“Fall on Your Swords” – to Save SLPP

Making The Ultimate Sacrifice…

Finance Minister- Jacob Jusu Saffa-are you ready to fall on your sword?

Bank Governor- Kelfala Kallon- Is the sword ready for you?

Financial Secretary- Sahr Jusu :  to chose the sword or allow SLPP to die?

I was doing cyber- research on “emotional discipline” to write on one of my pet theories – which I have dubbed “The Missing Ingredient” (That is, the lack of emotional discipline by our governing elites of Sierra Leone/Africa is at the root of nearly all our gnawing economic problems and volatile political problems) – when I paused to listen to the February 19, 2021 audio message on social media by the United States-based Sierra Leonean audio analyst, the incisively-analytical  Kutubu Koroma. Over the brouhaha emanating from the expose by the US-based Africanist Press of Chernor  Alpha M. Bah, Kutubu has fingered the Minister of Finance, J.J. Siaffa, Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Prof. Kelfala Kallon, and Financial Secretary, Sahr Jusu, as the main culprits for the  apparent  public relations miasma, and legal conundrum, that the SLPP government led by Retired Brigadier Maada Bio is enmeshed in today; because it is they who engineered, or, failed to warn the President, on the probable illegality of a bank account for the Office of the First Lady being opened at the Bank of Sierra Leone. It does appear as if Kutubu Koroma is right – given the evidence so far available to the public; and the relative silence of those he has accused as the principal culprits in the apparent constitutional misstep. If Kutubu Koroma is right, what needs to be done now is that those ‘accused persons’ in the Court of Public Opinion need to ‘fall on their swords’, before they have to face court of Parliament, or the legal courts of the land.

“Falling on one’s sword”

The phrase ‘falling on one’s sword’ now usually refers to people resigning from public office, but it did in fact originate from people committing ritual suicide by the sword – in the days in Europe of almost unceasing warfare among clans and nations,  when the main weapon was a sword. The actual practice of committing suicide by falling on one’s sword dates back to ancient Rome. Plutarch records such a death in “The Life of Brutus”: “Finally, he [Brutus] spoke to Volumnius himself in Greek, reminding him of their student life, and begged him to grasp his sword with him and help him drive home the blow. And when Volumnius refused… grasping with both hands the hilt of his naked sword, he (Brutus) fell upon it and died.”  To save the SLPP from further embarrassment, and deny the opposition of more political ammunition, JJ Siafa, Kelfala Kallon, and Sahr Jusu, if found wanting by the President, should ‘fall on their swords’….

Or, they should commit “Harakiri”.

Seppuku, also known less formally as “harakiri”, is a form of ritual suicide that was practiced by the samurai of Japan (They were the Japanese warrior caste that rose to power in the 12th century, and dominated the Japanese government until the Meiji Restoration in 1868) several centuries ago. It usually involved cutting the abdomen open with a short sword, which was believed to immediately release the samurai’s spirit to the afterlife. Samurai committed seppuku for a number of reasons, in accordance with bushido, the samurai code of conduct. Motivations could include personal shame due to cowardice in battle; shame over a dishonest act…Seppuku was an important act not only for the reputation of the samurai himself, but also for his entire family’s honor and standing in society. (source: About Seppuku and Samurai Ritual Suicide [thoughtco.com]…).

Instead of waiting for Parliament to probe into the issue; or, the ACC to come up with a report, the three aforementioned men should commit “harikiri”; though we are not Japanese, but, Africans, we can learn the virtues of honor from other countries. Maybe one of the reasons why the Japanese established a great civilization for hundreds of years, and after their monumental loss when Japan was defeated by the US during the Second World War, Japan quickly surged ahead to become one of the most prosperous and most technologically advanced countries in the world… could be such keen sense of honour in their history.

Arjuna’s Bewilderment

If the aforementioned men do not have the honor to fall on their swords, or, commit harikiri, I will guide the President with another wisdom: from the holy book of Hinduism, the opening chapter in the  “Bhagavadgita”:

“Arjuna”, the protagonist, is poised to go to war.  In those days, the soldiers of both enemies would gather on two low hills, with the valley between them.  They would see each other clearly.  They can then negotiate to surrender or to fight.  As they watch each other’s soldiers, Arjuna saw that the enemy’s soldiers were his brothers, cousins, uncles and friends.  He was unwilling to fight and kill some of those he loved, and had grown up with.

