Dr Samura Kamara – the defeated 2018 APC presidential candidate breaks his silence

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 25 September 2018:

Dr. Samura Kamara, the defeated 2018 presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress Party, yesterday spoke out against what he regards as the injustice being served on public officials previously appointed by the former APC government.

Since his election victory six months ago, president Julius Maada Bio has sacked several high-profile senior government officials who served under the former APC government, believed to be activists and campaigners of the APC party.

According to a State House spokesman speaking to the Sierra Leone Telegraph a few months ago, president Bio has replaced former political appointees to make way for those he regard as trusted and loyal supporters of his ruling SLPP party.

But the defeated APC presidential candidate in a statement published yesterday, 24th September, 2018, said he was speaking “in Solidarity with fellow Sierra Leoneans forced out of jobs”. This is his statement:

My dear compatriots, since the inauguration of the new Government following the April 2018 Presidential Election Run Off, I have watched and followed very closely and with dismay how things are evolving by way of Government policy prescriptions and subsequent implementation. I am also carefully listening to and noting the painful reactions of the general public therein.

Undoubtedly, we have most disappointedly witnessed what I want to describe as a “new normal” or rather, a “new reality” that is very clearly sowing the seeds of a potentially unstable and explosive near term for our beloved SIERRA LEONE.

This is more especially characterised by the unprecedented targeting, for ultimate unexplained dismissal or forced unscheduled and unearned vacation, of fellow Sierra Leoneans across the length and breadth of our public Service.

All of those who have lost their jobs in the Service, including even those who were recruited on competitive basis and for dedicated professional placement, notoriously by Presidential Directives, have prematurely suffered this not by receiving direct letters from the Secretary to the President but intuitively by being hounded out of office by replacement officers with letters of new appointment.

Without doubt, all of  these suffering Sierra Leoneans are either Northerners, North-Westerners, Westerners and/or sympathisers/supporters of the All People’s Congress and the candidature of Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara as its Flag bearer in the 2018 Presidential Election or are very much perceived as such.

These compatriots, most of whom are excellent professionals by all local and international standards and credibility, gave up other opportunities elsewhere, at home and abroad, to serve their country, Sierra Leone, and they did so diligently. They shared their expertise, their experiences and their energies to help the rebuilding of our nation.

Many of them came to serve because they were called upon to do so irrespective of their tribe, the region they come from, or the political party they are supporting.

These are patriots who saw that the gaping skills gap in our Civil Service and other Public Service offices was a drawback on our national development aspirations. They therefore answered the national call to contribute to our collective course of making Sierra Leone a better place.

During their tenure of office, they worked and collaborated with many South–Easterners, who are today being assigned to replace them in their offices under the New Direction appointment preferences which are noticeably exclusive.

For example, in my tenure as Financial Secretary as well as Governor of the Central Bank and holding two major Ministerial positions, I gainfully worked and nurtured many South-Easterners to the best of my ability and for the benefit of building a prosperous Sierra Leone that we all should desire and would want to see.

This was notably done without recourse to any tribal lines and/or political affiliations and sympathies, and this was what characterised our Public Service staffing architecture in the Tejan Kabba, Saidu Momoh and Ernest Bai Koroma administrations.

In spite of all their services and sacrifices, many of these patriots are now being profiled and forced out of office; in some cases, without due process, and often times, without the courtesy of a ‘thank you’, or not least, severance benefits.

The dramatic manner and disingenuous political motivation that characterise these progressive sackings from the Public Service, are easily retrogressive and represent a bad precedent for and a drag on national development.

They are certainly a turn-off for other Sierra Leonean professionals who may wish to serve their country irrespective of their political persuasion.

I am therefore compelled to reach out to all of you who have fallen victim of this retrogressive politics; to say to you that you were not wrong in offering your expertise to your country; that your services didn’t go in vain.

  • You helped to move our dear Sierra Leone from one with the darkest city on earth to one whose capital and other major towns are now appreciably lit.
  • You helped to restore pipe- borne water to majority of our district headquarters and several other communities reaching millions with clean and safe drinking water.
  • You helped to change our nation’s terrible road network to what is today a commendable modern road infrastructure.
  • Through several policies, you incentivised our farmers with improved seeds, fertilizers and other farm inputs which motivated them to go back to the fields with much higher productivity levels and commerciality.
  • You saved thousands of lives by pulling your expertise together in introducing and successfully running an unprecedented Free ;Health Care Initiative for pregnant and lactating women and children under five years.
  • You walked us out of Ebola and mudslide.
  • You helped to rapidly increase access to pre-school. primary school. High school, tertiary and technical and vocational education.
  • You worked hard to help foster business environments where the private sector can thrive.
  • You helped to consolidate our democracy; resurrected and reinforced our local government and decentralisation, and rural development, thereby significantly reducing erstwhile huge urban-rural political, social and economic divide in Sierra Leone.
  • In sum, you have moved our nation from conflict to the most peaceful in our region; making Sierra Leone today, to be internationally acclaimed, including by the United Nations, as a storehouse of good lessons in post-conflict reconstruction, open government, political and economic inclusion, social protection, transparency and accountability.For these and the many other invaluable contributions you have made towards our nation’s rebuilding, you deserve respect and appreciation; not antagonism, especially by a succeeding government which has benefitted from the strong foundations you have helped to lay for moving our nation further forward. I therefore stand with you and want to let you know that all is not lost.

