Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 July 2017
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has been informed by the KKYM Media Team that: “Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (Photo: Kandeh – speaking to the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph, Abdul R Thomas about his vision), will be holding a press briefing on Monday, 3rd July 2017, at The New Brookfields Hotel in Freetown at 12 noon.
“All accredited members of the Fourth Estate – the media, should be seated by 11:45 am” for this momentous occasion. It is understood that the aim of tomorrow’s press conference is for Kandeh Yumkella to announce his decision about his political future and his place in the opposition SLPP, if any.
And should he decide that there is no place for his brand of progressive politics and values within the SLPP, he will be expected to spell out where he is not only heading, but where he is taking the hundreds of thousands of supporters he has garnered across the country in the last two years of mobilising support for his brand of politics – which is about integrity and ‘putting Sierra Leone first’.
Yumkella is a highly experienced international development expert, after working at the UN as a director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). He was also a special envoy of the former UN Chief Ban Ki Moon – on Global Energy.
He returned home to Sierra Leone in 2015 to enter into national politics and to start his campaign to become the president of Sierra Leone in 2018, a decision few in the opposition SLPP party are now violently and unconstitutionally opposing.
Many of Yumkella’s supporters in the SLPP as well as admirers outside of the party, say that he is being unfairly victimised by Maada Bio and his so called Pa-O-Pa faction, who see Maada Bio as their leader and presidential candidate of the SLPP.
Bio’s supporters say that although Bio was soundly rejected by the people of Sierra Leone at the 2012 elections, he must be given another chance to contest the 2018 presidential election.
But critics and political observers say that Maada Bio is carrying a heavy political baggage after leading a military coup in 1992, that saw the summary execution of dozens of people without proper trial. Maada Bio is currently banned from entering the USA.
Whilst Yumkella’s decision to join the SLPP and to help the party win the 2018 election was borne out of respect for his father’s legacy as a founding member of the party, many of his supporters are now saying that he has done very well to take the goat to the river. But Kandeh cannot take responsibility for the goat’s refusal to drink.
Kandeh must leave the SLPP to form a new national coalition of progressives, who want to build a better future for Sierra Leone, they urge.
Tomorrow is red letter day for the SLPP party and for Yumkella’s political future, and all eyes and ears will be at his press conference, where all roads in Freetown shall lead.
Will Yumkella choose to stay, or will he take the bold and decisive step to leave his father’s grand old party for the national interest?
If he chooses to stay, critics will say that he has not mustered the courage and vision expected of a leader and the SLPP extremists will expect him to put up and shut up. If he goes, he will be lambasted for jumping off a sinking ship, instead of staying to put out the fire.
But for the majority of Sierra Leoneans who are languishing in abject poverty and are fed up of the failings of the two main parties – APC and SLPP, Kandeh’s decision to join or form a Progressive Coalition that can establish a government of national unity in 2018, cannot come sooner. Will he stay or will he go for God and country?
In sierra leone we need a transformative leader to transform the lives of 7.000.000 people. So my fellow Sierra Leoneans let us try Dr. Alhaji Kandeh Kolleh Yumukella. now or never. COUNTRY FIRST.
This shows how backward and negative supporters of the Bio group are and the tribal divide and sectionalism within the Sierra Leonean political system. The APC Party has been waiting for this to happen so that they may choose their presidential candidate.
We are seeing the true vision of one -people-one- country of the founding fathers eroded by the paaopa group.
I am looking for a Savior who can change the negative image and socio-economic degradation that the APC party has taken us since they ascended into power. Sierra Leoneans are used to the state of hopelessness by the draconian rule which APC party had subjected the country
As Dr Raymond recently stated in his recent article wherein the lack of foresight, long term economic planning and the lack of technocrats and academics in decision making for the socio-economic development of the country creating a sad forecast for the next 50 years in turning around the Sierra Leonean economy
Please supporters of Maada Bio why is it that when Solomon Berewah peacefully handover the mantle of leadership when he lost the 2007 election. And now when Bio was elected to contest the 2012 presidential election why did he not behave as Mr Berewah did when Bio lost the national elections.
I believe the presidential flag bearership is for candidates who can win the general and presidential elections for the two term limit as president of Sierra Leone. It is a win ‘all or none’ position.
If you are a presidential flag bearer you have to win the subsequent presidential election as was seen when Tejan-Kabbah won the 1996 election and was nominated to contest again for the 2002 presidential election, as compared when Berewah lost the 2007 presidential election and he was not allow to contest for the 2012 presidential election.
I hope Dr Yumkella does turn his back on S.L.P.P.to form a coalition with such people as Allie Kabbah,Charles Margai,Mohamed Kabaraimba Sesay and others to put up the stiffest challenge which A.P.C. and S.L.P.P.have never dreamed of.
Dr Yumkella must recognise that time is very short and inexorably against him,considering all the road blocks that both major parties [S.L.P.P. and A.P.C.]must surely engineer to block him. Things could get really nasty,but the current state of mind of the average voter,should assure the Doctor that his back is covered. The international community too will be watching, and the Doctor should spare no chance in tapping his foreign affiliations to intensely focus their attention on the country for possible sanctions should the need arise.
I have repeatedly held that both A.P.C. and S.L.P.P. are useless,they have awfully failed us,they have been a total mess in almost sixty years of independence.They have not even been able to fashion a sustained policy to keep the capital city clean, the stench of which reaches the troposphere.
If Dr yumkella puts Sierra Leone first,we will put him first,in the process of which we shall cast aside our ethnic lineage for a better Sierra Leone.
I shall pause here and wait for the Doctor’s declaration.