The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) are not done yet with concocting stories and orchestrating smear campaigns .
According to sources close to the opposition SLPP , the Sierra Leoneans and members of the international community who are already fed up with the very ugly and dirty politics being played by the SLPP have seen nothing yet. As we get closer to the November 17, 2012 elections, SLPP operatives are going to encamp in the sewers and wax worse in the dishing of dirt against the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) . Having realized that the party has nothing to offer Sierra Leone by way of a credible electioneering platform and thus no hope to win the elections, SLPP operatives are going to resort to a shock -and -awe strategy to dish out the most dirty and reprehensible smear campaign imaginable against the ruling APC.
An SLPP supporter was quoted as saying to an APC supporter who called him pretending to be a neutralist : “You people have seen nothing yet. What we did to Vice-President Samuel Sam Sumana was just child’s play. Wait until Christiana Thorpe blows the whistle for the start of the electioneering campaign. You will be afraid to open the New People and other SLPP websites. ”
The targets of the SLPP are going to be President Ernest Bai Koroma , Vice-President Sam Sumana , key ministers of government like the Hon. Alpha Kanu and journalists like Kabs Kanu, Sylvia Blyden, Jarrah Kawusu-Konte and anybody whom they percive as a defender of the policies of the APC or promoter of the agenda and achievements of President Ernest Bai Koroma. According to informed sources within the SLPP, the opposition plans to make the forthcoming electioneering campaign not a discussion of pertinent issues affecting the nation but an orgy of smearing of the names of the President, government officials and certain journalists. Some SLPP supporters have already started bragging about their plans in online discussion forums where they are already using multiple monikers to launch attacks on innocent people.
SLPP supporters will manufacture abominable lies and accusations bordering on the depraved and neurotic; They will manufacture fake documents that will include fake invoices and receipts to accuse government officials of financial crimes .Though many Sierra Leoneans will doubt these allegations, the SLPP will use their overworn propaganda strategy of repeating allegations until they begin to look like the truth.
Sierra Leonean citizens in the U.S., of course , have become famous for running hate forums. A Canada-cum- U.S. citizen who used to be web mistress of HW open forums ceased doing business with Sierra Leoneans , confessing to the COCORIOKO Publisher that she has never in her life seen such hate before and she expressed fears that Sierra Leone may go the way of Rwanda if something was not done to curb the larvish spirit of hate among citizens of the country. She said that she has searched her brain many times and could not fathom why the people of Sierra Leone spew so much hate against each other in these forums.
The Publisher of COCORIOKO defended Sierra Leoneans that they had nothing to do with the hate messages and thus she was quite wrong to generalize . He enlightened the Canadian lady that the hate messages are the handiwork of some power-hungry and disgruntled SLPP supporters living in the U.S. and a publisher of an anti- government website working for the BBC and living in the UK. “When people read these forums, it would appear like there are many participants blowing their minds about national issues but the job is actually being done by no more than three or four SLPP supporters using many monikers. Each SLPP supporter has 10 or more monikers on these forums and they pretend to be having a dialogue INVOLVING MANY OTHER PEOPLE but in reality it is 3-4 people talking to themselves “, the Publisher told the lady. .
Other webmasters of open forums have ceased accepting applications from Sierra Leoneans who want to open online forums. Their complaints are the same : “We cannot deal with the hate among your citizens. ”
LIBERIA just went through heated presidential and legislative elections but the only existing Liberian online forum run by the Concerned Liberians in the U.S. never featured the kinds of hate and smear messages that appear in Sierra Leone forums. “Why do you Sierra Leoneans hate yourselves so much ?”, a Ghanaian resident of Somerset, NJ , Pa Kwesi Ansah, once asked this writer. “Now I see why you amputated the limbs of your own citizens during your civil war. There is too much hate among your people “, he complained . But the publisher corrected him too that it was not the generality of Sierra Leoneans making the posts but some members of a political party that depends on spreading hate and smearing the good name of innocent people , called the SLPP.
It would appear like the refusal of the U.S. authorities to grant the SLPP Presidential candidate, Mr. Maada Bio, an entry visa to come to America and Maada Bio’s rejection as flagbearer by a significant number of SLPP partisans have incensed the SLPP heierachy to decide to retaliate on the APC with smear campaigns built on lies.
However , one big consolation is that the International Criminal Court (ICC ) is monitoring these online forums and websites as Sierra Leone prepares for crucial Presidential, legislative and council elections in three months. An ICC official who was at the UN recently to attend a conference told this writer that the ICC has the capability to trace the writers of hate messages in the forums through IP numbers. “We have software that determine with a measure of accuracy where posts are made and the computers being used”, he told this journalist.
MEANWHILE, some APC supporters reached by this newspaper expressed grave disappointment with the campaign strategy of the SLPP, but advised the APC to realize also that it is a ploy to divert attention from the serious character deficiencies of the SLPP Presidential candidate, Maada Bio. “We are not doing justice to ourselves spending useful time responding to these smear campaigns. We must continue to accentuate the achievements of President Koroma and the APC Government. To hell with the SLPP and their smear campaigns,” said the Regional Director of APC-NA, Mr. Foday Mansaray . “We cannot dwell on them too much.We have to move on to something more serious as the more responsible and successful party “.