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How APC & EBK have short-changed Themnes in Salone politics

Keen Observer Snr
The Temne tribe is the single largest tribe in northern Sierra Leone and also the second largest in the country as a whole. In politics, such is their voting strength that they can easily determine the way the pendulum swings in any keenly fought election between the two major parties, the All Peoples’ Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Amazing though it may sound, the Temnes have no political party they can call their own.

Historically, they have followed leaders, not parties. Once they accept a politician as leader, whether he is real Temne or not, they will follow him wherever he goes. The crucial point here is that they must accept the person as a leader and in return the leader’s fidelity to the tribe must remain unquestioned.
Perhaps a few examples will suffice. In the early days of modern Sierra Leonean politics, the Temnes accepted as their own political leaders personalities like Paramount Chief Bai Farama Tass of Kambia; Kande Bureh, Temne Tribal Headman of the capital, Freetown; P.C. Alikali Modu and P.C. Bai Koblo Pathbana of Port Loko District; P.C. Bai Bairoh, P.C. Almamy Sorie and P.C. Bai Masakma, all of Tonkolili District. Dr. John Karefa Smart, a Loko by birth, was accepted by the Temnes as one of them. These personalities were the opinion makers and movers of the Temne tribe and when they decided to join the SLPP, even though led by Dr. Milton Margai, a Mende, their kinsmen followed.

Of these Temne leaders, the most prominent political figure was Karefa-Smart. After the death of Dr. Milton Margai in 1964, the SLPP came under the leadership of his younger brother, Albert Margai. The manner in which the succession was done left a bitter taste in the mouth of Karefa-Smart. He had been seen by many as the anointed successor to Dr. Margai and felt cheated when he was passed over for Albert Margai. So he crossed over to the APC. By this singular act of Karefa-Smart crossing over to the APC, the Temnes followed him, enabling the APC to win the General Elections of 1967. This was the first time the Temnes as a group voted for the APC. They did this not for love of the APC or its leader; rather they followed their own leader, Karefa-Smart.

However, not long after, Karefa-Smart and Siaka Stevens parted company. Karefa-Smart was irked by what he regarded as betrayal and ungratefulness by Siaka Stevens, who was then beginning to develop a high propensity for dictatorship. Consequently, Karefa-Smart left the APC and formed his own party, United Democratic Party (UDP). Again the Temnes followed him to his new party. That Party had also brought together prominent Temne personalities like Dr. Mohamed Fornah, former APC Finance Minister; Ibrahim Taqi, former APC Information Minister; Alusine Beddor Kamara of Lunsar, Ibrahim O’Toole, Borbor Kamara, Ahmed Bundu-Kamara and Abu Lakko, all of Port Loko District; and P.C. Makaray N’Silk of Tonkolili District. The mass of the Temnes were not far behind.

Siaka Stevens immediately felt threatened. He proclaimed a state of emergency and banned the UDP. Karefa-Smart then left the country. Siaka Stevens found a pretext to bundle the other prominent members of the UDP into prison, followed by trumped-up charges of treason. Dr. Fornah, Taqi, Beddor and several others were tried, found guilty and executed.

With Karefa-Smart relocating overseas, the Temnes once again became rudderless. It was at this point Sorie Ibrahim Koroma (popularly known as S.I.), a Madingo by tribe, seeing the void, found a niche. He moved from his Central I Constituency in Freetown to Port Loko Central where he relocated as his new political home. S.I.’s main objective was to fudge a tribal nexus with the Temnes. He wasted no time in surrounding himself with a coterie of notable Temnes, including A.B. Kamara, Sheka Kanu and Abass Bundu from Port Loko District; Thaimu Bangura and Edward Turay from Bombali District; and Idrissa Fofanah, Abdul Karim Koroma and James Funna from Tonkolili District.

So, because of S.I., the Temnes, for a second time, agreed to associate with the APC. This association blossomed though without much effort on S.I.’s part, because by then a one-party Constitution had come into being, making the APC the only legal party in Sierra Leone. In 1985, President Stevens announced his plan to retire and almost immediately the fight for succession to the presidency ensued. Many who had assumed S.I. would be gratefully rewarded for having worked so tirelessly to promote and protect the hegemony of the APC for more than a decade and half, were shockingly disappointed. S.I. was ditched by the APC in favour of Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh. Momoh was a military man, not a politician. He was also a Limba by tribe. Apart from this, Momoh had no other qualities that put him above S.I. After this incident, the support for the APC by the Temnes began to wane.

The Temnes had planned to demonstrate their displeasure in the ensuing presidential election of 1986 but that election had Momoh as the sole presidential candidate on the ballot. Their chance came in the 1996 elections. The bulk of the Temnes divided their votes between Karefa-Smart’s UNPP, which got the lion share, Thaimu Bangura’s PDP-Sorbeh and Abass Bundu’s PPP. They certainly did not vote for the APC. Despite having ruled Sierra Leone uninterruptedly for 24 years, the APC could only score 38,316 (5.14%) votes in the presidential election of that year. The APC presidential candidate then, Edward Turay, despite being a Temne himself, did not get the Temne vote. The fact that the Temnes concentrated their vote among the three non-APC Temne candidates signified they wanted little to do with the APC and that they were yearning for a political leader they could call their own.