Then, “Krishna” (which means God, or, Allah, or Jehovah, or Ngewo) said to Arjuna:  “Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me, and at the same time you should continue your prescribed duty and fight. With your mind and activities always fixed on Me, and everything engaged in Me…”

In the book by the Indian guru who popularized Hare Krishna in the West, Srila Prabhuapda, titled
“Bhagavad-gita As It Is”, we are told this:“. Arjuna is a ksatriya, a fighter, and therefore his duty is to fight. All political avenues had been explored and there was no alternative but to fight. Therefore it was  Arjuna’s duty to fight… The situation was quite difficult for him, however, because practically speaking all the soldiers on the battlefield on both sides were Arjuna’s friends and family members. Therefore in the beginning Arjuna becomes bewildered… Even if Arjuna would be victorious in the battle because so many of his friends and family members will be killed on both sides, he felt that his life would not be worth living.

Srila Braphupada teaches : “The real message of Bhagavad-gita is surrender to Krishna. Krishna in Bhagavad-gita is instructing us to surrender to Him and to let Him instruct us as to what our duty is”. (SOURCE: Arjuna’s Bewilderment  Krishna.org).  From what I have learned, the three aforementioned men played key roles in the SLPP coming to power; and the President is quite attached to them; and reciprocates their loyalty to him. But, there is the likelihood that the more he keeps these three men in office, the more the issue around who authorized the illegality of the First Lady’s account being opened at the central bank would fester; and could become an electoral weapon for the opposition parties. To save his Presidency, and the SLPP, the President has to ‘fight’, as a duty…. And put into practice another wisdom in the Bhagavadgita: DETACHMENT to family, friends, village, school… etc.


In Christianity, the first main principle of surrender is “Dying to Self”, or “The Carrying of Your Cross” allowing Christ to reign and rule in the order of how one’s life is carried out, as is illustrated in the following passage: “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” – Matthew 16:24. All three men are Christians; what would be said of them tomorrow when they live these words of Jesus: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends’ – John 15:13.  Let me rephrase that: “Greater love for the SLPP hath no partisan than J.J. Siaffa, Sahr Jusu, and Kaifala Kallon; for when necessary, they resigned their position so the SLPP would not risk losing power”. (A bit of history for the youths) In 1967, there was a fiercely-fought parliamentary election between the SLPP, which was in power, and the APC, in opposition. It ended in a tie – 32-32 seats. Three SLPP partisans who had been denied the SLPP symbol contested as Independent candidates and won – Brewah, Kai-Samba, and Anthony, in Kenema and Moyamba districts.  SLPP and APC lobbied the three. They told the SLPP they would join the SLPP if only Albert Margai, Charles Margai’s father, would resign.  He refused.  If Albert Margai had fallen on his sword to save the SLPP, the SLPP may not have stayed out of power between 1968 and 1996 – for 28 years!).

Justice in Islam

In the Islamic worldview, justice denotes placing things in their rightful place.  It also means giving others equal treatment.  In Islam, justice is a moral virtue.    The Prophet of Islam declared: “There are seven categories of people whom God will shelter under His shade on the Day when there will be no shade except His.  [One is] the just leader.”(Saheeh Muslim). God spoke to His Messenger in this manner: “O My slaves, I have forbidden injustice for Myself and forbade it also for you.  So avoid being unjust to one another.” (Saheeh Muslim). The Quran, the sacred scripture of Islam, considers justice to be a supreme virtue.  It is a basic objective of Islam to the degree that it stands next in order of priority to belief in God’s exclusive right to worship (Tawheed) and the truth of Muhammad’s prophethood.  God declares in the Quran: “God commands justice and fair dealing…” (Quran 16:90). (SOURCE: Justice in Islam – The Religion of Islam; islamreligion.com).

It appears there has been injustice in the Bio Administration that has been exposed by the Africanist Press.  The President has to be a “just leader”.  Without sense of Justice among the citizenry, he risks losing power.  The First Lady is an avowed Muslim.  She has apparently inflamed the issues here by her caustic words directed at the Africanist Press Editor, Chernor Alpha M.  Bah. It is time now for her to consult Islamic imams for guidance. Unlike Christianity, which today recognizes the dichotomy between the secular and the religious, Islam is holistic, fusing the secular and the religious. Sierra Leone, with about 70% of its people claiming adherence to Islam, and about 30% Christian,  cannot tell the world that it is about “the most religious tolerant nation on earth”, and when in a national crisis shove aside its Christian and Islamic values.

I pause,

Oswald Hanciles

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