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.”
I hope that Dr. KKY is wise enough to be used by anyone inside the APC, my brother you are a gentleman well known worldwide. APC is not interested in winning the parliamentary but all their eyes are on the state house, so that they can bring back Ernest B. Koroma to power indirectly, but trust me that plan will failed. They trying to use Dr. Bright and the others, but I hope KKY not included, that a shame.
I believe that one reason would make Bio not becomes the next president comes 2023, if God takes his life, as APC being praying for long ago. They’ve paralyzed him so many times, even pronounced his death, not knowing that he was in Kenya. But let’s leave the rest with God.
In general majority of socalled educated Sierra Leoneans don’t like winners. We rather have loosers at the helm to decide our fate. Dr Yumukella and Mayor Akin Sawyer are well respected within the international community, and the fact they are outstanding citizens of Sierra Leone, is a huge plus. The problem here we haven’t utilities their star powers and connections to make a dent of differences because of the vendettas politics that Bio and his ilk have mastered over the years. At the end we are presented with a false prophet, that claimed to know all the answers to our country’s problems, and is catapulted to the presidency with out the knowledge or experience of running a government hence his reliance on so called experts around him. And where this socalled prophets of doom and gloom goes is where the vast majority of the young illiterate population will follow.
Its certainly not rocket science to discern your average living conditions both for you and your family, to work out what this Bio one directionless government has dilivered in the last few years. No one is suggesting Bio and his ministers should drive aroud with drop of boxes full of Leones and knocking on ordinary families doors and saying to people here is your share of the national cake. We need a president and a government that is committed in creating a homogeneous society, investing in education, infrastructure, energy, health, housing, agriculture, roads, bridges, tackling the degradation of our environment, end corruption, promote free press, respect for the rule of law, open, transparent and accountable to the voters that elected members of Parliament, and most importantly create the economic climate where possible, so everyone can excel in their own field.
Dr Yumukella and many other distinguished Sierra Leoneans know its the only way we can overcome the challenges facing our country. The problem we have is the voting public that can’t tell the difference between good and evil. At present Bio is just another false prophet that is taking our country to the dry cleaners. The problem with that is the corruption stain he and his poapa supporters have inflicted on us will haunt our country long after Bio has left the political scene.
Bilal Coleman, the electoral weakness of Dr Yomkella, as you put it, stands as the irrefutable and undisguised evidence as to why he and NGC are being courted by both SLPP and APC. I wish to remind you that the people of Sierra Leone presently are not the same people who voted four years ago in terms of their political awareness. This cuts across all tribal lines. There is a large number of hidden voters who, for reasons of expediency, are not openly supporting Dr Yomkella, especially in SLPP strongholds in the south and southeast – principally Mende people. They see how nothing in their lives has improved since Bio took office and are ready for a drastic change. The majority of them are not educated but they have innate intelligence and common sense.
The 2023 elections will be like no other in our history. In 2018 NGC had no time to prepare. Now, in all corners of the country and internationally people know who Kandeh Yomkella is. In fact, in the case of the latter,Dr Yomkella needs no introduction to the international community, having risen to a height just short of Secretary General of the United Nations . Even the diplomatic community in Sierra Leone are aware of Dr Yomkella, but they are playing a sophisticated game of diplomacy until the right moment. They know that SLPP and APC have held the country hostage for more than sixty years with their lack of patriotism and crippling thievery. Please continue to closely monitor events.
Santhkie Sorie, in the absence of a scientific polling system in Sierra Leone, many of us rely on historical trends in voting to make electoral prognostications. It follows that historical voting patterns in Sierra Leone do not support your assertion that the NGC, a third political force, would upstage the SLPP and APC in next year’s elections. In particular, I don’t understand what developments you have been following to make you assert that the NGC will beat the SLPP in the SLPP’s Southeastern stronghold. Let me be very frank and succinct, the NGC will neither win the Southeast nor the North. Sierra Leone is a defacto two party state and a resilient duopoly at that. It may be unfortunate but it is what it is.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is a good man. But he inflicted a mortal blow to his presidential ambitions by leaving the SLPP. The NGC was and still is a misplaced experiment in politics hence its pathetic performance in the 2018 elections. Don’t forget that the party’s paltry 6.9 percent presidential polls included voters who have long returned to their respective former parties – the SLPP and the APC. What this means is that a 5 percent projection for Dr. Yumkella in next year’s pols would even be very generous. Yes, the SLPP and the APC are courting Dr. Yumkella. Politics is a numbers game. If Dr. Yumkella can bring over his supporters to either party, then as the saying goes, the more the merrier. But lets not be carried away with the notion that any of these parties are interested in handing over to Yumkella their flagbearer position. It will not happen.
