Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 March 2018:
As countdown begins for the final stage in Sierra Leone’s presidential election, questions are being asked as to how the ruling APC could have suffered such resounding rejection by the people of Sierra Leone. Despite their lofty campaigning, over 57% of electorate rejected the ruling APC at the polls last Wednesday.
It is estimated that millions of dollars were spent by APC on preparing for the elections and in taking their message of ‘ten years of development achievements’ across the country, while opposition parties had to make do on shoestring campaign budgets.
What is clear from the election results is that the people of Sierra Leone did not believe the APC’s message of development and economic success, with massive unemployment and abject poverty responsible for the high rates of child and adult mortality.
With Freetown and Kono strongly regarded as the swing districts at elections; and given the perceived popularity of the ruling APC in these two districts, the expectation was that the election was going to be a walkover for APC.
But as the results show, clearly APC have done very poorly in these two major districts. So what chance have they got of winning the runoff on the 27th of March?
As the post mortem begins, the message from social media is very clear. This is what some Sierra Leoneans are saying:
Despite the huge sums of stolen public money spent on bribing societal stakeholders and ordinary voters, this useless and irreparably corrupt APC government that claims to be “world best and grass-roots” party, could not even come close to securing 50% of votes.
It only managed 42.7%. This means a strong majority of around 57.3% rejected APC, but I believe it’s even worse than this.
Considering the factual and massive impact of vote-rigging in this election, it’s logical to opine that APC’s 42.7% is fraudulently inflated. Therefore, APC’s factual votes should be in mid-thirties.
Consequently, the failure of APC’s massive bribery and thuggish intimidation to secure votes in an overwhelmingly illiterate nation, proves that, in addition to the overwhelming number of enlightened intellectuals who oppose APC, even illiterates – habitually taken for granted in our political system, are now wiser and have woken up to the gruesome corruption, incompetence and policy failures of APC. Oh dear, gloomier days await the APC, change must come.
This is a point of view from a Kono perspective:
We the people of Kono believe in the adage – ‘Konomueh ay Konomueh faa’, meaning that a Kono man cannot kill his or her brother or sister. Sam Sumana our brother was internationally embarrassed by the APC and our brother Sahr Emerson Lamina, was also unlawfully removed from office on allegations of corruption which was never proved by any competent institution.
The Konos have shown that this adage still lives with us. We have indicated in our votes that we were not happy because two of our own were disgraced. We have tried to restore their dignity by giving all the Parliamentary seats, the Mayoral seat and the District Council to the three months old party – the C4C.
Now it’s run off, and we still want to maintain our face by continuing to indicate our anger on those who disgraced our own.
I hear that the elder brother of Sam Sumana and Sia Nyama Koroma are coming to talk to Sam to support the APC. Where were they when Diana, Balogun and Karamoh Kabba joined the APC ranks to humiliate their own?
Where were they when one of their own – Sam Sumana, was quarantined on a fake allegation that he was an Ebola suspect? Where were they when an attempt was made on the life of Sam Sumana – one of their own? Where were they when he was following his case at the ECOWAS court?
What did they do? Did they meet the powers that be to advocate for their own? Did they sympathise with him?
What I hate to hear is when they say Sam Sumana’s problem was caused by his brothers and sisters, the likes of Diana, Balogun and Karamoh Kabba. Yes, it was, but someone created the platform.
We the people of Kono are waiting for Sam’s decision and actually ascertain whether his intention for fighting this cause as he told us, was to regain his pride or it was for his own personal aggrandisement.
We are waiting. He rather leave us alone than present us the Konos as fools who can be easily bought with a bowl of cocoa ebeh or for a penny. We are waiting, we are waiting, we are waiting.
This is Sam Sumana talking about how and why he was removed from office as vice president by the ruling APC: