Former president Ernest Koroma apologises to the APC party

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 October 2018:

Former president of Sierra Leone – Ernest Bai Koroma, has finally broken silence since his party lost the presidential and general elections held in March this year.

According to report by APC stalwart – Chernor Ojuku Sesay, the former president was yesterday, Friday 26 October 2018, responding to a report by a Nine-man Committee he had appointed in May this year to carry out an in-depth investigation into the reasons for the party’s defeat at the polls.

“As the Chairman and Leader of the party, the buck stops at my desk. Therefore, I should be man enough to accept all the blame and apologise for all that the APC members are going through as a result of the election loss. (Picture above: Courtesy of an unknown artist).

“I am a human being and liable to mistakes. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart,” said the former president, amidst applause and standing ovation from the audience for accepting the blame and saying. He then said: “I’m sorry”.

The former president then went on to say: “Yes, I have to accept the blame because I am the Leader. But you also have to remember where I took this party from.

“In 2002 when we contested the election and increased our Parliamentary seats from Five in 1996 to Twenty-seven, I was praised as the best Leader and Chairman.

“In 2007, we did not only increase our Parliamentary seats from 27 to 59, but we also won State House; I was hailed as the best Leader ever. We repeated the same again in 2012 and I received the same accolades.

“Now that we lost the Presidential elections, people are calling me all sorts of names like “Dictator surrounded by sycophants”, etc. If we had won, there would have been no need to form a Nine-man committee.

“I am appealing to all of you and every true loving APC members for bygones to be bygones and for us to think of the bigger picture come 2023.

“I want to assure all of you that even if I am no longer the Chairman and Leader of this great APC party, I will always remain APC and will do everything in my reach to return this party to power at the earliest possible time.

“I am ready to move from district to district and even to the Diaspora to tender my apologies and say I’m sorry to all APC members. We have to come together and forgive each other.

“We must extend the hand of comradeship to all those aggrieved and I’m prepared to lead that effort,” he concluded with deafening applause from party members, singing the APC Victory song.

The former president called on members of the party to forget about the many Movements that are emerging within the APC party, which he said described as distractions.

According to Chernor Ojuku Sesay’s report, there were speeches also by Diana Konomanyi who spoke on behalf of the Regional Chairpersons of the APC party; former High Commissioner to the UK – Mr. Eddie Turay; former Mayor of Freetown – Mr Franklyn Bode-Gibson; and Alimamy Petito Koroma who he said spoke on behalf of the 2018 presidential Aspirants.

Whether this bold statement of apology to members of the party is enough to assuage their grievances and heal the deep wounds that have opened up in the party, is yet to be seen.

What is clear is that the party has a long and painful task of reconciling differences  among its ranks, and begin the process of reforming and restructuring itself, ahead of the next elections in 2023.

The so called nine-man investigation report submitted to the senior APC party officials by the committee, is now marred by serious controversy as allegations of underhandedness and chicanery haunts the committee.

Two key members of the nine-man committee – Dr. Sylvia Blyden and Mr Winstanley Bankole Johnson, have both disowned the report and distanced themselves from its content.

“If posterity is going to applaud the Report, let it not include me as a party deserving of such applause; and if posterity is going to condemn that Report, let it not include me as deserving of such condemnation,” Dr. Sylvia Blyden said.

Dr. Sylvia Blyden said that she cannot lend her credibility to any document of which she says, “the final version was not shown to me and I have not seen what is actually inside the final version.”

“All I have heard are rumours that a so-called 9-Man Report has been handed over to NAC (the party’s highest organ – sic) on Tuesday and will be formally presented to the party in the morning. I am trying to seek clarity on the rumours.

“I have a lot of respect for the other 8 members of the Committee but if the rumours are true, then it is better they call it as an 8-Man Report as I am not a signatory to whatever is in there. Sylvia Blyden is not a part of that Report,” she said.

Dr. Abdulai Conteh, Dr. Tom Obaleh, Dr. David Tam Baryoh, Captain Victor Spain, Lansana Dumbuya Esq., Sulaiman Kabba Koroma Esq. Winstanley Bankole-Johnson and Mariama Lowe Bangura, are the eight other members of the nine-man committee set up by former president Koroma to investigate the causes of the party’s defeat at the polls last March.

