31 May 2012
Despite enjoying a majority party support, there are few APC stalwarts in the wells of Sierra Leone’s parliament, whose staunch and unwavering loyalty to president Koroma, can be compared to that of the Deputy Speaker – Victor Chukuma Johnson.
And although he was once labelled as president Koroma’s ‘bogeyman’ in parliament, and last year rumoured to be facing the axe, he survived the call from certain quarters of the party to be sacked as deputy speaker of the House.
He has been described by his detractors as the ‘enemy within’ .
He was even accused of being central to an internal APC plot to stage a mutiny against president Koroma’s leadership – along with the old guards of the party, such as Eddie Turay and former Attorney General – Serry kamal.
Loathed by his adversaries but respected by his political allies, Victor Chukuma Johnson yesterday proved that he is a politician that cannot be sidelined or marginalized.
He has been decorated with one of the highest national awards the president can bestow.
Report from State House – Freetown, says that President Ernest Bai Koroma yesterday awarded Chukuma the Medal of the Commander of the Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The well attended ceremony, should have taken place during the country’s independence celebration and national honours day on the 27 April.
Unfortunately, Chukuma Johnson was unable to attend. He was abroad receiving medical attention.
According to State House, “the award recognizes exceptional leadership and exemplary organizational accomplishments in national service, especially in the fields of general commerce, public service and politics.”
In reading out the citation for the award of the rank of ‘Commander of the Order of the Republic of Sierra Leone (CRSL)’, those attending the ceremony at State House were reminded of Victor Chukuma Johnson’s achievements.
“Honourable Victor Chukuma Johnson – a Justice of the Peace is currently the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, where he has been a Member of Parliament since 2000.
“He has had a distinguished and dedicated service to the nation, particularly in the areas of general commerce, public service and politics, having served as Managing Director of J.L. Morrison & Jones and later acted as Chairman of the Committee of Management at the Freetown City Council.
“He is a member of the Board of Governors of the W.A.M. Collegiate and the Government Secondary Technical Schools in Freetown.
“He is presently serving as member of the Finance and Public Accounts Committee; Appointments Committee; and the Public Service and Human Rights Committees in Parliament.”
Victor Chukuma Johnson is a highly popular politician in and around the Freetown constituencies, especially in Waterloo.
He was quite instrumental in helping president Koroma win the very high number of votes in Freetown, which helped return the APC party to power in 2007, after languishing for over two decades in the political wilderness.
Friends and supporters of Victor Chukuma Johnson may well say that he has at long last, earned his well deserved national recognition.