Kabs Kanu: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 04 April 2022:
Ernest Bai Koroma may not go after all, as his detractors fiercely and abusively canvass. Hundreds of APC grassroots members staged a demonstration in the streets of Makeni last Friday, calling on him to remain Chairman and leader of Sierra Leone’s biggest opposition party .
The APC and the ruling SLPP have been eternally embroiled in bitter power struggles since Independence in 1961.
Waving banners with several messages asking him not to go and hailing him , while singing party songs, the crowd said they had come to appeal to Mr. Koroma to remain the party’s Chairman and leader.
And in a high-octane statement which he used later to seriously deride and ridicule the reigning SLPP, the retired Head of State, who was at the helm when the party’s presidential candidate , Dr. Samura Kamara, lost to the SLPP flagbearer Julius Maada Bio in 2018 , gave the all-too-familiar Sierra Leonean response that suggests likely agreement —“Ah hold word”.
There is nothing in the APC’s new constitution that became legally operative on March 25, 2022, to suggest that former President Ernest Bai Koroma should not chair the party again. While, according to the new constitution, the presidential candidate becomes the leader of the party, the office of Chairman is open and is to be contested during the national delegates convention .
If Dr. Koroma accepts the appeal of the grassroots members to stay and enters the contest, there is no way he would not win, given his cult-like persona and popularity within the APC. Some party fanatics predict that he might go unopposed.
Since the APC lost power in 2018 , the SLPP has behaved in absolute dread, in fear of the former President . As if Ernest Koroma is the actual opponent that will stand between them remaining in power or making an early, unceremonious exit, SLPP have poured all kinds of ire , scorn, disrespect , hostility and outright harassment on the former Head of State, accusing him of dictatorship and clinging to the leadership of the APC, as if they have everything to lose, if he did.
The SLPP’s dread for Ex-President Koroma is often equated with Liberian children’s fear of the BOOGOO MAN ( A mythical FEARFUL character ). When parents or guardians frighten naughty kids that “Boogoo mehn coming ya“, the children run away to hide in fear. Liberian children are scared of “BOOGOO MEHN”; actually a corruption of the term, THE BOGEY MAN. SLPP are afraid of EBK because they see him as the man capable of destroying their aspirations to cling to power in Sierra Leone.
The government accused him of corruption while he was President, and the matter is now with the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission ( ACC). APC members describe the accusation as a witch hunt and once actually massed around him in solidarity support in Makeni and the ACC had to give up their scheduled trip to question him at his residence.
(PHOTO: FORMER PRESIDENT KOROMA IS SEEN HERE ADDRESSING APC GRASSROOTS SUPPORTERS IN MAKENI WHO APPEALED TO HIM TO STAY AS CHAIRMAN)
SLPP supporters on social media have expressed their anger at Friday’s pro-Ernest Koroma demonstration in Makeni and the call on him by APC grassroots members to remain Chairman of the party. They were particularly incensed by Ex-President Koroma’s sardonic ridicule of their party’s extremely poor performance in power during his well-applauded statement to supporters.
The often non-confrontational, quiet and circumspect Mr. Koroma, who however perfected the art of oratory and ridicule of opponents when he joined politics, took subtle digs at President Maada Bio for running the economy through propaganda and paying public relations firms in America to give him undeserved praises.
Koroma, amidst laughter from his audience , said that when you do that, reality ultimately catches up with you –an apparent reference to the mess the SLPP Government finds itself in presently, with the country facing extreme shortages and increase in the prices of fuel, food and basic commodities; compounded by total darkness from the persistent electricity blackouts.
Mr . Koroma even mocked the SLPP Government for spending their five years in power chasing opponents and delivering no development projects.
Mr. Koroma profoundly thanked the grassroots party members for standing tall for the APC in its vicissitudes since losing power in 2018 . He assured them that once the High Court dispenses the party’s case in court , the national delegates’ conference will be held and the APC might have its flagbearer for the 2023 elections by June. As for their calls for him to remain Chairman of the party, he will hold consultations with party stakeholders and get back to them.
It is not known whether Ernest Koroma will consent to be Chairman of the APC again but if he does, interesting times are ahead in Sierra Leone, given his massive popularity and the apparent endorsement the international community and stakeholders have now given him, through their constructive diplomatic engagements with him . Kroma is regarded as vital to Sierra Leone’s socio-political and economic metamorphosis.