    The majority of Sierra Leoneans – the ordinary man and woman; boys and girls, the aged and fragile, the physically challenged, and vulnerable grassroots activists, who benefitted from your endeavours, remain solidly with you.

In sharp contrast to the new government’s unfounded utterances, we have witnessed important progress over the past decade.

It goes without saying that today, many Sierra Leoneans now have a fair chance to thrive, to flourish, to develop their capacities, no matter who they are and where they are from in the country.

Notably, our Agenda for Change and Agenda for Prosperity together provide a clear roadmap for achieving our longer term destination of a Middle Income Sierra Leone by 2035. Stay blessed and do not despair.

Editor’s note

Dr. Samura Kamara  is the 2018 presidential candidate of the All People’s Congress Party.

10 Comments

  1. Mr. Kamara, where were you when the politico hopus-copus of the then APC government destroyed our Economy, Education, Democracy, Agriculture, etc. And you still want President Bio to encourage those people that I termed as ‘KONAKANAKRATIC POLITICIANS’ in their offices to continue to destabilize our COUNTRY?

    NO, never will it happen again!! You Guys continue to enjoy the monies you have been stealing from us… But Remember, you’re going to remain jobless for the next 30 years … so you have to know how to use your money. If a day you cannot manage to eat ‘Pehmahun’ the next day try ‘Lafeleh’. That’s my advice for you..thank you!

  2. Dr Samura Kamara is exhibiting the tell tail of the tragedy which has befallen APC six months after Maada Bio floored them for the count.They still have trouble knowing why and when they went down.They are punch drunk and when one is in that mode confusion reigns supreme – delusion takes over.Their ninety nine political tactics could not help them. They did come to the ninety ninth tactic but divine intervention had altered the formula, making its application utterly impossible.

    Deeply hidden in Dr Samura’s postmortem of the current APC tragedy which his piece is all about is how the party has effectively become leaderless, with some of its rank and file preparing to mutiny to bring about change at the top.The party’s commander ,Earnest Koroma ,is missing in action and ,according to some sources ,the party is in financial straits. Shocking ,isn’t it? Just a few months ago they were spending money like a drunken sailor.

    Throughout his article Dr Samura miserably failed to tell us whether or not the sackings which President Bio has embarked on are illegal under the constitution or by any other guidelines.Political appointments are just that – political.They are effective only while a government is in power, a new government has the prerogative to terminate or allow them to continue.

    In all candour, did Dr Samura expect President Bio to retain people in his administration who would serve as a fifth column for APC ? The distinguished gentleman should desist from acting like a novice just because he finds himself unable to attack Bio on policies that matter to the nation.

    I am NGC and I am proud of my leader , Dr Yomkella ,for not having made any rash criticism of President Bio.He has class and come 2023 the fight will be between us and SLPP while APC are still crying foul.

  3. My only message to Mr. kamara is for him to zip up his mouth. Sierra Leone does not need unpatriotic and selfish politician like him.

    Mr. Kamara, Where were you when APC was destroying the fabric of democracy in Sierra Leone? Where were you when APC was marginalizing our people based on their tribe, ethnicity and region of origin?

    Where were you when APC was unlawfully removing democratically elected officials, chiefs, etc.? Where were you when our country was going down the drain? Please ZIP UP your mouth.

  4. “……During their tenure of office, they worked and collaborated with many South–Easterners, who are today being assigned to replace them in their offices under the New Direction appointment preferences which are noticeably exclusive……)-Samura Kamara

    Well you have exonerated the action of Bio in this single sentence of yours. What any reasonable being can decipher from this is that all senior government positions or appointments were held by Northerners and the people from the South and East were made fiddle under them.

    Unfortunately, despite the trust your president Koroma put on those northerners he appointed, they failed the country miserably. Bio has to start from somewhere, he is not going to jump those who were fiddle to the bad eggs and bring in APC recommended employees to fill in positions.

    He has to pick from among those who he can trust. Not people who can send to Cocorioko, government internal correspondence with the signature of the president or VP for publication.

    Having said that this tit for tat which Koroma introduced should be stopped. You as a northerner worked in the SLPP led government for ten years not because you are the most brilliant Economist, but you were not sack. When Koroma came, he did not care. He got rid of brilliant people from the south and East and to pretend that he gave jobs to some people from the south and East, he gave jobs to the likes of Moijueh kaikai, Maya Kaikai and Diana Konomanyi. These are people who even by the Salone standard are the most naive people.