The opportunity came in 2002 during the presidential election. A lot of Temnes voted for the APC candidate, Ernest Bai Koroma, believing that because Ernest hails from northern Sierra Leone and can speak Temne fluently, he was one of them. Indeed Ernest too had presented himself to the Temnes as one. So the Temnes voted massively for him, enabling the APC to increase its vote to 426,405 (22.4%) from the pitiful figure of 38,316 (5.14%) in 1996. This belief that Obai was Temne permeated the entire Northern region, reinforced five years later when he was elected President in 2007.

This historical account, albeit brief, speaks eloquently about the Temnes and their place in the APC. Over the years they have tended to follow leaders, not parties. They voted for the APC in 1967 because of Karefa-Smart; and also in the period from 1973 to 1982 because of S.I. Koroma. They voted overwhelmingly for Karefa-Smart in 1996 because he accepted him as a Temne leader. In the 2002 election, because the Temnes felt abandoned by Karefa-Smart due to his long absence from the country, they did not vote for him. Karefa-Smart scored only 19,847 (1%) compared to 168,666 (22.6%) in the first ballot and 414,336 (40.5%) in the run-off presidential election of 1996. Instead the Temnes turned their attention to Ernest Bai Koroma, believing he was their new-found Temne leader. But this belief by the Temnes was misplaced. After benefitting from their vote in 2002 and 2007, Obai rewarded the Temnes by turning his back on them and declaring himself a Loko by tribe.

Once again the Temnes have become rudderless. For the first time they have really become mightily conscious of their place, or the lack of it, within the portals of the APC; they know now that a proper Temne politician has little chance of ever being accepted as leader in a Limba-dominated APC. Edward Turay’s momentary sojourn as a presidential candidate of the APC in 1996 was an aberration. With the Government of President Joseph Momoh overthrown by the military junta of the NPRC, which was then in power, and the country in the midst of the destructive rebel war, arguably only the foolhardy would dare to venture under the banner of the APC and Edward Turay was one such person.

To illustrate this more vividly, i.e. that the Temnes have no place in the leadership of the APC, we need go no farther than 1991, when the APC expelled 10 of its prominent members. All except one were Temnes. They included Sheka Kanu, Abass Bundu, Thaimu Bangura and Hassan Gbessay Kanu. Their only crime was that in the debate in Parliament on the draft 1991 Constitution, they had the temerity to challenge the proposal that would have discountenanced President Momoh’s seven years in office (1985 -1991) in any computation of the number of terms served by him. Momoh wanted to be treated, after the entry into force of the 1991 Constitution, as if he was starting with a clean slate. That Constitution introduced for the first time in Sierra Leone a two-term limit as tenure for the office of President. The expelled members had piqued at the proposal, supported overwhelmingly by the rest of Parliament; so it did not pass.

What conclusions can one draw from all this? First that the Temnes have been yearning for a political leader they could call their own, is not in doubt. Second that the APC has no tolerance for any prominent Temne politician, is also amply illustrated. Third that a Temne politician is highly unlikely to be accepted as a presidential candidate of the APC, only few would disagree. Lucky aspirants for APC leadership are usually kicked out of office almost as fast as they entered (e.g. Kemoh Sesay and Serry-Kamal) or dispatched abroad to ambassadorial appointments (Edward Turay and Abdul Karim Koroma); the unlucky aspirants are accommodated six-feet below after going through a trumpery charge of treason (Fornah, Taqi and others).

The present APC Cabinet bears another salient confirmation. It started with three Temne Ministers in 2007. Kemoh Sesay, Minister of Transport and Aviation, fell victim to the cocaine-gate scandal of 2008, while Serry-Kamal got dismissed unceremoniously as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. Today, Alpha Kanu, is the sole and lonely Temne survivor in a Cabinet of 24 members compared to at least five Lokos and seven Limbas. After this, only a foggy mind can still argue that the New APC is a Temne Party.

The latest pronouncement, attributed to President Ernest Bai Koroma, and published as a front page headline in The Torchlight Newspaper edition of 2 April 2012 and captioned “I am a Loko by Tribe”, is all the more remarkable. The Temnes voted overwhelmingly for Ernest Koroma in the elections of 2002 and 2007 believing he was one of them. By the same token, his many previous pronouncements, such as the one at Victoria Park in 2008, that he hailed from a Temne parentage had given the Temnes high hopes. Therefore this latest declaration by Ernest must have come as a bolt to the Temnes, obliterating any lingering doubt, if one had existed, about Ernest Koroma’s true tribal identity.

Temnes everywhere scarcely hide their disgust and disappointment. They cannot understand the rationale for President Koroma’s declaration, especially in an election year. It’s like saying to the Temnes your votes don’t matter to me any more. Moreover, coming in the wake of the appointment of Kadi Sesay as Running Mate to the SLPP Flag Bearer, it looks like Koroma is bitter with her and with the Temnes for embracing her. The name Kadi Sesay is now on everybody’s lips, not just the women, and, with her vigorous promotion in the North by Abass Bundu, Bobson Sesay, Momodu Koroma, Chief Somaneh Kapen and Obai Kabia and others, all very prominent Temnes in the SLPP, she is most likely to fill the Temne leadership void. Add to that the South-East’s historical voting record for the SLPP and its presidential candidates, you need no clairvoyant to tell you which way the 2012 presidential election will go.

The only major challenge for the SLPP now is whether the elections would be devoid of violence, intimidation and illicitness. From its numerous press statements, the SLPP is gravely concerned about this, and rightly so, because where violence rules justice moans.