To close, we must realize that the economy is only one issue in the midst of many that voters consider when they go to the polls. There are other issues that include love of party, candidate’s likeability, projects that have been successfully undertaken and those that would be undertaken, etc. Make no joke, President Julius Bio has a lot of good things to campaign on.
Hahaha! Pardon my ‘illegal substance’ pun sir, honorable ART. Nonetheless, as the APC before them, the extremist PAOPA faction of the SLPP must clearly be smoking something in thinking that, they could inflict any abuse onto the Sierra Leoneans citizens and walk away scott free.
The army of patriotic Sierra Leoneans across the globe are taking stock of their actions, and will continue to call and hold them accountable. Professor Dauda Yillah, i salute your sir. The truth they said ‘is a bitter pill to swallow’, however, it must be stated. Thanks to all the patriots in the platform calling things for what they are, devoid of any political inclination.
So strongly worded and yet so true your comment is, Young4na. To add anything else would be rather superfluous.
The morally bankrupt, unsavory, PAOPA buffoons must have been in their relapse mode, after taking a break from their usual illegal substance abuse, when they came up with such gibberish plan in trying to cajole Dr. KKY back into their misfit camp. Other than the RUF, it is safe to say, no other group come close to PAOPA, in our nation’s history that have done so much in creating chaos and instability within our nation’s political space.
Their now 4yrs reign of terror started right from within their own party, during the campaign period leading to the 2018 elections. With a mindset of grabbing power by all means necessary, a crusade of ‘burn and slash’ was inflicted against prominent senior SLPP folks like John Benjamin, Isata Kabbah, chief Somano Kapen, and many others, who were deem opposing the candidacy of Bio. Besides the physical and verbal abuse, along with personal properties vandalized, one of John Benjamin’s supporter, a young boy, was murder by the PAOPA terror squad in broad day light at Segbwema town.
Deem at the time, the number one enemy, Dr. KKY ordeal in the hands of this MAFIA team was unexplainable. Not even his innocent elderly mom at the time was spare, with the old lady subjected to unprinted invectives. With the unrelentless barrage of verbal and physical abuse coming from all angles, KKY finally felt dejected as PAOPA labelled him a nonparty member, claiming there was no prove he was a paid up party member. Towards that end, he was left with no option but to form his own party. Now almost 5yrs later, with unprecedented derailment in our nation’s democratic credentials, and records untold suffering as a result of ineptitude and massive racketeering by Bio and his gangs of thieves, the unrepentant PAOPA want to lick their own vomit. How ironic!!
Please go easy on your allegations. You have no evidence that they abuse illegal substance. First and Last warning – please take note. Thank you.
Interesting. So, according to Mr. Yankuba Kai-samba, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella will not return to the SLPP,
He will stay in the NGC and lead that party to power. But reports from many circles in Sierra leone indicate that Dr. Yumkella’s NGC is seeking a political alliance/merger with the APC to fight the SLPP in next year’s presidential elections.
Dr. Yumkella is a good man and I have no doubts that just as he is positively contributing to his country’s development now so will he continue in the foreseeable future. One does not have to be a president to be a productive member of society. However, if Dr. Yumkella still has presidential ambitions in Sierra Leone, I wonder how those ambitions would come to fruition from an NGC platform. Indeed, if the last presidential elections are anything to go by, Dr. Yumkella is weak electorally. One cannot win the presidency of Sierra Leone with support from only one district – Kambia. Hanging only onto his home district, Kambia, Dr. Yumkella,was beaten in all the regions of Sierra Leone by President Bio and Samura Kamara in 2018. Would that change in 2023? I doubt it very much.
I also do not see Dr. Yumkella being handed the flagbearer position in the event that the NGC merges with the APC. Traditional APC voters would resent such a move. Besides, Samura Kamara has proven to be a stronger national electoral candidate than Dr. Yumkella. Would Dr. Yumkella then settle for a running mate position? If yes, then the question would be, why then did he leave the SLPP? Interesting times ahead.