Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 May 2022:
Speaking in Dakar, Senegal this week, former President of Sierra Leone – Ernest Bai Koroma, said that despite pressures for him to change the country’s Constitution to run for a third term, he refused because he did not believe its the right thing to do.
He was speaking at a Sub-regional event which took place on 12th and 13th May 2022, titled – “Dialogue on Sustaining Democratic Principles in West Africa,” organised by the West African Elders Forum (WAEF).
The former Sierra Leonean President told delegates that It was never on his agenda to run for a third term. “When I was elected for the second time, I made it categorically clear in my maiden address that it was my second and final term and I would not add a day beyond my constitutional term limit because I did not believe in it,” he said.
He furthered that he was opportune to serve for two terms and he knew that it was enough. President Koroma noted, “If you served with hard work and diligence, the two-term would take a toll on you. Fortunately, I still have some energy which I will use to do other things.”
He cautioned those running for presidential office against making unreasonable promises just to woo voters. He said, “when you make too many and too much promises you would get yourself in difficulties after you would have gotten into office and are faced with the reality of limited time and resources – both human and financial. “
People’s expectations he said would be very high because you had raised their hopes to believe that things will happen immediately, and dramatically change for the better.
Along with former President Koroma were the Chair of WAEF, former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and H.E. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, founding member of WAEF and former head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel.
The Dakar dialogue brought together other political leaders, policy experts, members of the ECOWAS Commission, the Speaker and Members of the ECOWAS Parliament among others.
It is one of several events being organized by WAEF under the aegis of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation as part of WAEF’s ongoing response to the reversals in democracy and good governance in the sub region.
The main objectives are to assess the threats to democracy, identify the drivers of the third term impulse, re-emergence of military coups and the search for enduring answers to these issues.
At the meeting, former President Koroma interacted with the Sierra Leone delegation to ECOWAS Parliament who participated in the Two Day High-Level Dialogue. including the Rt Hon. Mohamed Sidi Tunis – Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay and Hon. Shiaka Musa Sama, all of whom are also serving in the Sierra Leone Parliament under the ticket of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party except for Hon. Shiaka Musa Sama who was elected as an independent candidate.
The event was supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa OSIWA.