By Margaret Tholley
The hopes of many supporters of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) chances of clinching the 2018 presidential elections seems to be hitting the rocks again with reports of strong party members jumping boat to the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC).
The recent case is a flag-bearer aspirant for the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Franklyn Joe Rogers, who was alleged to have tendered his resignation letter and declaring for the APC.
According to Awoko newspaper, Rogers said he has tendered his resignation letter to the Secretariat of the SLPP on the 21 June 2017, a claimed the Secretary General of the Party, Alie Badara Kamara, has denied.
Giving reasons why the switch in political affiliation, Franklyn Rogers said, “People are aware of what the SLPP has become over the past three to four years. Activities have been marred with a lot of violence and infighting perpetrated by an individual and this is not a secret.”
Rogers disclosed that he has been a victim of such violence on the 9 January 2017, when, “I was attacked by supporters of Maada Bio. They called me a terrorist and I was even tortured by them.”
Cross-carpeting (sic), a popular word for politicians leaving one political party for the other is a concern for the majority of Sierra Leoneans and regard politicians as opportunists. While the country continues to struggle economically, the politicians are busy crisscrossing from one party to the other looking for ways to fill their pockets and exploit the country.
David Koroma, a teacher in Freetown, said the credibility of some of the men and women in national politics is questionable, claiming there is nothing they can show to the people.
“Politics in Sierra Leone is a system. The guys are looking for opportunities and will jump boat the moment they get an opportunity,” he said, adding that because some of the politicians’ motivation isn’t based on principles, they are only there to create opportunities for themselves.
“I am not surprised at the news of Rogers joining the APC,” he said.
A Sierra Leone Labour Union official claimed endemic corruption in political party activities in the country has spiraled in all sectors of society.
“The problems that caused the war in the country are the same problems being created by present politicians. The majority of the MPs and appointed officials are not seeking the interest of the people,” he said.
He cited the recent statement made on TV by the minister of information, Mohamed Bangura, that ‘people are jealous because they are living well’, adding, “How could a minister say such a statement when millions of young people are living in poverty?”
The union official said if action is not taken to control corruption in party politics the fight against corruption in the country will never be achieved. He said because politicians have their personal agendas, issues affecting the majority of the people are cared less about.