The alleged deployment of ex-combatants by the APC Government in certain strongholds of the Opposition SLPP in the South-East where they registered to vote, is as much cause for public concern as is the recent clandestine and extravagant importation of heavy weaponry for the Police Force. Developments such as these severely curtail the prospects of a “clean” election under the superintendence of the APC. These apart, the growing desperation of the APC for re-election of its leader has forced it into engaging the nefarious practice of vote buying, as exemplified by recent press reports of a donation of $65,000 to the youth traders of Lightfoot-Boston Street, Freetown, (aka Belgium). So, the worries of the SLPP seem justified. All the more so, as the pending November elections will be the first democratic elections ever to be conducted under an APC Government. Previous elections under APC superintendence are replete with a history of violence and intimidation, as exemplified by the elections of 1973, 1977, 1982 and 1986. And it is unlikely the story would vary this time around. So, for a party not accustomed to superintending elections in a democratic environment that is violence and intimidation-free, doing it for the first time may prove a daunting task.

Equally important is the United Nations injunction on the present Government to ensure that the elections take place in an environment that furthers the consolidation of peace and security and national cohesion in the country. This means the environment for the November elections must be violence and intimidation-free, transparent, credible, free and fair. It also suggests that the United Nations Security Council is unlikely to turn the other way in the event Christiana Thorpe’s National Electoral Commission decides to rig the elections in favour of any party as this would definitely impact on the country’s fragile peace and stability and bring the UN into yet another deeper involvement in Sierra Leone. Such a situation should be avoided at all cost.

The Security Council injunction is most welcomed. But much more is needed from the international community. Preserving the divided of peace and democracy for Sierra Leone, after 11 horrible years of RUF brutality, demands of the UN a role greater than being a mere fire brigade. If the UN is to properly respond to the yearning of Sierra Leoneans for permanent peace and security, it has to be more robust and proactive; sitting and waiting until the fires have been stoked up is definitely not a viable option. Besides, ex post facto solutions are seldom the best and usually prove more costly than preventive action. More especially, as the moral guarantor of Sierra Leone’s peace and security, the UN should insist that all incumbent Governments and Opposition parties scrupulously respect the electoral laws and allow only for an electioneering process that is devoid of illicitness, violence and intimidation. Moreover, incumbent Governments should be held bound, upon pain of prosecution before the International Criminal Court, to allow the democratic institutions to function properly so as to cause people to not want to resort to extra-constitutional means as a viable alternative for addressing political grievances.

The Police is another factor presently arousing deep concern. Their conduct since the 2007 election has not only undermined public confidence but has also severely compromised their impartiality. In some instances they are perceived as a handmaiden of the Executive. As if that is not bad enough, the recent re-arming of the Police by an incumbent Government ever so desperate for re-election against the backdrop of a Force that is increasingly perceived as too trigger-happy ( witness the Bo and Bumbuna shootings at unarmed civilians), has definitely raised fears within the public to alarming levels. Little wonder the Opposition SLPP is apprehensive about its security and the safety of its leaders. If the Police must be deployed at all in the November elections, they should be unarmed; alternatively, their deployment should be done alongside a UN Police Force, if the Opposition parties and the public are to have any confidence in the credibility of the elections.

To conclude, below is a simple deduction from the relationship between the Temnes and the APC:
Action by the Temnes Reward by the APC
--------------------------- -------------------------
1. Karefa-Smart helped APC to win 1967 elections Ungratefulness
2. S.I. used the Temnes to help the APC win many Elections from 1973 to 1982 Ungratefulness
3. Temnes voted for Ernest Bai Koroma in 2007 Ungratefulness
4. Temnes welcome Kadi Sesay for 2012 elections Ernest Koroma says he is Loko by tribe
5. Temnes vote in November 2012 for Kadi Sesay to be Vice-President of an SLPP Government Losing Temne vote spells eternal doom for the APC.

Bra Enviable
I like this article. It is very interesting.
The article's thought-provoking tone makes it very interesting.
Who is this article's author?
Keen Observer Snr
Mohamed Idriss Kanu is the author Bra E.
This article would be dismissed by the RED BERETS in this forum as irrelevant.

Bra Enviable
Keen Observer: Thank you for responding to my question. Although the article contains a few questionable arguments, its conceptualization of our political past is definitely interesting.

Ostrich's head in sand
Zack.... of course AFK, KL and Musa Kenema will. Have never thought they are smart enough to read between the lines anyway.

Joseph M Opalah
This is indeed a very interesting piece. It is hard to ignore some of the salient points raised.

Brigadier Tokpoi
No matter what trash you greengoes try to peddle around you cannot put a knife between the Temnes and their brainchild. You guys should be more worried about the Mendes who have been held hostage by an anachronistic ideology that entailed the support for the SLPP come what may, for umpteen years. Come November we are going liberate them from the grips of voodooism!

The writer of such cowdung needs to do a thorough research again with highlighted authoritative sources so as to get his facts right. Who told this hyperkinetic and misinformed writer that Karefa Smart was Temne? Even SI Koroma was a Madingo and not Temne. And to say EBK is Loko is like trying to strip old Sama Banya of his Mendehood. Guys try another one but this one does not only fall short of pulling a fast one but also fail to strike even the weakest chord. Please take your fallacy somewhere!
AFK Alie Formeh-Kamara
It is only Mendes who believe that your mother, father and grand parents have to be Mendes before you are considered to be a Mende for politics.

