Two new words that will profoundly and predictably be in the 2017/18 lexicography of Sierra Leone presidential race will be: khanism and Khanistas. For those out of the loop – Khanism is a new ideological philosophy to holistically uphold, adhere, and energise President EBK’s legacy, full throttle. And Khanistas means – those who subscribe religiously and ready to defend the ideologue and philosophy of Khanism. Khanism stems from the vision, understudy and apprenticeship of the illustrious son of Port Loko District, Alhaji Alpha Khan, whose brand name, ‘THE PRESIDENTIAL APPRENTICE,’’ has spread like wildfire in Harmattan!
How other wanna-be presidential (APC) nominee hopefuls, now – more than ever, wished they hailed from Port Loko district! That is, to give them a sporting chance of landing the top slot in the looming 2017 presidential convention. Grudgingly, Port Loko district had never secured, potentially commanded, and sat astride such a defining period and moment in the nation’s history since a semblance of Liberal democracy and a sense of perestroika pervaded our political landscapes! Port Loko is now inarguably the political holy golden grail that anyone who even remotely craves and relishes a shot at presidential power (in 2018) would wish to set eyes on! And hyper-venting prayerfully, wanted to be associated with, too! The next APC presidential nominee and – against all odds, the next nation’s head of state and government – should, actually – will come from Port Loko district, if only the cards are dealt right and not through a sleigh of hand. Port Loko is now not only at a crossroads – but at the cusp of potential perpetual ‘pariah-hood’ or pertinent participation at presidential power-politics. That choice and destiny, reside both rascally and sombrely, in the collective hands of Port Loko descendants and their prominent politicians and high stake holders! If port Loko does not shake off the apathy, subterfuge and divisiveness, and engage responsibly with due diligence as a sentient and proactive sprinter – then this noble, humongous landmass that spawned from its loin the fearless patriot and warrior, Bai Bureh Kablai, who gave the British conquistadors, a good run for their money, then it would fatefully, fatalistically, fearfully scupper its only sober, relevant opportunity and legitimate clarion call for the changing of the guard in its favour on our generation’s watch. A bleary prospect if you ask my opinion – if its stakeholders and those who matter do not stop the bickering, blustering, bullying, and barricading of our own sons and daughters of the soil, and close ranks to present a consensual choice as candidate for the APC Presidential Convention.
Port Loko district is a flamboyant cauldron of an acculturation of different fiefdom fealty – making it both a verdant political rainforest and ironically a subtle vortex. It seemingly intractable complexities and untapped human resource are all magnets for interesting engagement and romancing. Any savvy politician who taps into – and courts port Loko’s awakening movement with salvos of sincere engagement and genuine intent to make this economically and physically derelict monolith a regenerated hub for its restive youths and a Mecca for outside investment – will stand the fat chance of raking in mammoth political capital.
That is where one man, who stands regally tall – and out, comes to the fore. That man is no other than Alhaji Dr Alpha Khan. The man who is now a mushrooming brand name and whose fitting and acclaimed middle name: ‘’THE PRESIDENTIAL APPRENTICE’’ – has never before been so aptly pronounced and pertinent! In visionary and transformative politics, any outgoing leader who means well for his/her nation, will be defined by the shrewd ability to have as a successor someone who can determinately build on his/her foundation and forge a stronger, safer, more viable nation; a potential charismatic leader; a savant politician with the most cogent reasoning, the clearest grasp of the facts, and the most persuasive argument; not simply the one who shouts the loudest. Alpha Khan CAN! The APC flock –and invariably, the nation, are holding their collective breath for an emerging leader who is fluent enough about both the world and the nooks and cranny of our country – to be squarely entrusted with ultimate responsibility. It is a subtle truth that good leadership is not only the province of charismatic individuals with a vision, but also the need for a large dose of quiet managerial competence. Alpha Khan exceedingly and disproportionately steps up to the plate. He is a superb cut above the rest of his rivals, who cuts everyone’s grass!
