President Koroma appoints Samura Kamara as presidential candidate for the ruling APC

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 15 October 2017

Dr Samura Kamara – the man few thought could become president of Sierra Leone, is tonight one step closer to achieving his wildest dream, as president Koroma – chairman of the ruling APC declared Samura as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 elections. His running mate is parliamentarian Mohamed Chernor Bah.

As news of Samura’s appointment by the president is being digested, there are serious concerns across the country and among Sierra Leoneans abroad, about the fairness and openness of the ‘selection’ process adopted by the APC party at their convention today. (Photo: Samura Kamara – right, and Mohamed Chernor Bah).

Rather than allowing each delegate present at the convention – representing their district, to cast their ballot for their aspiring presidential candidate of choice, they were today disenfranchised.

The party’s National Advisory Committee (NAC), which president Koroma also chairs did the shortlisting of candidates. There were about 25 candidates aspiring for the ruling party candidacy.

According to sources present at the convention which was closed to journalists, except those sympathetic to the ruling party, the NAC deliberated but could not collectively agree on a candidate.

It was therefore left with president Koroma to decide who should be coronated as the presidential candidate, to the disappointment and annoyance of the hundreds of party delegates who had turned up at the convention to vote.

At one point in the undemocratic and soul-destroying charade, all 28 presidential aspirants were locked inside one of the committee rooms in the Ernest Bai Koroma Conference Hall, to agree among themselves, as to which of their number should go forward as the presidential candidate.

But after several agonising minutes of deliberations, all 28 aspiring presidential candidates could not arrive at a consensus. A motion was then put forward to the delegates at the convention, calling on the NAC to make a decision in the absence of a consensus from the candidates themselves. And that, should the NAC fail, the president shall use his power of veto to then single-handedly decide who will lead the party to the 2018 elections.

The motion was passed without voting – just tumultuous shouts of approval from many of the delegates – APC style. All 28 aspirants who by this time were feeling humiliated, frustrated and tired of the undemocratic process, agreed that president Koroma must use his power of veto.

And when it came to choosing, not even president Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe could have been so callous. But last night at the convention, president Koroma issued a stern warning to the candidates of what is to come.

He told them that aspiring for the presidency is not an easy task, but when it is achieved, the winner will become very rich. And that the winning candidate will come from an unlikely background.

Twenty-eight candidates had applied for the presidential candidacy, including: Victor Foh, Alimamy P Koroma, Alpha Kanu, Kemoh Sesay, John B Sesay, Joseph F Kamara, Mahmood Tarawally, Zainab H Bangura, Marie Yansaneh, Hon Ibrahim Bundu, Minkailu Mansaray, Kelfala Marrah, Usu Boi Kamara, Lawyer Kaloko, Alpha Conteh, Dr Samura Kamara, Ansumana Koroma, Victoria Saidu Kamara, Alimamy P Kamara, Bassie Kamara, Dr. Sam Sesay, Momodu L. Kargbo, Amara Adekalie Kamara, Paul Kamara, and Mohamed C. Koroma.

President Koroma is a protégé of the former dictator – president Siaka Stevens, and he is proud to let it be known that he not only believes in the political philosophy of Siaka Stevens, but lives by his communist precepts and style of leadership and politics.

If president Koroma was guided today by the ghost of Siaka Stevens to strengthen his hand in appointing his successor for 2018, few would have been surprised about his choice of candidate.

His announcement of the presidential candidate was simple. “Having had consultations, the party has agreed that I should pronounce the presidential flagbearer for APC for the 2018 elections as Dr. Samura Kamara.”

Samura Kamara is believed to be the only candidate who supported president Koroma’s third term agenda, as other candidates were busy nursing and nurturing their ambition to succeed him. He is regarded by the president as a highly loyal comrade and tribesman from Bombali district of northern Sierra Leone.

So who is Samura Kamara?

Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara was born on the 30th of April 1951 in Kamalo, Bombali District. He is a development economist with background in diplomacy, macroeconomics, public finance, central banking and financial sector policy analysis and reforms.

He holds a Masters Degree (1980) and PhD (1986) from the University College of North Wales, Bangor. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone (1972).

Dr Samura worked in the Economic Affairs Department of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, first, as Senior Economics Officer in 1991-1994; and second, as Chief Programme Officer in 1998-2001. He was Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in 1994-1997, and 2001-2006 respectively.

In 2006-2007, he served as Alternate Executive Director for Africa Group I Constituency in the International Monetary Fund.

In 2008-2009, Dr. Kamara was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone and then became Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development in 2009-2012.

But in 2012, he lost his job in the finance ministry and was transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Sierra Leone as minister – a job he holds till this day.

Dr Kamara played a key role in helping president Koroma to formulate his Agenda for Change in 2008, with the help and support of British Prime Minister – Tony Blair, and went on to become a good friend of Tony Blair.

Many believe that Samura’s selection today as presidential candidate of the ruling APC has got Tony Blair’s fingerprint embossed on the paper it’s written on. But critics say that he will not be good for Sierra Leone as president, if elected next year. He is lacking in leadership skills – many believe.