See how the author is trying hard to make politics a tribal issue like Mendes do.
Haven't you concluded already on this forum that Siaka Stevens was a Mende? Yet he got the support of majority of the people of Sierra leone.

There is trouble in the SLPP and many are running away because they see your tribalistic game very clearly. Because the SLPP has failed miserably, you are now trying to export tribalism to other regions in order to split the APC.

In many words you have defined the Temnes as progressives and the consumate democrats and nationalists who think as individuals for the betterment of Sierra Leone rather than follow some tribalistic ideal mostly sentimental and undemocratic like Mendes do.

Foday Kanu
The truth is always very bitter for most people. AFK & BT can't take a very simple truth by the writer of the articule who is actually Themne.. I am a full blooded themne and have to take this article very seriously.

BT: EBK himself has said he is a Loko. We cannot make him become Themne by force. His cabinet composition speaks volumes. Far more Lokos (a smaller tribe in the North) than Themnes. Why? EBK's Ekutay side is also very clear with Limba's dominating most ministerial roles. Thats how the likes of Karefa became 'oil minister'.

You can keep fooling yourself but not smart fellas like me.There is no Themne leader currently in the APC and this is the truth. The likes of the Eddy Turays have been long exiled to distant lands and here you are not even seeing through cheap EBK strategies.

AFK: the writer is a smart tribe-blind Themne man studying for his PhD. This is not a mende issue so don't rope that in. It seems the only real tribalist in all of this is you. So please examine yourself more.

Cornelius Hamelberg
Many thanks to “Keen Observer Snr” (Knice?) for his excellent, very informative and insightful analysis. The best that I have read in Bintumani so far.
The author of the erudite piece is not Dr..Sheikh Umarr Kamarah and that's an easy deduction because if that piece had been written by Sheikh Kamarah I'm sure that he would have emphasised the importance of the Themne language in acculturating and assimilating a lot of people. ( My mother a very flexible woman, spoke Themne. My father spoke Suso, fluently.....
Many people of other ethnic origins have grown up in a Temne environment and speak Themne and since language is one of the ways through which a person identifies himself, we should not forget that.
(In Nigeria the Igbos insist on the spelling IGBO ( not Ibo) which is the name of both the people and their language – and this is neither “boasting” nor “bragging” , not even “ Boston” - it's an elementary biographical fact and I'm aware of these differences since I lived with them in Eastern Nigeria, 1981 -1984 . The Ikwerre people of the uplands are sometimes referred to as Igbos.....)
I'm given to understand that if you speak Themne, the Temnes could accept you as one of them - just like the term Arab includes those who who speak Arabic.....( popular generalisations....)
The piece opens itself up to commentary, some of what cannot pass as facts are therefore only highly contentious opinions - and here are just a few comments, more questions to follow later:
Still unresolved after reading the piece, so it's Ignorance asking here :I understand that the Madinka ( Mandingo?) are close to the Mende , but the Lokkos ( I know a few, such as Tinga Sesay and his older brother, the late Solomon Sesay) - are they closer to the Temne or to the Mende? I would surmise that the Lokko are closer to the Mende - since Mr. Sesay married Josephine Demby, that and a few other factors give me that impression .... but please enlighten me, somebody.....
We had been led to believe that Ernest Bai Koroma's parents are Temne and Limba, but lo and behold! So OUR ERNEST is Lokko? Or is he trying to pull a Pa Shaki on us, to get the Lokkko voters?
A thorough reading of this piece would lead us to believe that given the people dynamics described in the article, Bio has the potential to win the next elections.
However, “Keen Observer Snr” omits this glaring item: He does not mention the residual bad blood still coming from the widespread perception, especially in the North, that Dr. John Karefa-Smart was cheated in the 1996 elections.
Also of importance, most commentators say that during the Siaka Stevens period, tribalism and the usual tribal polarisation ( North vs. South) was considerably diminished because the wily Stevens himself became a personification of all the tribes in Sierra Leone rolled into one (being simultaneously Limba, Temne and Mende., from Moyamba and everywhere else.....that and a few other factors....
“Once they accept a politician as leader, whether he is real Temne or not, they will follow him wherever he goes.” Reminds me of all the hassles after the Prophet of Islam's demise and that the events and decisions made about who was to be his successor at Saqifa bani saida were not easily reversible, once allegiance had been pledged to Abu Bakr....
“Major-General Joseph Saidu Momoh. Momoh was a military man, not a politician.”
Apparently the same can be said about Maada Bio's former side-kick Captain Valentine Strasser, but not of Brigadier-General Bio himself I suppose since he has always had some of his SLPP elders steering him, right?
“Amazing though it may sound, the Temnes have no political party they can call their own.” ( according to “Keen Observer Snr”)
Unlike the Mendes who have the SLPP - a party which they can call their own, their very own –the Mendeman's party, even as they talk about being the accommodating umbrella for all the people of Sierra Leone according to their motto of “One country ,One people” and by “One People” of course they mean the Mendes.
( Was just kidding, otherwise a mountain of abuse led by whelps like “ Fan of Cornelius” will surely fall on my head....
Of course the SLPP could try to market the idea of inclusiveness, of “One country, one people” to Israel and the PLO...then watch & pray for peace in the Middle East....
Elsewhere, it's one man, one vote …
What emerges most clearly is evidence that the Temnes are not a monolithic group, are more flexible, and even if in a straight battle between Maada Bio( Mende) and a Temne leader of the APC, I fear that it's not many Mendes who would vote for such an APC.
And if the APC had a Mende leader?
Will be back.
We Sweden
Sorie Jigimoteh
Reply with quote  #2 
So old Zakmal, what is your point here? After failing bigtime with this claptrap in 2012, do you think it can be instrumental in unseating the APC this time? Having failed to see the Temnes divided after the election  of Samura as flagbearer do you think this drivel will work? You guys have tried the regional tactic of inciting the people of Port Loko against the APC and the people of Bombali so as create a disenchantment that will lead to an exodus but failed miserably. The present political situation has trashed all the claims made in your historical about Temnes being prevented from leading the APC. Now that a trueblue Temne is the flagbearer of the APC, you are resorting to your mythology which is being rendered useless as toilet paper. Whether you like it or not Samura will be the next president of Sierra Leone, the second after EBK. The Temnes and the APC are poised to kick your butts for another ten years.
Reply with quote  #3 
E old nar cuss? Wonder no more why you guys have been used and abused by your party for so long. Nar den big fool behaviour lek dis. Y’all are quick to call the SLPP “Mende man”party but y’all chose to close your eyes to the blatant disrespect, humiliation and yes killing of your tribesmen within your party. Bo go sidom saful yar. Orsai Orwai pan big fool.