While Alpha Khan throws off shimmering strobe rays, his pale shadowy minion rivals emit wane candle flickers in the arena. His inimitable people’s skills and effusive charm are but only the tip of the human iceberg that president EBK’s lieutenant and trusted, loyal apprentice, Alpha Khan, brings to the leadership kitty. Alhaji alpha Khan is resuscitating the Napoleon’s famous quip: ‘’Politicians are peddlers of hope.’’ He is rebranding it and making it warmly reassuring again. The ‘Presidential Apprentice’ is the nation’s only viable peddler of hope after the driver, president EBK, purposefully hands over the stewardship as the most capable driving force to steer the nation towards the endgame of his agenda for prosperity. Alpha Khan is the awaited new ‘Bai Bureh Kablai’ and the political talisman to Sierra Leone’s dreams. He is our nation’s audacity of hope!
For the apprentice to be daringly bold enough to register his presidential intent in his own home town in the citadel of the Local Town Council, in the stately presence of his boss, the Commander-in-chief, and other Port Loko stakeholders and nationwide politicians, and where he confidently, with uttermost humility, asked the President of the nation and the leader and chairman of the APC party, in his inimitable and disarmingly strategic style – for the keys to the mammoth crane of statecraft – demonstrate the presidential apprentice’s unprecedented signature of sincerity, confidence, and humility: to either be sneered at or be acquiesced to. The latter was presumptively the case.
History is one stubborn son of a gun! It is a dogged shadow of those who do not learn their lesson(s). History is replete with tales of treachery. Both from people and circumstances. And if not negotiated right, could inadvertently or unwittingly, contrive and conspire to change the course of history. Treachery is phenomenally perennial, classic, cabalistic, all consuming – and as corrosive as human history itself. The most oiled and effective traitors and assassins are those closer to home! Those we see as family and friends! Iago’s death knell antics in Othello’s destruction; Judas’ betrayal of the son of God; Lucifer’s breach of trust and paucity of fealty to his creator; Brutus’ deep dagger cut (the most fatal blow to Caesar) – and the infamous words: ‘’Et tu Brutus?’’ -both metaphorically and theatrically captured and embodied the quintessential imagery of betrayal at its most undiluted! And the most recent reconstruction of life imitating art in betrayal and treachery – is the Brexiteer champions’ (Boris and Gove) narrative.
Politics has a long memory. As long and deep-seated as that of an elephant’s memory! If there’s going to be another treachery to derail port Loko’s presidential destiny in our lifetime – at least let it not rear its darn ugly head from within our Port Loko midst! Musa Kabbia is long departed from the shores of the living. But his dastardly deed shall echo in eternity. The narratives might be skewed, but they sure do reflect, with uncanny prescience, mark Twain’s sage words – ‘’history does not repeat itself. It rhymes.’’ I pray, let port Loko eschew being the one to bring out the gilded dagger and cut Alhaji Dr Alpha Khan’s flesh. Port Loko’s shadowy agents could be promised their pound of flesh. By consummate, oily, figurines that have their own scripted agenda. And with unsavoury glee and a wolverine smile, its conspiratorial stakeholders would feel like the vindictive Jew, Shylock! But they must hastily remember that they could be asked also to cut only a pound of flesh. No more and no less and not a drop of blood to spill from Port Loko’s political flesh! But would they be able to do just that? Remember Portia and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice?
The stealthy subterfuge landscaping port Loko is equally worrisome and asphyxiating in all its ugly forms. Politics is the art of the possible. And, also the playground of cruel irony! If Alpha Khan’s ambition is waylaid treacherously; his endeavours to walk the path of his revered boss, EBK, is scuppered by Troiskyists – it will be the nation’s irredeemable and irreversible loss. And the painstakingly great deeds and equally great dream of president EBK to be blatantly derailed by a clique of Troiskyists and a bonfire of deceit and unpatriotic fervour. Citizen Khan, the presidential apprentice, understands with an uncanny instinct, the serious and pressing responsibility to his country. Here is a man who will be more predisposed to a more equitable distribution of income; a more egalitarian social structure, and increased popular participation in public life that will increase political and social activism. If we irresponsibly and recklessly neglect the sterling leadership qualities of Alhaji Dr Alpha Khan, the presidential apprentice, to be deemed fittingly qualified as the top man to be at the helm, we will have squandered considerable domestic and international goodwill. lf we let this man slip through our political hands, that marriage of goodwill between port Loko and the rest of the country will be estranged irrevocably – if a man who can bridge that gap between the haves and the have-nots is not sensibly anointed. Fellow Sierra Leoneans, ladies and gentlemen, voters of all shades, that man is no other than THE PRESIDENTIAL APPRENTICE: ALPHA KHAN.