Abdul Kadiru Kaikai Argues that there is a Thin layer of Strongholds in Sierra Leone

Abdul Kadiru Kaikai.jpg

By Esther Wright

According to a Press Release issued by Abdul Kadiru Kaikai’s media team, an SLPP strong man, what is becoming clearer by the day is the use of the tribalism card by the main opposition party, the APC against the ruling party. This action, according Chief Kadiru, is going to be their undoing in the coming 2023 General Elections, as it will invariably hand over the Presidency to President Bio on a silver-plate once again.

What those politicians have failed to realize is that there is not a single situation where any party has won the Presidency from its stronghold. There is always going to be the combination of a certain percentage from the various regions for a party to win State House.  The APC needs at least 180,000 votes from the South and East to win State House, likewise, the SLPP also needs to have votes from Port Loko, Kambia, and Koinadugu to win State House. All elections conducted in this country since independence have shown that no single party can win State House without scooping votes from areas not known to be their strongholds, hence the reason for all these campaigns to woo voters from the North, South, North-West, East, and Western Areas by both parties.

It is against this backdrop that the use of the tribal card is seen as counter-productive, as it has the tendency to create animosity against the perpetrator by the aggrieved tribe. It is by playing this political chess that the Chairman of the APC has been seen as delivering State House to President Bio in the coming elections, as his party has been using the tribal card against the Mendes on social media, which further antagonizes that tribe from the party, and has the potential of pushing them to offer total loyalty to Bio, who is being portrayed by the opposition as their kinsman.

To further compound the problem for the main opposition, is the in-roads that President Bio has been making in the North, East and North-West. Whilst the Ernest Koroma administration prides itself in making roads, the Bio Government has been building bridges, a notable one being the Rogbere Bridge, which is the gateway to the North and the East of the country: A bridge that has been advocated for by citizens over the decades of APC rule. Moves to give the Lungi Airport a face lift, with the on-going construction work in expanding the facility at international standard to accommodate bigger aircrafts and enhance air traffic in that part of the country, has been seen as a positive development by residents in the Port Loko District, where this facility is located.

Residents in Lungi are now being provided with electricity, which serves both the airport and the communities, thereby encouraging the development of trade among residents in the district. This development may see residents of the district voting en masse for Bio in the coming election, as during the tenure of former President Koroma, moves were on the way to transfer the airport to Mammamah, close to the capital, Freetown, which would have deprived Lungi of much needed development, as focus will be paid on the new airport. This singular action by President Bio has stamped his image as one who cares for all citizens, regardless of their political affiliation, region, tribe or creed.

It should be noted that it was this tribal card that operated during the tenure of the former President, with members of his tribe occupying top positions, whilst the bulk of the other tribes were relegated to mere spectators. It was this situation, coupled with the looting of the people’s money that led to the demand for change by Sierra Leoneans, which culminated in the voting out of the APC from governance in 2018.

With the inroads, the SLPP is making in the North and North-West and the timidity in the South and East to vote for a party that has nakedly preached tribalism against them and ridiculed their tribe, the 2023 election has already been sealed for Julius Maada Bio, and until the APC changes their political strategy, winning State House is going to remain a pipe dream for a long time, especially as tribalism continues to take dominance in our political discourse.

The state of the economy, though a major concern, and could have rendered the Bio Government the exit door, yet apprehension for what ,may lie ahead in an APC administration that seemed so obsessed with tribalism will turn the tide around and prompt citizens to vote for the lesser evil, which will give Bio the second term Presidency with ease.


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