“They are perfect how else, They’ll never learn!
We are faulty, why not?
We have time on our side!
It took that much time since the exploits of Singbe Pieh and Bai Bureh; that of Pieterr to again count any in the land that stood like them for the liberation of Mama Salone. Then came along the labour and workers movement that rocked both the colonial govt and the APC party of Siaka Probyn Stevens. The APC was formed to stand up for the common man, the grassroots with no hope for a better future, workers as the vanguard well paid with our abundant natural and human resource base; the advantage of being the Athens of West Africa to had given us an unfair advantage and restore Salone as the paradise it was meant to be by God. The APC, a northern-western-based party did not use tribalism to put Siaka Stevens a Mende as their leader but rather, for his trade unionism skills and common man approach; even though he was a dog-catcher in the police force.
The party was popular but soon trampled on it’s socialist- democratic credentials and there and then at Ginger Hall, the APC had split into two even before 67 elections; bcos Shaki had fingered the APC constitution. Those pro-democrats felt betrayed and with time their leaders, Dr Ibrahim Sorie Forna and journalist Ibrahim Bash-Taqi resigned as Finance and Information ministers, respectively. Among the reasons include Shaki’s growing dictatorial tendencies, training of paramilitary and purchase of armoured tanks and guns from Cuba; instead of investing in agriculture when the leone was stronger than the American dollar. Also, for pre-financing contracts to Lebanese and other corrupt business entities and mortgaging the country to wanton foreign exploitation and other vested foreign interests. In the end, those considered the true democrats with a patriotic and people’s-oriented agenda were framed and executed for a coup they vehemently denied; leading up to their execution and the letters they left behind as a legacy of their innocence.
Another wave of resistance was from the students of FBC which spread to schools and colleges across the country and the first strong challenge to Steven’s one-partyism, corruption and other national vices but it faltered when the movement was compromised. However, it was Ali Kabba’s SU presidency that intensified the Green Book Movement at FBC and subsequently led to the burning of FBC principal CP Foray’s Mercedes Benz car. In the end, three lecturers-Richie Gordon, Cleo Hancilles and Dr Jimmy Kandeh (later lectured at Benghazi University), were rusticated and over 40 students expelled; some went to Legon University and from there to Libya to join the Maathaba Movement of Col Ghadaffi whose avowed goal was to spread his Green Book ideology all over Africa. Out of it, rebel leader Foday Sankoh was to launch the eleven-year rebel war before the Jan 6 invasion and its apocalyptic consequences. The Ruf was formed by the SLPP and it’s leader Foday Sankoh was the son of Pa Bernard a railway worker from Segbwema who was a foreman at Mile 91 where he met Sankoh’s mother a Temne and seared Sankoh. Sankoh was a loyalist to Forna and Taqi and bitter when he too was jailed for the same Forna coup and on release, settled at the Bernard compound in Segbwema before he later disappeared to launch the rebel war. Imagine the thousands of youths that lost their lives and mentally destroyed and alienated by society over this senseless rebel war they were never in the first place responsible for!
But it was the NPRC of young khaki boys that toppled the APC of Momoh bcos they considered Saloneans as second class citizens and foreigners in their own country, and this came in the aftermath of the Ndorgborwusui resistance against the APC under Momoh with hundreds of deaths. But the APC was able to rise again under EBK but not after a long and bitter constitutional feud that ended in Court, and split those referred to as the old and founding fathers versus the EBK Group mainly from PDP Sorbeh. It lasted four years and I played the last card to end that feud just four months to the 2007 elections. That matter went to Supreme Court which ruled in favour of the old but the matter was compromised. It is that same question of the constitution that brought the NRM to the fore; to the extent that for the first time since the Ginger Hall affair and treachery, and the aftermath of the Makeni selection brouhaha, the NRM resistance and movement for God and Country is to finally usher a new democratic APC constitution and political dispensation. It is thus a win-win situation for both the party hierarchy to own up change for the democratic future of the youths and to once again stand up and fight for people’s and workers rights. This was the reason ITA Wallace-Johnson joined the APC and founded the National Youth League. In fact, the NRM comprised of former leaders of the APC League and so, the prophecy of ITA has come true and the next step, therefore, is for the youths to elect their own radical leader so as to restore our status and make Salone once again envy both to Africa and the rest of the world. Aluta Continua!