Those who have watched Sierra Leone's political scene since independence in 1961 will tell you that what is unfolding in the mother country is in reality and upon reflection, nothing new. It's all a part of the political canvas still on the easel of the ruling AFRC Mark2 headed by Ernest Bai Koroma.
The top drawer of the present set-up and classified as "TOPMOST PRIORITY" is how to stay in power for at least ten years, two terms of five years and junta operatives in civilian robes are bent on going to any lengths to achieve just that never mind the fallout of their nefarious activities.
The first phase involved the herding of top SLPP politicians/operatives into a situation where they could be charged with treason and they thought they had an opportunity when they attacked the offices of the SLPP after the clock tower incident of March last year. In secret meetings of "new" and "old" APC party henchmen, John Benjamin and some of his top aides were to have been made the subject of a treason trial that would have included, among others, charges like inciting the people to rebellion, causing disaffection towards the government etc etc with home-grown "witnesses" ready to take any oath in court to buttress their plans.
Lying in court and under oath is nothing new to the APC when it comes to achieving political aims and AFRC Mark2 is no exception given its composition.
They discovered that this could not work with the eyes of human rights groups within and without the country firmly focused on the government and it's agents and besides while this could have worked during the Stevens, S I Koroma and Christian Kamara-Taylor era, 21st century Sierra Leone was just not prepared for that.
Remember when Ernest Bai Koroma won the 2007 elections?
He took ages before he could name a cabinet - a cabinet that he had promised would not have any elected MP serving. He could well have forgotten the contributions to the APC kitty of the likes of present Works minister A P Koroma. (Remember he had promised at a meeting of the AFRC Mark2 caucus that come the next elections in 2012, Sierra Leoneans would be open-mouthed at the number of "unopposed" candidates they would present.)
Remember too that Ernest Bai Korma and his cabal had set up a group to take a look at SLPP corruption.
Yes, everyone wanted to see just how much the likes of Prince Harding and other top SLPP ministers and operatives had siphoned into individual pockets. Sierra Leoneans were even more eager to know just who benefited from contracts and how these were awarded.
Whatever the group "discovered", it was never made public, nor was it a subject of any judicial scrutiny. It was meant to have been a hanging sword of Damocles that should have cowered the opposition. This failed to work as a ploy given the level of corruption within the present mafia where Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura has yet to account for that India rice as well as other suspected anomalies in her running of the ministry.
The next ploy was to discredit the main opposition SLPP as an entity not fit for purpose while praising Ernest Bai Koroma to high heavens.
To achieve this, they convinced themselves that in this age of the internet, outlets would be created/taken over that would drink deep from State coffers and before you could say "Show Me", there appeared on the ether a multitude of "news" outlets the main aim of which was to rubbish the main opposition SLPP, hurl abuse and other forms of invectives in the direction of any and all those who criticise the thieving and corrupt cabal of Ernest Bai Koroma and deny anything they consider "negative".
"Unpatriotic", "Calumny" and "Unethical" are just three of their favourite words!!!!!
At the moment, AFRC Mark2 has more than ten outlets passing off as "independent" reporting and commentary outlets. Read one and you know what obtains in the rest from the Sierra Leone section of something called Newstime Africa through the Daily Mail and SLIMO to the Sierra Leone edition of the Rwanda Kangura hate publication.
The State House Press Officer Shekito continues to run his AFRC-allied Torchlight using state resources.
Information Minister Ibrahim Kargbo continues to have a hand in the New Citizen with both newspapers being paid for adverts out of state coffers!!!!!!
So-called Press Attaches, civil servants who had no business publishing anything without the say-so of the person manning the International desk at the Ministry of Information and Communication now have a field day - spewing all and everything that creates "an enabling atmosphere" for their puppet masters at the Ministries of Information and Communication and Foreign and International Affairs as well as at State House.
The Press Attaches' overzealous overtures to paint AFRC Mark2 as the best thing that could have happened to Sierra Leone are slowly painting themselves into a corner where they are losing their neutrality as civil servants and publicly throwing their weight, not behind the government as an entity, but the APC party.
In the process, like the days of old, the one-party state evil monster, the Press Attaches civil servants governed by rules of the Civil Service and supposed to be apolitical now see their future tagged to Ernest Bai Koroma remaining in office for fear that should he be kicked out, then its back to the hustling days on the streets of Freetown and other areas on the usual "coasting" missions.
And that is not all. At the moment, all previous attempts at making the Police and Army professional bodies are being slowly eroded and reversed as APC and junta operatives are put into key command structures with men and women infiltrated to obey those orders come election time.
The judiciary is being carved out into the previous APC mould under the one party system with Serry Kamal and the judiciary compromised to see things the AFRC Mark2 way.
The unfolding has just begun.....how it ends is eagerly awaited.