It often takes time for people and entities to be loved or hated, respected or despised. For me I happen to be someone who is not easily led to love or hate the next person, or any entity, for whatever reason.
That doesn’t mean I have the wisdom of the cat or I am thick-skinned like the polar bear. Like you, I am emotional, sometimes; and sometimes I even cry, or will damn you like I will a leech, a mosquito, or rain that refuses to cease. Sometimes, however, I go to town hollering unnecessarily. Maybe this is one of such times – for me to say today, ‘Grateful I.B. Kargbo, Ungrateful APC!’
I am not a fan or supporter of either IB Kargbo or the APC – although I admire to a great extent the man, and like in 2007 I again voted for the APC in 2012 (4 for 4 if you like). By the way, I voted for the SLPP in 1996 and in 2002, because you see, so far, I always have succeeded in knowing the winner before time. (Yes, I know black thing wae ripe, as my Krio in-laws would say).
From a successful career in journalism, and Lord Knows what else, I.B. Kargbo has emerged to be one of those men I love, excluding his middle-of-the-road posture on many an issue over the years. I have always wondered why he is not like Jesus or like the United States, declaring ‘You are either with us or you are against us’ on some crucial issues. Instead, like the British and St Paul, he has mastered the art of persuasion.
And that has paid off to a large extent – the APC knows that, but like the SLPP, they have for the first time, proved ungrateful, in dumping the man with the honeyed tongue, Salone’s wise Odysseus. That’s not wisdom, if you ask me, although the APC will not ask me because they have so many advisers now, including Sylvia Blyden.
For me and for now, it is useless to display I.B. Kargbo’s achievements on behalf of this government, and what he could have achieved if he had been retained in President Koroma’s Cabinet. Time, not me, will prove this government’s wisdom in dropping him from the Cabinet.
But all of us need to hear of the misuse and abuse the APC has done to one of its own – and especially those turn-coats, like Usu Boie Kamara, ought to hear and take this as a warning to let them mind their words and their actions in their new posts.
I don’t know why I always admire and almost worship patriots, and I don’t know why I will not hesitate to blaspheme when I see them being vilified or crucified. Patriots like Moses, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln – and their never ending train. And in Sierra Leone, today, I.B. Kargbo like the late Olu Gordon, ought to claim kinship with those that go by the name of patriots.
But patriots have their dark sides. or call them soft spots, or their Achilles heel. IB Kargbo was one such who has many dark sides – some say he almost equals the Devil in telling fibs, others say he talks too much, and I say he is Mister Compromise. Now could it be he was shown the exit door out of President Koroma’s new Cabinet because of these reasons? Plus, because ‘im nah man wae dae hold up too much, including im compin journalists dem?’ President Koroma, like former President Kabbah before him, isn’t a man who gives you the reasons for his actions. And, if others who have so many skeletons in their cupboards have been retained in the new Cabinet, it speaks volumes of the stench and decay of IB Kargbo’s cupboard. Hmm.
All the same, IB Kargbo has been a grateful and faithful servant, almost like Old Rover in Animal Farm, always saying ‘I will work harder’ for the success of the APC. Now the APC has succeeded and has turned out to be ungrateful, and has killed the goose that lays the golden eggs! Like Sorie Fofana said, let us wait and see. I will but meanwhile I will have my say.
There are presently too many cooks in the APC, and they have the tendency to spoil the broth, if not already. Now can a Squealer like Alpha Kanu be able to convince us fully about what happened to the spoiling of that broth?
I am not sure my voting for the APC will go in vain – just like the one for the SLPP didn’t go in vain – but I am sure that the APC will lose some good measure of respect if it starts to take the road of ingratitude. The late Dr Kakpindi Soyei used to say let us honour people while they are alive and not while they are dead.
Now Sylvia Blyden was saying the other day that the information ministry to a large extent bungled during the last government. Is that the reason why IB Kargbo was shown the exit door, and his deputy transferred to another ministry? And was Sylvia Blyden the adviser of such a move? I am not a speculator, but I have the right to ask questions.
Well, Sylvia Blyden and the rest of the APC new converts should be told that when the APC was nothing but a sad collection of misfits, befuddlers, urine throwers, mathorma dancers, et al, it was folks like President Koroma and IB Kargbo who were in town patiently and persuasively remodelling the image of the APC and of Sierra Leone.
Today, the country is a place where all of us are proud to be a part of, and would even kill or betray just to share the limelight or get a job from the APC. I prefer the plain esquire to my name, and ‘me dry rice and palm oil’ than turn a cheat and a back stabber for something as transitory as power.
Love’s labour lost, is how Shakespeare caricatured Sir Walter Raleigh, a man who like I.B. Kargbo, served his monarch faithfully but who eventually lost his head on flimsy charges.
Now, the truth is, all my thoughts are just suppositions? Because the APC has a role for ‘Korthor’ IB Kargbo. It is possible he will be made to swap roles with the man who has succeeded him as information minister. Better still, as the APC are good at creating new ministries even after the national budget has been read and has outlined allocations, maybe a new peculiar ministry or role will be created just for IB Kargbo. Good, so good because I would like to be proven wrong in my suppositions in labelling APC as ungrateful. ‘APC nah kombra party,’ I have heard so often in and out of my home. It is a party that doesn’t have a bush to throw out a bad person. Interesting.
Also interesting is the instance the APC has created for the opposition SLPP to point back at them as being ungrateful whenever the APC happens to lay that charge on their doorstep again. And as people don’t last forever, it behoves the APC to treat its members and supporters with care; managing people is an art that is worth paying for – thankfully the APC has all the money and nearly all the power.
Howbeit let them spend it wisely because time will soon be up to show them the exit door just as they have shown IB Kargbo the exit door. I’d love to be around then, u-huh. And can someone please ask IB Kargbo why he has still not replied to the letter the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Press Gallery sent him on 7 September 2012 regarding its newly constituted executive? We have waited in vain to listen to his wise lectures in the area of parliamentary reportage. Thankfully his successor to the information ministry was also a former member of parliament, and he is an apt tutor as well. That’s refreshing.
By Elias Bangura
Elias Bangura is Author of French Versus English, Waiting To Be Rich, etc., President of the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Press Gallery, and former Editor of For Di People Newspaper.