Mohamed Kutubu Koroma
8 March 2012
The US Republican presidential primaries and the second round of the presidential election in Senegal, have both given me enough reasons to believe that President Ernest Koroma is going to be defeated at the November polls in Sierra Leone.
Ernest Bai Korma has demonstrated his contempt for any form of opposition in politics, and if he should have his way, Sierra Leone will be returned to the Stevens / Momoh era: One Party Rule.
And that explains why the opposition PMDC leader – Charles Margai, who could well again become ‘the king maker’, should avoid entering into any sort of alliance with president Koroma.
For those of us who have followed APC politics, yesterday’s arrest of the sitting MP of Kailahun – an opposition stronghold, is nothing new; so also are the legal woes of the winner of the recent Local Council by-election in Fourahbay.
Forty-four years ago this April, the then acting Governor General – Mr. Justice Banja Tejan-Sie, presided over a meeting of all the MPs who were elected in the March 17th and 21st general election, with the purpose of forming a national government, following the return to civilian rule.
Present at that meeting were; APC leader – Siaka Stevens, SLPP leader – Albert Margai, John Amadu Bangura, Ambrose Patrick Genda, Emadu Rogers, and Patrick Conteh. It was proposed at the meeting that a government of national unity be formed, comprising of those MPs who had been elected.
But shortly after the meeting, Siaka Stevens in concord with the activist courts proceeded to rid the parliament of virtually all the SLPP members, by evoking phony election petitions.
Cyril Patrick Foray who was previously defeated by Amara Bun Fofanah in the Bo Town constituency 1, was one of those who bulldozed his way into parliament through the back door.
The next was Balogun Ketel from the Kenema West constituency, who stole the seat previously won by George Sulaiman Panda. And as a matter of fact, he did not even have the opportunity to defend his seat in parliament, as he was busy defending his life in one of those politically motivated treason charges.
Also in that debacle was Maigore Kallon, whose Kailahun Central seat was challenged by George Gobio Lamin of all people as Siaka Stevens systematically proceeded to empty the parliament of the elected opposition SLPP MPs.
President Ernest Koroma is a very desperate man who wants to hang on to power by all means necessary. The man who would have been very pivotal in financing APC’s electoral aspirations – Libya’s Gaddafi, has been dispatched in fundamentally troubling circumstances and so that possibility no longer exist.
What opposition PMDC’s Charles Margai and SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio should now do is to copy what is about to happen to the old man in Senegal. Even though he has won in the first round, he is unable to prevent a runoff.
The opposition parties in Sierra Leone should rally around a single candidate – if necessary, so as to ensure that president Koroma is defeated in the second round of the polls.
Ernest Bai Koroma stands no chance of pulling an outright victory, especially now with SLPP’s Kadi Sesay destined to take many northern and Freetown votes away from him. So, what he will now hope to achieve is to seek another electoral pact and alliance with PMDC’s Charles Margai.
But there is no doubting the fact that Koroma will quickly dump Charles Margai no sooner he has won the polls, just as he did in 2007. Charles Margai cannot therefore afford to commit political suicide.
President Ernest Koroma is not a credible and trustworthy politician with whom to do business.
There is also the likelihood Koroma will do everything possible to create legal problems for Charles and Bio, so as to put them out of politics for good, as Siaka Stevens and Momoh did to Fornah and Minah.
President Ernest Bai Koroma does not have a political base of his own. Even his leadership of the APC party came about as a result of hard negotiations and compromises, struck between himself, Eddie Turay and the Serry Kamal cabal by some party elders.
President Koroma’s APC was able to win the 2007 general elections because they succeeded in exploiting the political divisions that opened up within the incumbent SLPP, especially the rift that existed between Charles Margai and Solomon Berewa.
But Charles Margai must now realize that he can exercise far more leverage over Bio, than he can over President Ernest Koroma. Therefore, he should have nothing to do with President Koroma’s APC in November.
Since political violence is not going to be part of the calculus, with the threat of the International Criminal Court watching over proceedings in Sierra Leone, the only option open to President Koroma now is to seek temporary political alliance with PMDC’s Charles Margai.
Foolishly, he treated Charles Margai with contempt, by driving a wedge between Margai and the PMDC members, after engineering a destabilising atmosphere aimed at undermining Margai’s leadership.
The constituencies of Bo, Pujehun, Moyamba, Kailahun, Bonthe, and Kenema are definitely not going RED (APC) this time around, as they intend to stay solid GREEN (SLPP) no matter what.
The recent talk of “HYDRO POWER” for Moyamba is nothing but one of those desperate political gimmicks, designed to appeal to the calculus of the electorate. And like Bumbuna, it will end up in life support, rather than become a national treasure that supports life.
President Koroma, for all intent and purposes should become a one term president, because he simply does not have what it takes to be the leader of that nation.
He portrays an international persona of himself as one who believes in the rule of law and democratic governance, when beneath the façade of his government is an empty institutionalized kleptocracy.
Lacking in co-ordinated strategy, committed leadership and a strong vision, his government is characterised by grandiose claims to strategies that the president is unable to implement.
Surrounded by very shady characters, it is not difficult for anyone to see why Sierra Leone as a nation, continues to wallow in poverty, disease and illiteracy, despite the president’s close friendship with Tony Blair and the Billions of Dollars of foreign aid received by the government.
Charles Margai and his PMDC membership, must seriously think again about their loyalty to the people of Sierra Leone, thus avoiding entering into any political alliance and electoral pact with president Koroma’s APC, as November’s election approaches.