It is very important for us to stick together as a nation. Political intimidation is not the solution. Sierra leoneans let’s focus on the growth of the country. I am not saying we should not belong to our various political party but the interest of the country should always come first. Let deviate from any activity that will bring down the moral values of the flag. Let strive to display a high level of patriotism as citizens. My people let us not be poisoned with political bullying. Let us always remember as citizens we owe mama salone unity, freedom and justice. Let the love the the country manifest in us, let us prove to be a smart citizen by knowing what we want ( Collective consciousness ). We are always there as citizens to serve as spectators, that’s mean we should be able to discern which system of government is good or horrible for us.
John F. Kennedy “And so fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for, ask what you can do for your country “
Bill Clinton once said “we will be better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more”
“People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power.
Barrack Obama “change will not come if you wait for another person or other time. We are the one we are been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”
These adages is to remind Sierra leonean about patriotism. Let us be thoughtful about affairs of Sierra leone, “nor say nor to mi bizness” because if things go well we reap the benefits and if it goes bad we are definitely going to suffer .
From: Amadu wurie, Development communicator at the University of Makeni( UNIMAK).
A leopard never changes its spots. And a skunk will always remain a skunk, with the ability to stink a whole area; whoever goes near it will walk away with a nasty smell about him/her. We are being reminded of a party (APC) that has never believed in democracy within itself. The architect of this demented characteristic was Siaka Stevens, who history should hold responsible for the initial loss of balance of the nation.
The so-called APC grassroots who are urging Earnest Koroma to stay on as party leader for life have no moral compass and suffer from a distinct case of amnesia, never before discovered in the psychiatric field. They forget that this is the man who headed a corrupt government which alarmed not only Sierra Leoneans but the international community too; they forget that this is the man whose ministers and others turned the nation’s bank to a “piggy bank “ according to the Commission of Inquiry (COI); they forget that this is the man who refused to testify before COI to explain the source of his inordinate wealth; they forget that this is the man who would sack ministers for corruption only to bring them back quietly when the nation was not looking ; they forget that this is man under whose watch Ebola ( “kasankay) and mudslide funds disappeared without a trace. Is this the man APC grassroots expect the nation to cuddle up to for another shot at the presidency, or to stick around in any leadership position? We have to tell them that they haven’t passed on their mental ailment to us.
We cannot afford to turn to SLPP either. If a commission of inquiry were held now into the Bio government, not a single one of them would come out clean. Unless we as a people mount a bloodless revolution by kicking both SLPP and APC out,our misery will continue for eternity. The one and only aim of the revolution should be to give Dr Yomkella and NGC a chance at the presidency
My people, Sierra Leoneans, let’s wake up stand strong, our democracy is in peril. I’ve always said this to you several times that, as long as EBK is in the picture of politics in this country, expect nothing positively to be developed in our beloved homeland” Sierra Leone”. Let me say this; APC has no law or policy in place, whatever Ernest B. Koroma says nobody will reject it period. How conscience person would tell me that, supporters took to the street in Makeni, in support of the former president koroma without his knowledge to remain as the party’s life chairman? how dare you to publish such a lie in the social media, which you understood yourself that the most eloquent like to read our articles?
Why the APC brilliants, knowledgeable and charismatics are sitting at the corners watching Ernest chairman for life Koroma destroying the APC party? who thought that EBK doesn’t know nothing about this protest? that person, is a fool. This retired respected former statesman, why don’t you want to give an opportunity to another fellow? The late J.S.Momoh was appointed by Siaka P. Steven’s hand-picked to lead the country, though S.I. Koroma wasn’t qualify because of his health condition, but he was not even attempted to be ask for the position. That is the same what EBK doing, picking Samura Kamara as the flag bearer, APCs are you sleeping EBK fooling you out? Ernest Koroma, please let me give you my piece of advice today, please go home now. Don’t tell your supporters that” Ar hold word”, Anyway, Bio is victorious…..
I am sorry for the former president Koroma.
Thanks to the international community ( American, British and UN Ambassadors) for kicking out this retarded narcissistic dictator out of power. He promised our citizens “ Prosperity” after inheriting an almost debt free economy from late President Kabba, but handed over “Austerity” after 11 years of misrule. Due to massive theft, he is now the richest person in our nation.
He also managed to destroy our democracy which was rebuilt by then Brigadier Maada Bio by trying to follow the footsteps of his mentor late President Siaka Stevens who imposed his handpicked stooge ( Poyo Drunkard) which eventually resulted in our 10 years civil war. Unfortunately, the lifetime leader has spent his loot in “ making our country ungovernable since his party was kicked out in 2018 by our voters. “Good riddance to bad rubbish’