The Chairman and Leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM), Mohamed Bangura, has condemned the formation of “mushroom” political parties, and instead, encouraged the unification of small political parties in a bid to defeat the ruling APC in 2017.
In an exclusive interview with the UDM Leader at his Party’s Headquarters on Pademba Road in Freetown, he claimed that everybody wants to form and lead political parties with the hope of attracting “Good-Luck Jonathan” fund, and put it into their personal use, and not to play a role in pressurizing the ruling party on its excesses.
Mohamed Bangura claimed that these “mushroom” parties are so irrelevant to the extent that they are only seen surfacing during Presidential Elections, mostly to create unnecessary tension, and are not seen contributing to national development after then; not even participating in bye elections and other related elections activities.
“They only wait for funds to come for political parties, get their own shares and relax quietly” he opined.
He said that this does not auger well for a country like Sierra Leone and for participatory democracy, as, he explained, political parties should act as a sort of pressure group to keep a ruling party within its ambit, protect the citizens and trigger healthy debates for national prosperity.
The UDM Leader therefore suggested that apart from the APC and SLPP, which he affirmed are very old and established in terms of strongholds, other parties wishing to come up should form a formidable coalition, well financed to take on the government on whichever issue deemed necessary.
And that he would not mind merging the UDM with any serious-minded and politically orientated citizens to form such coalition, as long as it is in the interest of moving the politics of Sierra Leone forward.
He challenged the main opposition SLPP of being very “inactive” in putting the ruling APC on its toes, especially in the area of good governance, human right, participatory democracy and the rule of law. Instead, he viewed, they are busy fighting each other in the name of pursuing an election petition case, when, in his estimation, to a certain extent, it is patently impossible for President Koroma to be unseated on the ongoing matter, giving the ruling of the National Electoral Commission.
As a political party, he insinuated that if he were in the shoe of the SLPP, he would have forgotten about the ongoing case, thinking of its apparent impossibility and focus on further rebuilding and reorganizing the party to win future elections, but particularly the 2017 general elections.
The UDM Leader; youthfully dressed in jean trouser and a lacoste T-shirt as he swiveled in his leather-made chair, re-endorsed the NEC’s nomination fee, stating that if somebody wants to go into politics, he should be prepared for it.
He further affirms, “Not everybody is fit to become a politician. If somebody thinks he is so fit, then let him or her be ready to pay for the price”.
Mohamed Bangura observed that when politics is cheap, everybody would go into it; every jack and Jane. But if it is expensive, then sober-minded people would participate and they would become serious about it because, he said, the proverb says “put your mouth where your money is”.
However, Mohamed Bangura noted that his participation in the ongoing bye elections in Bombali District and Deep Eye Water in the Western Rural is to either win or tell the APC that they would not be able to muzzle everybody or party into not participating in those elections “we are contesting to affirm that the UDM is a formidable party the country and its citizens can rely on” he bragged.
He denied, with utmost vehemence, allegations that the APC is funding his party. He said “if the APC is funding my party, why did it seduce and bribe the candidate we had put to contest the bye-election in Deep Eye Water? He questioned.