Is Sierra Leone going through a Manchurian Candidate moment? The answer to this question poses a serious challenge to the people of Sierra Leone as it presupposes that there are powerful interests working in the shadows, a hidden hand scenario, who control the presidency. Short of ‘we the people’ controlling the presidency through ballot box regime change, any other person or groups of people capable of doing so is or are a threat to the country, our constitution and democracy.

In the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, actor Denzel Washington was a former soldier put through a mind and personality control experiment who after his time served during the war became aware of another member of his team put through the same experiment that was running for president.

Remembering their brain surgery meant to control them, Washington’s character had to go by what he knew, or else the country was going to have a leader that was being controlled by a hidden hand.

So when this current government under an inexperienced president makes it a point of appointing folks who spent 10 years in governance under the President Kabba era, then the chances of control are great.

It is common knowledge in Sierra Leone that long serving civil servants form the meat of the cabals in the governance structure that not only know how to exploit the system, but can also thwart the president’s plans at will, or based on any other prompting.

It is believed that such men and women are doing the leading from the shadows as they keep giving the president advice based on their own agenda, and not even the party’s or better yet the people’s agenda.

Isn’t it clear after three years of failed manifesto promises, violence and lawlessness that the president we thought we knew during the NPRC era has turned out to be a great disappointment as the very things he so articulated in his manifesto are the very things that this government is busy undoing?

Let us take the repealed Part 5 of the Public Order Act (POA) as a good example. President Bio became the doyen of the local and international media when by the stroke of a pen he did away with what was a 50 year load that was hanging on the neck of the local media. That was great advice.

By now turning around and coming up with the Cybercrime Bill that is more of a threat to freedom of speech, expression and association, the president has indeed fallen into the hands of the bad advice cabal. For him to do such a 180 degree turn on the POA points to something nefarious working the shadows of the corridors of power on its own agenda.

Such a move by our president points to the fears of a Manchurian Candidate as exhibited by voters in the US against Donald Trump that saw him disgracefully booted out of the White House, so much so that for a republican president that garnered the most votes in the history of presidential elections in the US is not as effective as he should have been post-White House.

For a man that is obviously concerned about the kind of legacy he is leaving behind, the time has come for President Bio to make some drastic changes to his cabinet and especially those long serving civil servants to show the public who is really in charge at State House, failing which the Manchurian Candidate scenario will hang over his head until he is unseated in 2023.

Then, the cabal would have gotten what it wanted, which is always against the best wishes of the people of Sierra Leone who are still the vote controllers of who ascends the presidency.

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