13 Comments

  1. Why should the have a foreigner as a running mate of the APC party?????
    That will never happen in Guinea for any Sierra Leonean.

    The Full tribe are tribalistic
    The Lebanese are the next nationals who will stake a place in Sierra Leone by entering Parliament and be elected as a running mate to the flag bearer.

    I in particular do not trust any politicians, they all get involved in politics to see how many millions they can steal and stash in overseas banks

    • Bappay, try to know your history and the definition of “a foreigner”. I’m quite sure that the man you describe as a foreigner is more devoted to his country than you opposing him, and has done a lot for Sierra Leoneans before he came into politics.

      How does the constitution of Sierra Leone define a citizen? I’m sure you don’t know. Because if you do, you wouldn’t be making such unfounded statements. One has to have an African ancestry, and in the case of this man whom you described as a foreigner, he’s born and raised in this country and has every right to participate in national politics.

      It’s a shame that in this day and age, there’re still people like you in our beloved country. May God Almighty choose the right leader for Mama Salone!

  2. Samura Kamara is the same guy that went to the wells of Parliament for confirmation of his degrees.

    He says he forget his fake degrees.

    He was a minister appointed by Maada Bio after John Karimu was sacked in the ousting of Valentine Strasser.

    The author didn’t even mention that and if you don’t believe Google LA Times – the appointment of Samura Kamara by Maada

  3. In a truly Democratic process, the APC delegates across all the districts in Sierra Leone should have been able to elect the APC presidential candidate for the 2018 Presidential election at the party’s convention.

    Every APC delegate across all the districts in Sierra Leone should have had the right to vote for an APC presidential candidate at the convention, and the Presidential candidate with the most votes, should have been elected as the APC presidential candidate for the 2018 election.

  4. No wonder, Sierra Leone is being plunged into a deep pit which nobody knows. Corruption, money laundering will bear the echo.

    I am sure Sierra Leoneans are not that naive to chose a president as Dr. Kamara. Sierra Leoneans must choose a president who wants the country and not the wealth of the country.

    Choosing another president from the APC will mean destroying the country to the underground where only the mice live. Proud as a Sierra Leonean, I would rather elect someone who is capable of engineering development and eliminating degradation of the state. Look at Freetown now, where dirt is a breeding ground for malaria.

    Brothers and sisters, Sierra Leone has suffered a lot from the civil war, Ebola and the mudslide in which thousands of people lost their lives. May God have mercy on them all.

    Can we expect another bad government, selling the state assets to foreign nationals? I do believe, no Sierra Leonean is prepared to bear that blow again. One country one people.

    • Yes we cannot afford to elect someone with a very poor record of governance. I think the whole country must throw their weight on Kandeh Yumkella. He’s the only one that showed prudence and a realistic vision to move the country forward.

      We must avoid Maada Bio becoming the next president of Sierra Leone. He’s proven to be deceitful during his tenure in the NPRC. He has since deviated from holding a job where he could have gained experience.

  5. Based on the charade displayed by these clowns (APC Members) in their new circus, I do believe the FADIKA FAMILY should do whatever it takes to push for an independent investigation into the mysterious death of MOSERAY FADIKA commonly known as SUPER.

    It was a strange coincidence that he died suddenly the day he was trying to launch his presidential bid under the flag of the APC. Probably SUPER was too popular for them so they silenced him before it was too late. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  6. The APC convention was a farce. It was fraudulent for the party officials to deceive their followers into spending their hard earned cash to travel to Makeni.

    Ernest Koroma was always going to be the man to do the selection. And that was exactly what happened in Makeni. The APC does not believe in democracy. The opposition has to be very watchful on election day as the APC has 99 ways of stealing an election.

  7. Dear Sierra Leone Telegraph:

    I enjoyed your article on Dr. Samura Kamara. Your last remark on his leadership abilities struck me, especially since evidence was not provided to support the negative statement of those making it.

    Well, if you do not mind, I would like to say that Leadership is not about being loud and bossy. It is about having the ability to set coherent and beneficial goals and means to attain those goals, including instruments able to unite the separate interests involved in pursuit of those goals.

    In that context, in today’s Sierra Leone, we need peace and cooperation to bring about appropriate political, legal and social institutions that are favorable to economic development and growth.

    The main objectives of the nation should be economic diversification and much higher economic growth trajectory than the country has at the present time. Kwame Nkrumah said many years ago that we Africans will show the rest of the world that we can rule ourselves.

    Well it is time we start showing the world that Nkrumah was right. We should stop running around the world begging, with all the endowments that nature has given us. Sure we should encourage trade, attract foreign investment, and even seek some technical assistance.

    Those are different from foreign aid (begging). To accomplish all these, we certainly don’t need rowdy and corrupt people in leadership positions anymore–we are tired of them!!!

  8. Thank goodness – but where does the idea of the word selection come from in the world of democracy?

    I am not surprised, APC is always good at twisting people’s opinion around. I guess the selection of Mr Samura Kamara happened because the president wants to keep the job of chairmanship of the APC as he declared himself for life.

    No doubt APC is a one man canoe – wherever he paddles, the boat will go. Now it’s up to the minds of the people to decide, lonta!!

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