Bra Mayima
Reply with quote  #4 
The article is very compelling especially when one considers the fact that it was written by a Temne intellectual.  The facts that are eloquently argued in this brilliant piece have long been suspected in Salone's political circles.  The APC uses Temnes to achieve its goals only to turn around and dump them or even kill some if necessary.

It is a shame that Temnes like Musa Kenema will continue to deny the abuse that his people have endured at the hands of the ruthless and ungrateful APC.  Instead, Musa Kenema will come up with a fraudulent moral equivalence that Mendes are equally used by Sherbros and Mandingoes in the SLPP.   Well, who does not know that the Margais are from Gbagbantoke in the Moyamba district, in the heart of Mendeland?  And  that the name Margai has a meaning in Mende.  And who does not know that Maada Bio is from Tihun, a Mende town in Bonthe district and that Tihun means a town for the production of tea in Mende.   

Ask Charles Margai and Maada Bio if they know a single word of Sherbro.  Further, who does not know that Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was born in Kailahun town of a Mende mother that hails from the Coomber chieftaincy family?

But even if we are to go by Musa Kenema's screwed up logic that the SLPP has been hijacked by Sherbros and Mandingoes, the SLPP has never mistreated or abused Mendes in the manner that the APC has done to Temnes.   

When will we ever have a Temne president in Sierra Leone?  All the major ethnic groups in Africa have produced a head of state save the Temnes of Sierra Leone.  Why Temne brothers and sisters why?   Why not join your Mende brothers and sisters in the SLPP and have a smooth ride to the presidency at least for the first time in Salone's history?
Reply with quote  #5 
"Historically, they have followed leaders, not parties. Once they accept a politician as leader, whether he is real Temne or not, they will follow him wherever he goes. The crucial point here is that they must accept the person as a leader and in return the leader’s fidelity to the tribe must remain unquestioned"

Can you imagine what Sierra Leone will become if all tribes behave this way. The Temnes are not only politically secure, but knows what is good for them as a group. They are very aware that a good friend is better than a bad brother. They like winners and politically, they have won more elections than any tribe in Sierra Leone regardless of the party or individual they voted for. Presently, like has been stated here by many, the Temnes, as a group, are the beneficiaries of the EBK government. Who can argue with that?
And once more,

"The crucial point here is
that they must accept the
person as a leader and in
return the leader’s fidelity
to the tribe must remain
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #6 
@SK: What percentage of Themne are“True-Blue”? Are they more than multi-ethnic Themnes?

Teacher Conteh
Reply with quote  #7 
"Can you imagine what Sierra Leone will become if all tribes behave this way."  KL,


You are misinterpreting the writer's arguments.  The core argument of the writer is that Temnes have been blind followers of political hacks who have turned around and used and abused them.  Do not recommend that infantile and misguided behavior for all ethnic groups in Sierra Leone.  It is reprehensible and retrogressive.

Party politics is about partisanship.  Accordingly, the only leader that one must follow is the one that best represents your interests.  If your interests are best represented, you will be better situated to help your community and your country.

Temnes as a group are not the beneficiaries of the EBK government.  Lokos and Limbas have benefitted far more than Temnes.  And I will dare say that even Mendes have benefited from EBK's leadership than Temnes.  Apart from Mendes being appointed cabinet ministers, a Mende man has even made it to the Vice Presidency under EBK.  The current cabinet of EBK only has one prominent Temne - Alpha Kanu.  And look at the way the guy has been treated by EBK all these years.
Reply with quote  #8 

"The core argument of the writer is that Temnes have
been blind followers of political hacks who have turned
around and used and abused them.  Do not recommend
that infantile and misguided behavior for all ethnic groups
in Sierra Leone.  It is reprehensible and retrogressive."

So we can say the same about Tejan Kabba who was accused by Mendes for employing his Mandingo people while he neglected the Mendes, right? We can also say the same of him to allow Hinga Norman to be arrested and disgraced, right? We can also call Margai a political hack that supported EBK, right? 

