A pattern in this man’s world portrays him as one who will do whatever it takes to win a race that is unwinnable for him. While Maada Bio is running away from his brutal past you would think he is smart enough to run away from all of it but no he is not! J. Maada Bio embraces the rank that he bestowed upon himself in that same period of time, the same way he was brought to prominence, by holding a gun to the heads of Sierra Leoneans yet he believes a move like that must now translate into votes for him in the coming elections. Is something wrong with that picture? Its equivalent is the rational that a rape victim is licensed to have sex with the same rapist at will going forward. In my opinion something is definitely wrong with that picture!
Maada Bio the pesky self-appointed (RTD) Brigadier General actually jumped passed captain and seven other rankings to self-promote himself to Brigadier General more so after he flunked his captain’s test. That he is unfit to be captain but actually proud enough to call himself Brigadier General as a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension. But if you think hopping seven rankings in the army is astounding enough it did not prevent Maada Bio to decree his person Brigadier General. The wannabe president is shamelessly brandishing himself to the world as (RTD) Brigadier General? Such a dishonor is loudly saying something about the defiance of this individual!
To this day J. Maada Bio claims the reason he overthrew Valentine Strasser is because his former boss was stalling to hand over the country to civilian rule but the not-so- stalling head-of-state, wasted no time to hold the same country to ransom until he siphoned millions of dollars from the country’s coffers as phony payments in the name of his brother, his loot was safely stacked into offshore accounts before he was forced to hand over to civilian rule. You decide the irony of this episode or determine whichever the graver sin is!
Which is a graver sin? Delaying to hand over to civilian rule or hijacking a country and demanding ransoms in millions of dollars, and overtly tapped the loot into offshore accounts before handing over? While historians decide which is the graver sin I have a prediction to make, that the Maada Bio lightening is not going to strike Sierra Leone twice. Nope!
The crassness of Maada Bio is at a level, where he is overblown and cheeky enough to now lecture Sierra Leoneans on venality. Paradoxically I think he does not have the moral standing to do so but if this will empower his bid for the presidency you can count on Maada Bio to do it, in that same Sierra Leone, a nation that Bio once held to ransom. I don’t know about you but my hijacker will not transform into my pilot just after he gambled his loot and lost. In other words Maada Bio is asking Sierra Leoneans to forget his brutal & corrupt past as recent as it is because he is being to the mountain top.
It is clear Bio came back from that same mountain top as a lecturer, of how not to be corrupt in a new direction. Yeah Right! Maada Bio has amnesia about his brutal & corrupt past in his newfound epiphany where all Sierra Leoneans are so transfixed by his lousy speeches and so gullible enough to also vote him in and enable a Maada Bio lightning to again strike Sierra Leone. Twice in a row no way; Sierra Leoneans say “when he held a gun to our heads and forced himself onto the helm, Sierra Leoneans had no choice. But today we have the choice of our own votes. Now is the time for us to also hold our votes to his head because he doesn’t have a choice with the power of our votes. Fool us once shame on you they say but fool us twice shame on us Sierra Leoneans we will not stand for that.”
Bio’s supporters really do miss him as Head of State so much, and often reminisce about how the country was so corruption free when he was Head of State, the country was highly respected by foreign countries because our passports were chased after by Chinese citizens, they claim citizens of Sierra Leone do miss the light that lit the darkest corners of Freetown & the hinterland, they miss the harmonious singing of the national electricity anthem orchestrated by the Kabba tigers, more than anything they miss the fact that Sierra Leonean citizens did not have to do anything yet got paid during that time just for doing nothing and every youth also had that dream job they had chased all their lives. The roads in the entire country were paved and tarred and had no potholes! This is what Maada Bio and his cabal are shoving down the throats of Sierra Leoneans every day, packaged in what he calls a new direction to a dead-end!
Package as a ‘new direction’ to nowhere! A new direction that has taken off by tormenting the people he expects to vote him in. Bio is hedging a bottom-line that is ever so clear with the SLPP slogans “one Mende one Temne” the ‘pa-o-pa’ they must share power push! A local platitude for getting to the presidency by any means likely. So if it means by use of the same old fashion rebel war, which by the way is one way that Maada Bio knows to take power, so be it? Hmmm! So wrecking the country in the same fashion they did in the 90s and early 2000s cannot also be ruled out? This time around the blood is in the water and the sharks are bipartisan, we will not stand for it!