11 Comments

  1. EBK you should be ashamed of yourself, apologising to your so called party instead of apologising to the nation. It clearly shows how selfish, hypocritical, cowardly, self centered and ignorant you are to your countrymen. You needed the nation when climbing up the ladder – so you needed them too while climbing down. But you can clearly see that Sierra Leoneans are not stupid. They treated you and your APC Cabals like paper towels.

  2. How can Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone, make any apology, after destroying the APC party? it’s very frustrating to hear the report of atrocities being committed against innocent people by the present government, where the Police are doing things by the order from above.

    EBK, you have completely destroyed the APC Party through your self-centredness by choosing Samura Kamara instead of leaving the entire process of choosing of the flag-bearer to a Committee. The founder of the party, late Dr. Siaka Stevens (may his soul rest in peace) was never like that, for he was open to the views and opinions of the people, giving positions to everyone, irrespective of where you come from.

    Why did you sack Sam Sumana, your Vice President and replaced him with Victor Foh? I wish I had had the opportunity to communicate with you at the beginning of your Second Term. May the good Lord bless and protect Sierra Leone from any tribal or civil unrest, thinking of what the country experienced during the rebel/junta war.

  3. Ernest Koroma worked tirelessly to enrich himself and his cronies at the expense of the State. That is why the APC lost. Nothing more, nothing less. If teachers were paid on time, electricity was fixed and supply remained constant in every district, major roads were built, hospitals were equipped and health practitioners well paid, if there was an investment bonanza, food prices were stable and our currency did not fluctuate like the tides of the sea, Samura Kamara would have won.

    Corruption, tribalism and incompetence is why you lost and the people who you really owe an apology to is ordinary Sierra Leoneans.

  4. Ernest Koroma should do his country and party a big favor by stepping aside from his position as chairman for life of the APC as he promised during his final voting at the last election. Continuing to manipulate the nation by shedding crocodile tears is just a form of witchcraft.

    I also hope that he will be honest enough to admit that he and his cohorts looted our country for their selfish ends which will probably accelerate the Commission of Enquiry and will eventually bring reconciliation.

  5. Ernest Koroma has become a prisoner of his own conscience – a terrible state to be in. The pain and turmoil so inflicted has no known cure because it is an internal affair.In this state,one becomes an actor or actress to conceal the effects of being lonely inside even while portraying an atmosphere of well-being on the outside.

    The former president is now engulfed by 20/20 hindsight in which he sees demons he does not like facing.These demons include his awful inability to stem official corruption in the least of ways;on the contrary his actions encouraged it and gave it credence by recycling his ministers and others who were caught with their hand in the nation’s coffers.

    The other demon Ernest Koroma has to bring himself to face is how he always loses his ability to speak up at crucial moments when the nation needed it,such as the corruption involving the pilgrimage to Mecca,missing Ebola and mudslide funds,the disappearance of diamonds, etc etc.His silence means that that he in the thick of things.

    Ernest Koroma,you owe the people of Sierra Leone an even bigger apology,and remember that what you do for yourself dies with you,that which you do for others remains.

  6. People of Sierra Leone did not have anything against Dr Samura Kamara. They simply did not vote for him, because they knew that if he had won, Koroma and his family would have continued to control and bleed the State.

  7. I find it insulting that he should apologize to the party for losing the election instead of a genuine attempt to put his political achievements and failures in perspective for all Sierra Leoneans to see and decide whether or not he did a good job.

    But I guess winning an election is more important to him than what he may have achieved during his tenure for the benefit of Sierra Leone as whole. It just goes to prove that he is more committed to the party than the nation. He forgets that all parties in any country are there to serve the people and not any party. Welcome to the “APC”.

  8. Yes, the former president has to apologize to the people of sierra leone, not only to his party members. This speech to the APC is only bla, bla. No word about mistakes and accusations during his time of government. All was correct?

  9. Instead of apologizing to your political party you should be apologizing to the nation. The entire people of your country who looked up to you as the leader to get them out of suffering are striving to keep up the pace. We are still crushed in the gutter.

    Look at the state and condition of the country and the people. What have Sierra Leoneans done to be treated this way. The most friendly people – so hospitable, yet could not experience some sense of pleasure and satisfaction from life.

    • You are absolutely right.

      He had the chance to do so at the inauguration of the current president but he did not. But here he is apologising to his party members. He is a coward, a hypocrite and a very wicked man. May God judge him in his time.

      God bless you too Sir.

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