"Temnes as a group are not the beneficiaries of the EBK
government.  Lokos and Limbas have benefitted far more
than Temnes.  And I will dare say that even Mendes have
benefited from EBK's leadership than Temnes.  Apart from
Mendes being appointed cabinet ministers, a Mende man
has even made it to the Vice Presidency under EBK. 
The current cabinet of EBK only has one prominent Temne 

Now there goes your problem...when appointment to a ministerial position becomes a benefit to a tribe, you begin to wonder how we get here. So you are saying that Mendes have benefited from EBK's leadership than Temnes, right? What you are doing here is a reinforcement of the belief that "Mendeman lek power". You are happy with ministerial positions being offered to Mendes and then you complain that EBK haven't done anything for the Mendes. You complain that EBK focuses his attention to the North, Bombali district to be specific, which is mostly populated by Temnes. 

And finally, bro, this love affair in pulling down the Temnes, a very diverse people, is saying a lot about what is going through your mind. I am Temne and I have supported the SLPP, the APC and now KKY. I have no doubt that I am being used. I am a freeborn and are free to support any candidate I wish to support. Now to the quotation of statement above, 

"Can you imagine what Sierra Leone will
become if all tribes behave this way."

Reply with quote  #9 
"I have no doubt that I am being used."
I have no doubt that I am NOT being used.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #10 
“... I am Temne and I have supported the SLPP, the APC and now KKY....” - KL

First it was Eddie Grant, then Zakmal, MKK also according to Zakmal...and now KL.

Why have they jumped on to the KKY train?

Haba! Nar wetin make dem do so?

Wonder who MK and Bra E are leaning toward....
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #11 
Could it be due to KKY die hard stalwart Ishmael Yillah’s efforts?
Doubtful as he (IY) usually buckled under pressure and ran away.

So why did these brothers jump on the train?
Teacher Conteh
Reply with quote  #12 

Let me start by exposing the ignorant fool that you are.  Between you and I who is obsessed about a tribe?  Why are you in this habit of attacking anyone who says the truth about tribal politics as a Mende man that hates Temnes?  The very guy that wrote the original article is a Temne guy working towards his Ph.D.  Are you as intelligent as he is?  Do know how many years  he has spent researching Salone politics, you dunderhead?  Why are you so obsessed with Mende people?

How many folks complained about Tejan Kabbah neglecting Mende folks when his VPs were Mendes and many of his cabinet ministers were Mendes? 

"Now there goes your problem...when appointment to a ministerial position becomes a benefit to a tribe, "  KL

If you do not understand that a ministerial appointment does benefit an ethnic group then you are just the buffoon that you have always been.  Why are US presidents always put under pressure to have an inclusive government, you damn fool?  Do you know how that affects national cohesion?

Lastly, I don't care if your next party is going to be party AZY.  You cannot pass yourself off as a model for anybody in Sierra Leone.  Your level of intelligence is very low and  you can swallow any hook that is dangled in front of you.  Party politics is always about partisanship.  It is who that protects your interests that you must follow, you dummy.  Get some intelligence into your parrot brain

Reply with quote  #13 
Specky, both major parties are in the habit of accusing each other of either tribalism, nepotism, cannibalism,anarchism,associationalism, authoritarianism, behaviorism, classism, cynicism,ethnicentrism, feminism, immoralism, utopianism and what have you. It's about time we come to the realization that sometimes the devil you don't know is better for you. Bio and Samura can kiss my a$$ as we need change in Sierra Leone. Why continue to fill new bottles with old wine and then come back to complain? If KKY fails we elect someone else.
Reply with quote  #14 
Teacher Conteh, you are now into name calling...why? If you think I am going down into the gutter with you then you are wrong. Have a stressful wretched day!
Teacher Conteh
Reply with quote  #15 
I am having a great day with a Temne woman on my side. How about that?
Peeper Jackson
Reply with quote  #16 
Teacher Conteh, no dry yaiye cover Shame now oh KL has demolished you and you are coming back save your bloodied self. We must learn to respect each other. For every negative word against one tribe there are more and very lethal words against yours. So let us stay away from these tribal bashing.
Teacher Conteh
Reply with quote  #17 
Peeper Jackson,

Who made you lawyer for the intellectually-challenged KL?  Why are you Temne laimpays on this forum so insecure about yourself.  Is it every body that says the truth about Temnes that is Mende?  Look, we have more than twelve ethnic groups in Salone.  I belong to one of them and it is not Mende.  Do you want to know my ethnicity, laimpay boy?  You must butt cotton tree first, you scum.
Reply with quote  #18 
Look what you have become. A gutter rat that spews every nasty kaka you swallowed from the latrine. And this is the result from one arse kicking you received from the mighty KL. Man crawl back to the hole you came from.
Eddie Grant
Reply with quote  #19 
Hello Bintumanians,
I've returned from a vigorous campaign to elect the best candidate as president for our country.
Despite being jet lagged, I cannot resist the temptation to join in on this discussion. I'm not going to delve into tribal bashing, however, I'll like to point out that the temnes are the largest and most influential tribe in the country contrary to claims that they're the second largest by Zakmal. This is an undisputed fact.
Just to reinforce statements from KL that the temnes are the most patriotic and more progressive. I'll attempt to share my experiences during my campaign trips in the country. To start with the temnes are currently divided in their support and depending on who they regard as a progressive leader. As things stands, not all temnes are in support of the APC though many of them decided to stay with the party because they believe the party have done well.
But most of them have switched their allegiance to the NGC because there's a very strong belief that our leader is the most determined and more fitting to lift the country up. KKY is the only candidate with a clear manifesto as to where he wants to take the country. His policies and ideas are unmatched.
There's clear evidence that the coming elections will result to a run off and there's no doubt about it.
Also one thing is clear that both APC and SLPP will not have an easy ride in their so called strongholds. The APC support in port Loko, Koinadugu and Tonkolili districts is being fragmented with only Bombali proving impervious. Whereas, the SLPP's support in Kailahun, ( except Segbwema) Bo and Pujehun are being fragmented with only Kenema proving impenetrable. Kono, as things stands, is up for grabs mainly between NGC and APC as SLPP support dwindled in that region.
Freetown being the decider, NGC only need to gain few percentages from all regions nationwide to clinch the presidency.

