Pa Baimba Sesay
14 March 2012
If politics is all about numbers, President Koroma will definitely win the pending November elections by a landslide. And if politics is all about stronghold, I also know for certain, that President Koroma is only waiting for NEC’s Christian Thorpe to announce the results.
Forget about the devastating development that recently occurred in Kailahun from the perspective of the opposition party having to part with one of their strategists – Tom Nyuma.
Forget also about people coming from all over the world – Asia and China – specifically, America and Europe to register ahead of the elections, just to re-vote Ernest.
Just take a look at recent figures released by NEC; analyze them from the viewpoint of Sierra Leone’s geopolitical arrangement and tell me what lies ahead of the November elections. I bet, you will come to the conclusion that President Ernest Koroma will win or has won already. This sounds political and indeed, it is!
The last time, I argued in an article, titled “The Geo-political Implications of the November Elections”, that the voting patterns over the years in Sierra Leone have been predominantly based on regional and tribal lines, and that we have seen how people have often claimed to have political supremacy over a given region – say the south or the east.
I also submitted in the said article that despite the much talked about stronghold issue, the 2007 elections were able to bring a new meaning into Sierra Leone’s politics especially for places like Kailahun, Bonthe and Moyamba.
My argument then went further to challenge, that this same trend, as was seen in 2007 will be repeated in November of this year. The reason, you may wish to ask: the infrastructural development, coupled with the hard work of President Koroma.
Let us now politically and, then further geopolitically critically analyze the 2007 election results from the standpoint of our main political parties, discussing their respective strongholds: the south-east being perceived as SLPP stronghold, and the northwest, which is obviously a stronghold of the ruling APC.
Kailahun, a great district that has, in my view, always been neglected by the SLPP gave 111,695 votes to the SLPP. At the time, the APC was in opposition, struggling to unseat a ruling party and it got 11,631 votes in Kailahun. That was notwithstanding the attempted assassination on the life of the Hon Ernest Bai Koroma in Segbwema.
Compare these figures to those in Bombali, which provided a strong support for the APC by giving 125,419 votes in favor of the APC, and just 14,095 for the then ruling SLPP.
Kenema gave a total of 160,699 to the SLPP and 32,666 to the APC, and mark you, Kenema is a district that today has a large turnout of northerners, who have been engaged in trading, as well as mining activities. This implies, then that we now have a huge population of APC supporters in Kenema now, than before.
Bo, being a traditional stronghold of the main opposition SLPP gave a total of 105,459 in 2007 to the SLPP and, in my opinion, a surprising 37,006 to the APC; Bonthe 28,313 to the SLPP and only 20,018 to the APC.
That was in 2007. I mean at a time that Ernest Koroma was not welcomed in a place like Bo. I remember travelling with Ernest Koroma to Bo on a campaign trail. Late Chief Kamanda Bongay played a political role at the time that I could hardly forget. Today, here is Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma in governance. Interesting indeed!
Moyamba is another strategic area in Sierra Leone’s political arrangement. Check the history of Siaka Stevens in Moyamba. Now, in the 2007 run-off elections, SLPP got 49,886 votes in Moyamba and the APC 26,485.
Pujehun, gave a total 38,107 votes for the SLPP and 2,875 for the APC. Kono is, or will definitely be going Ernest this time round. In 2007, it provided 74,458, for the SLPP and 52,908 votes from the APC.
According to the National Electoral Commission’s (NEC) news release, as posted in the NEC’s External Relations Officer’s face book wall, the latest of Sierra Leone’s Biometric Registration figures, as of 13th March put the districts as follow: Kailahun -124,937; Kenema – 210,109; Kono – 140,802; Bombali – 172,088; Kambia -116,120; Koinadugu- 114,342; Port Loko – 202,269; Tonkolili – 151,609; Bo -209,558; Bonthe -60,700; Moyamba-110,890; Pujehun -68,817; Western Rural- 143,442 and Western Urban-433,590.
When these figures are put together, the east accounts for a total 475,848 votes, north- 756,428 south- 449,965 and the Western Area -577,032, with a cumulative provisional figure of – 2,259,273 for the entire country.
When these figures are put into perspective, one could conclude that, President Koroma stands the greatest of chances to win.
If the northern region and Western area can account for more than half of the total votes as of the 13th of March, it is indicative, that President Koroma has got more than half of the total votes cast, because, traditionally in these places he has the strongest support, politically.
The strategic nature of Kailahun cannot be downplayed. The recent defection of Tom Nyuma from the SLPP to the ruling APC is an indication of the people’s expectation.
Geo-politically, no one should expect Kailahun to go APC completely, but the fact that Tom, a whole district council Chairman crossed over to the ruling party, should be interpreted thus; hundreds, if not thousands of his supporters going with him to his new political family.
Come to think of it, besides Kailahun, I am of the opinion, that a place like Bonthe, that today can pride itself of having equal representation in governance, will obviously give hundreds or thousands of votes to President Koroma.
Moyamba is a free for all battle ground. The Musa Tarawallie and Soccoh Kabia factors must be seen coming into play. Just as in the case of Kono, Moyamba is a place no one should claim supremacy over.
Perhaps, Kono is a different scenario today, with the presence and hard work of Chief Sam Sumana. If people can today clamor for APC symbols in Kono, it means, the APC is sure of capturing most of the votes in Kono.
Again, ignore the issue of stronghold. Look at the performance record of President Koroma within four years; compare that to the former government’s eleven years in office.
Within a period of four years, President Koroma has given attention to the aspect of infrastructural development; the country has today become the most business and investor friendly country in the sub region.
The provision of electricity has taken a different dimension, just as we now see with the fight against corruption.
At the international front, President Koroma has continued to win accolades. He has taken the centre stage. A particular case in point is his role in mediating peace in Ivory Coast. These are all pointers that should be used in determining the question of whether or not he will be re-elected for another term.
That said, it is crystal clear, that President Koroma will win and has in fact won the coming elections, based on performance. The potentials are indeed great.