Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 July 2023:
Many Siera Leoneans – in and out of the country are perplexed and dumbfounded after reading a Twitter comment yesterday, published by the former parliamentary leader and founder of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party – Dr Kandeh Yumkella, whose political career has now ended in tatters, as casualty of the June 24 presidential and general election in Sierra Leone.
Yumkella designed the masterplan for his own political suicide. As chairman of the parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising laws enacted by the Bio-led government, Yumkella saw nothing wrong with the 2022 Elections Act that brough the District Block voting system that has now caused so much controversy and misery for millions of people across the country who did not understand its implications.
But now, Yumkella is criticising the District Block system after turning a blind eye as scrutiny chairman in parliament, as his NGC party loses all five seats won in 2018 in the Kambia District, including his own seat.
This is what he said yesterday on his Twitter feed: “The final results released by the EC salone show that the PR threshold posed significant limitations on the political opportunities available to smaller parties. Despite the multitude of challenges and constraints we encountered, the NGC Salone gave its best effort.
“We humbly accept the people’s verdict. Heartfelt congratulations to President Bio and the Progressive Alliance on this resounding victory. May the Almighty guide you Mr. President to govern with inclusivity for all Sierra Leoneans.
“The Progressive Alliance remains steadfast in our commitment to advancing the vision of Compassionate Inclusive Governance.
“Immense gratitude to all the devoted members of the NGC Salone who tirelessly contributed to our campaign. Your unwavering dedication is deeply appreciated. Let us unite now in our collective endeavours to forge a brighter future for SierraLeone.”
Will Yumkella be trusted ever again with position of power in Sierra Leone?
This is what political commentator Thomas Sankara said on social media: “Hon. Dr. Kandeh Yumkella threw his Parliamentary career under the bus. He was the most centrist lawmaker in the Fifth Parliament. He did exceptionally well with the Committee on Fake Degree Investigation.
“He’s a global icon on energy, diplomacy and what have you. Unfortunately, this fine academic, Hon. Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, former parliamentary leader of the NGC party in all his political consultations, calculations, negations, etc, has failed to preserve himself. He literally, politically sacrificed his Parliamentary future without counting the cost behind his alliance deal with the SLPP. The alliance dug Yumkella’s parliamentary grave without him knowing it.
“Hon. Yumkella, could have easily bargained with the SLPP not to present a parliamentary candidate against him in his own backyard, Kambia District like he also did for Bio by not contesting for the presidency, but he failed to do so. Hon. Yumkella, saved the aspiration of Maada Bio by jeopardizing his Parliamentary fate. He was tricked and has tripped with the vexatious vote against him by the people of Kambia.
“He can blame the PR voting system as much as he wants but he needn’t forget that he voted in favour of the law that he’s now decrying in his tweets.
“If there is anything to learn from the Parliamentary downfall of Hon. Yumkella, it’s the fact that not even a sophisticatedly educated man can withstand the antics and brinkmanship of politics.”
“Noto because you learn book or have international acclamation means say u sabi politics.
“The consequences for Hon. Yumkella are dire and two-pronged in nature; he’s not eligible to be a Minister and can’t also be selected as even Deputy Speaker. Hon. Yumkella needs a deep soul-searching and must ask himself how and when he can make right his political incorrectness.”
This is the end of Yumkella’s political career, and possibly the end too for the NGC party in what is now definitely a continuation of a two horse race between the SLPP and the APC.