My golly! What is so wrong with Maada Bio and his cronies? They really expect Sierra Leoneans to believe the present EBK government is so corrupt that in fact the development program that is visible to all Sierra Leoneans undertaken all over the country regardless of the North South divide is the problem? WHAT? It’s the development stupid!
The not-so-corrupt Maada Bio has wasted no time enlisting snake oil peddlers disguised as shoddy middlemen like Helligman or corrupt corporations like Rio Tinto with many more from all over the world by promising all of them future diamond, iron ore and gold or rutile, bauxite, rare earth minerals and crude oil mining contracts. His most recent scam is to excite gay/lesbian groups from the USA with loads of promises that he will decree gay marriage in Sierra Leone if he becomes president just to enable him get a visa to the USA. This cheap campaign move is seen as a clever strategy by those who call themselves educated fools! Like we don’t have more pressing issues in the country for Maada Bio to want to jeopardize our future like this is highlighted by the fact that Bio is also unfazed by it. This is got to be aggravating, but that is beside the point.
What sense does it really make for Maada Bio to start mortgaging Sierra Leone to the highest bidder when he is only flag-bearer of the SLPP? Except if this is the height of his newfound madness and if that is so what should we expect as president? As president we should expect him to demand a percentage of our earnings to be cogently deposited into his offshore accounts just so he is able to payback those who bankrolled his campaign since we must have signed for all that as Sierra Leoneans! Just how corruptible is that?
Taking what he has already done without being president what else will he not do as president? Imagine what we will be left with as a country when J. Maada Bio is done transacting with snake oil peddling foreign middlemen and corporations, gays/lesbian groups in a tradeoff where they bankroll his campaign for a quid pro quo? That by itself is the pinnacle of corruption. So what else will Maada Bio not do as president? Maybe sell the country! I really think he will, as soon as he runs out of steam!
So I say it is about time Sierra Leone takes a serious look at this man for whom he is and bar him from further contesting for this office in the future because his chances have ran out! He is more of a distraction than a serious candidate for president for the simple reason that he was pardoned from Sierra Leone to live in the USA which in his case is equivalent to a felon on parole but as he violated that privilege he is now on removal from the USA. Now which part of that is so very difficult for the SLPP to understand? Constitutionally the man should not have a right to vote in Sierra Leone because he has violated his parole and not withstanding that bridge; he is now asking us to also promote him to president just as he promoted himself to Brigadier General after he flunked his captain’s test? I don’t know a citizen that has had this many chances blown and now we must reward his bad behavior with our votes? Why should we expect the West, the IMF & the World Bank and particularly the USA to take us anymore seriously if we do that?
As opposed to Sierra Leone’s usual place at the bottom of the pyramid the BTI 2012 country report, scored the country’s political transformation and management index with scores that have never been higher, 53 and 57 out of 128 developing countries researched. EBK is able to do all this in less than four years. A caveat as per the BTI index however states that “The viability and sustainability of transformation will depend heavily upon the continuous commitment of international actors. Should the Koroma government comply with IMF and World Bank recommendations and maintain its image as a reliable political partner; the country will receive sizeable amounts of international assistance in the foreseeable future.” In other words the IMF and other foreign actors will halt their effort to assist this country as soon as they learn of a character thief at the helm of affairs. This is not the time to change pilots the country must say no to Maada Bio come November 17, 2012!
No matter how Maada Bio’s new direction is packaged it tastes like stale medicine, so bad Sierra Leoneans cannot afford it today or tomorrow because all that the packaging does is remind Sierra Leoneans all over again about a palace coupe that gave them Maada Bio as Head of State for a very short period of time indeed. A short period of time that is pretty stunning in Maada Bio’s head, but Sierra Leoneans remember it all so well as a short period of time that global leaders almost sent their armies into the country to get rid of Maada Bio, a short period of time the country is still paying for, a short period of time that some families are still mourning about, a short period of time that rendered some fatherless, a short period of time that rendered some motherless a short period of time that some girls were raped, a short period of time that some married women were forcefully removed from their marriages to become mistresses of men they did not even like, a short period of time that some citizens lost their limbs, a short period of time that some business people woefully lost their seed capital that very short period of time. Indeed, it must make Sierra Leoneans sick to their stomach? That period of time is one that Sierra Leoneans will rather not remember!
By Mohamed A Mansaray