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #20 
“But most of them have switched their allegiance to the NGC because there's a very strong belief that our leader is the most determined and more fitting to lift the country up.”- Honorable Eddie Grant

Welcome back Eddie.

In the post-independence era, Themnes have abandoned the APC in droves only once during free elections, and that was in 1996. They mostly voted for other parties led by northern political leaders...primarily UNPP and PDP. In the absence of credible scientific survey data, what makes you think the majority of them abandon APC again?
Sheikh Mans
Reply with quote  #21 
"In the absence of credible scientific survey data, what makes you think the majority of them abandon APC again?"  Spectator 007


You took the words right out of my mouth.  I really don't understand what some of these guys rely on when they make these outlandish projections and claims.  Where do they get their facts from?  It is the epitome of dishonesty and deceit when you try to pass off your opinions for facts.

What does Eddie Grant know about the Southeast to suggest that SLPP's support is fragmenting in that region?  And did he conduct a scientific survey of voters in the North?

I did not want to say this but I am forced to utter that educated folks do not put their credibility on the line to make stupid and nonsensical prognostications.

Eddie Grant
Reply with quote  #22 
Thank you bra Specky.
Well, there's one undisputed fact about temnes. They prefer following leaders that appears to be progressive, rather than those that belong to the same tribe. And majority of us realised that the APC and SLPP haven't done enough in the past 2 decades. We always believe a better Sierra Leone is for all tribes, this is why you find that temnes constantly changes their allegiance. Perhaps it's due to their love of business which requires peace and stability. We believe that running a business in a politically stable environment is more profitable therefore being in power is less appealing.
Although over the years, we've being taunted by others for not producing a president. Although this made us more competitive, we still retain that patriotic straits of choosing a better leader for all.
So if you see us following Kandeh Yumkella in droves it's because we believe he's the right person amongst all aspirants regardless of tribe to rule Sierra Leone .
All we want is a Sierra Leone everyone will be proud of.
Eddie Grant
Reply with quote  #23 
Shiek Mans,
I've just returned from Salone after a month long nationwide campaign tour. I need no scientific proof to know that many of our folks from all works of life are yearning for change. You have every reason to be confident about the southeast due to their retrospective leaning to the SLPP. However, you need to be physically present in the country to know how much has changed. The southeast, though predominantly leaning to the SLPP you'll be surprised to know that NGC is enjoying a huge support there. You must also be mindful that the southeast is home to many people from other parts of the country that are not SLPP supporters but are part of the statistics of registered voters in the region.
It Will be a blessing in disguise if the SLPP can come second in the first round.
In the North, SLPP's support in karene and Kambia has been taken by the NGC. Port Loko and Koinadugu is shared between APC and NGC with only Bombali firmly in APC's grip. Tonkolili have vowed to vote en masse for the NGC and teaching APC a lesson for abandoning them after being the only region to give APC a 100 % support.
Reply with quote  #24 
I have been away for a while folks so please clarify some burning issues for me:

Is this the same Eddy Grant who claimed during the devastating Ebola epidemic that water sources were poisoned with formaldehyde in Bombali and that the rising deaths were not from Ebola? 

Is this the same animal who became a phantom presidential aspirant for his Lalaland Party after consuming enough binch ehn kanda in his council flat I Brixton?

If it is then, is this not silly season all over again? How can any sane person take this cockroach seriously?

Ishmael Yillha
Reply with quote  #25 
...but Samura Kamara is Full blood Themne, so the argument of APC sidelining the Themne folks is old and stale. Next!!

Let's focus on the abysmal performance  of Samura in governance and the risks involve in electing him to the presidency. Besides, the northern region  is a mosaic region due to many years of intermarriages. Take for instance, my mother (a former schoolmate to Samura Kamara's younger twin sisters) is themne/limba from Kamalo , but my father is a pure Sousou from Kukuna, Brimaya Chiefdom, Kambia district. I'm also very fluent in both Themne and Sousou languages.
Reply with quote  #26 
I never saw the original article. But I noted in the quoted commentaries that Cornelius speculated that I may have been the author. I am flattered by the allegory because the piece is well written. Let me however flatly deny that I was the author. By the way I am too loyal to my handle and too proud of myself to use another handle.
Sorie Jigimoteh
Reply with quote  #27 
Korthor Eddie, if I ever have to disagree with you then it is now. As you claimed you were in Salone very recently and because of that you think you can make not only outlandish but also unresearched and ethereal claims that belie the reality on the ground.
Much to your surprise I was also in Salone in August and September. I took the opportunity to travel outside Freetown to the north, south and east. For your info I am also an ethnographer so I had no problems to find out that the NGC you are bartolining is not well-known or accepted as you want us to believe. From my observations and interviews, it is clear that KKY needs to wait for five or ten years to start thinking of occupying the State House. Sierra Leoneans have never been conscious as now: they have been deceived umpteen times by sweet-talking politicians and they know KKY will not be any different.

