Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 March 2022:
Dr Kandeh Yumkella, the politician many in and outside of Sierra Leone believe to be the President the country needs if it is to turn its misfortunes and poor governance around, has been talking to journalists about politics in Sierra Leone today and the need for opposition political parties to coalesce around one single goal – “keeping Sierra Leone’s democracy alive and end decades of underdevelopment”.
Sierra Leone, Dr Yumkella said, needs a fundamental change in the way the country is governed and those leading the country. He calls for the strengthening of strategic alliance by the thirteen opposition parties who are members of the Consortium of Opposition Political Parties (COPP), including the main opposition APC.
For critics and sceptics doubting his commitment to continue the fight as parliamentary leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party – rather than defect to the ruling SLPP in return for a ministerial job, Dr Yumkella said that he has no interest in whatever the President is offering.
“But if the President calls me to give advice as to how to run the country, I will respond positively for the good of the country”, he said. You can listen to the recording of his interview below.
Commenting on the President’s request to Yumkella (Photo) to re-join the ruling SLPP, Yankuba Kai-Samba, former UK secretary general of SLPP and now member of the NGC party said: “Dr Kandeh Yumkella cannot be a substitute in a team with no clear direction and future. This would scupper his vision for the country and deny our people the leadership they need to transform the economy, build strong institutions which the two old parties have failed to achieve since Sierra Leone became a sovereign nation.
“Kandeh Yumkella is a democrat who is committed to building strong independent institutions in Sierra Leone. He will be misguided to be tricked into paopaism, an unusual cunning militant groups of individuals who grabbed the SLPP leadership by unsavoury tactics including unprecedented violence and undemocratic conducts.
“The appeal for him to return to SLPP, after he has made enormous personal sacrifices to form his own party to give a credible alternative leadership to the nation is a cynical ploy to prevent the change the country desperately needs, not 5 years’ time but now.
“I believe that more than any other times in the turbulent political history of Sierra Leone, a new political coalition of progressives that is more inclusive with solid and principled commitment to usher in a new constitutional and economic order design to benefit all of our people should be the future for our nation.
“Sierra Leone is at a crossroad, Dr Kandeh Yumkella is at a cross. It’s an invidious position to be foisted on anyone. He will either decide to go back to the party that not only rejected him, but humiliated him, cheated him, referred to him as Kenyemoi, (not part of us) and publicly assaulted his mother or create another path for others to follow.
“Paopas appealing to Kandeh Yumkella to save them from the needless mess they have created for themselves, is analogous to a second division football coach who waited until his team is 3 nil down, with 10 minutes left to the end of the match before he brings in a star player to join his subdued players against his opponent.
“Kandeh Yumkella including me, and many others are ready to serve our country and people, but we find it morally repugnant and inconsistent with our commitments to work for a more democratic, just and fair society, which, in my honest opinion, the paopas do not represent in Sierra Leone.”