  5. Mr. SAMURA KAMARA thanks for expressing your bitterness about the present government and your praise in the way Momoh and Koroma carried themselves during their tenure, something no Sierra Leonean except you and your allies will write home about.

    Mr Kamara, modern politics is definitely about appointing people who see and believe in your vision and implement your policies.

    You people are playing dangerous games to divide our country. There’s nothing tribal in what Bio is currently doing. The problem is people like you want to destabilise the intentions of this government and see them fail.

    You mentioned that we had professionals who left their jobs in the diaspora and took up jobs, but have now been sacked due to tribal and political reasons. Your government destroyed the fabric of every institution in that country; your party and its members were the sole beneficiaries of our country’s fortunes- evidence of such allegations are openly out there for everyone to see.

    Your party misguided us into believing that you were doing the right things; your party sold state property to yourselves and inturn rented them to the government for personal gain; your party misappropriated and stole huge sums of ebola and mudslide funds; YOUR PARTY ONLY GAVE JOBS to mostly northerners who DID NOT work in the interest of the country but enrich themselves – and no one cried foul.

    Mr. Samura, my advice to you is to render your heartfelt apology to the people of Sierra Leone for your party’s misrule and mismanagement of our country’s resources. My question to you is – if you had won, would you have surrounded yourself with members of other political parties?

    You had once worked under Bio. He didn’t sack you, did he? Please Mr. Samura, find a better way of playing your politics, otherwise you’ll be in the political wilderness for a very long time.

  6. Those days are over. Fair and hard leader we have been blessed with by God. APC promised to make SLPP Government ungovernable. They proved it by undermining the country’s national security. As a citizen, we will NOT allow APC thugs and their rogue former regime to collapse our nation.

  7. I’m personally appealing to Mr. Samura Kamara to stop this incitement between different tribes and regions. Is he trying to send a message to former AFRC leader Johnny Paul Koroma to come out of hiding to destroy our nation once again because the All People’s Congress Party (APC) is no longer in power?

    President Maada Bio has already sacrificed his life to bring peace and democracy which the late President Tejan Kabbah consolidated, and the SLPP also helped maintain the peace for ten years while in opposition after former presidential candidate Mr Solomon Berewa graciously accepted defeat; followed by Retired Brigadier Maada Bio who respectfully gave political space to former president Koroma to fulfill his agendas by traveling abroad to further his education.

    My only advice for Mr. Samura and his APC party is to wait for campaign season (2023) to promote his future plans for developing our nation, instead of making inflammatory statements to his political base just to bring another destruction to our country.

  8. I find it interesting that when Ernest Koroma resorted to mass firings of professionals in the public sector in 2007, Samura Kamara decided to seal his lips. However, when President Julius Bio decides to make public appointments within his constitutional powers, Samura Kamara would cry out tribalism and regionalism.

    If many of the top professionals being replaced are northerners, then it means that Ernest Koroma was only appointing northerners to top government positions. There can be no other logic to this.

    Lets face it, political appointments are by their very nature temporary. When your party loses elections, you become a candidate for joblessness. Let’s stop playing this silly tribalism card. President Bio has appointed folks to positions from every corner of Sierra Leone. And given the current circumstances, the president is doing a great job.

    Further, it must be pointed out that where employment is concerned, no matter what the president does, hirings are going to be somewhat skewed, no matter how little, in one direction/region. That should not be the president’s fault but the fault of the type of politics practiced in Sierra Leone and Africa – ethno-regionalism.

    In the face of this reality, it is incumbent that we focus more on the policies that the president implements. Give the president a chance to work with those he believes will implement his policies.

  9. Dr. Samura, this is politics. It does not take a PhD to figure out that President Bio needs new breed of Sierra Leoneans to promote his agenda for the New Direction (ND). The ND by President Bio and the (A4C) by the APC are totally incompatible. So, SLPP cannot put a square peg in a round hole. It cannot fit in. Simple common sense.

    It does not take a rocket, political scientist to figure this out. Now APC suddenly wants to teach SLPP how to run their administration. Did the APC listen to the SLPP complaints about the rampant firing of SLPP surrogates and the subsequent Northernization of Government in 2007 and 2012?

    If you answer is YES, then be patient. If you answer is NO, then, why not join President Bio to make Sierra Leone a better place for all of us, and not for just the few APC Party stalwarts and members, as it used to be.

    I am not a supporter of President Bio, but he is our President now. I am saying this because it’s what is right to do. APC stooges will not promote his agenda, instead will try to de-promote and sabotage his NEW DIRECTION, for APC to win political points. It did not happen in 2007 and 2012, so, it’s not going to happen in 2018, 2023, 2028, 2033. Amen!

    Simple, a sense that is common, sir.

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