Now coming to the Temnes issue. You, as well as a host of others who think like you, are getting the noble and smart Temnes wrong. Whosoever told you that the Temnes are ambivalent in their APC support or loyalty needs to think a zillion times. By all indications the Temnes are unprecedentedly firmly behind the APC this time. For all intents and purposes, the Temnes have waken up to the reality of having the leverage in the making of any president. All the Temnes are currently doing, is applying with regards  to KKY and the SLPP, the KANKADIKOR theory of CHAP YOU CHAP AND VOTE FOR YOUR CHOICE. The Temnes are very expert in kankadikorism and Solomon Berewah can attest to that in retrospect. Very soon KKY's initials will change to KDK(KankaDiKor) after chopping enough of his UNIDO benefits.
Still on the Temnes, EBK has proven he is a master planner. EBK made his continuity plan and pulled it off big time! How? By selecting a bi-descendant in Samura Kamara he placed the Temnes in a catch 22 situation. Samura Kamara is a Temne born in Bombali with paternal links to Port Loko. The Temnes would have been divided and frustrated had Samura been a descendant of Bombali but with this masterstroke EBK has produced the strongest cohesive among the Temnes. The Port Loko APCers will not abandon their Temne brother because doing so will amount to both fratricide and suicide.That will leave KKY in the cold.

If the crowds in Bo and Freetown are indicative of popularity or acceptability, then KKY is no threat to the APC,SLPP or the ADP. Who says it is difficult to mobilize mammoth crowds in big cities? Is every constituent of a crowd a member of the organizing group? Eddie, with money it is so easy to mobilize people in any African country where hunger, poverty and deprivation reign supreme. Almost everyone whether low class or middle class citizen has the extrinsic motivation to attend public launchings or other gatherings knowing in advance what he or she stands to gain in terms of cash, food, drinks etc. Don't deceive KKY that he has the support of everyone in those crowds; some of them are kankadikor specialists who will never vote for any party other than the APC or SLPP.Most savismans in Sierra Leone are making hay while the sun shines and for them right now the sun shines with the KKY campaign activities where there will be all the goodies, free lunch etc. Wait till the campaigns start in earnest, you will run like hell to the APC and wish you did not pitch tents with KKY.

Regarding the fragmentation you harped on, there is neither indication nor prognosis to suggest that in the north west. Maybe to some extent in the southeast if the SLPP mende-dominated defections should be a cause for concern.

Finally KKY is not the panacea to Salone's problems. He is more theoretical than pragmatic and needs to convince me using the ARA (Actors Resources Activities)model.
Eddie Grant
Reply with quote  #28 
Try not to be complacent like your SLPP counterparts. The threat posed by NGC is real, just a week or so ago, I was on my way to Kenema and stopped at Taima in Bo district visiting a friend. I was in full NGC regalia. within a few minutes, we were surrounded by a huge crowd who made no secret of their support for the NGC. We spent the rest of the day chatting with the locals and decided to pass the night there.
In the morning, news have reached the paopa camp that we're pulling huge crowds for the NGC. By the time we left the outskirts of the town, the paopa thugs believed to have from Bo were chasing behind us with stones. My pick-up was hit at the back and sustained a broken brake light. A similar incident took place 3 days later in Segbwema. This, and other types of behaviour by the SLPP's paopa brigade is highly responsible for the disillusionment amongst southeastern youths.
Bio and his cohorts are afraid of pluralism and fair competition, they believe that the southeast is a no go area for other candidates but they're completely wrong. The NGC has made inroads into the heartland of Mendeline. Dismissing NGC's threat on both sides could be costly.
We've travelled to almost all the precincts of the country during our countrywide campaign tour and what I've learned about our politics is immense.
Contrary to SJ's claim of spending money, others are saying that the NGC don't want to spend. Most times we only talk of our party's plans and others will follow without receiving money.
Only time will tell who the people want.
Sheikh Mans
Reply with quote  #29 
"The NGC has made inroads into the heartland of Mendeline."  Eddie Grant

Keep dreaming Eddie, keep dreaming.  I was born and raised in Freetown but I am married to a Southeasterner.  Southeasterners are my in-laws and my wife I though still residents of the United States, make frequent business trips to Salone.

Look man, based on your naive postings, you really do not know or understand Southeasterners.  Southeasterners are warm folks who will always extend a kind hospitality to strangers.  But don't you ever think that they will dump their own for a stranger in politics.   

Maada Bio is the most popular politician in the Southeast, no doubt about that.  No body beats him in that region.  If Kandeh Yumkella had been sure of beating Bio in the Southeast, he would never have left the SLPP.  The SLPP provides a better path to the presidency for Yumkella.  Yumkella knows that very well.  

Also, I have not seen any evidence of a mass influx of Mendes and Temnes to the NGC.  I don't think it will happen.  Till date, no prominent Temne has left the APC for NGC.  And the only prominent Mendes that have left the SLPP for NGC are Andrew Keillie and Albert Joe Demby.  But these are leaders without followers.  SLPP will not miss them.

Folks all over the world vote along ethnic lines.  But you cannot win national elections with an alliance of ethnic minorities.  Yumkella has Susus and Mandigoes in his camp.  But even if all the Susus and Mandigoes in Salone vote for Yumkella, he will still not make the runoff.  Susus and Mandigoes account for only 2% of Salone's population.  Sorry, but this is the truth, my friend.
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