.
This is not the first time that SLPP members had attacked I. J. Kabbah and other members of their party for holding opposing views. Many disgusted members have left the SLPP to join other parties where they have been received with open hands because in politics generally the country comes first.