President Koroma’s speech in Portugal – who is he fooling?

Santhkie Sorie: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 April 2019:

Former President Koroma of Sierra Leone can do all the travelling he wishes to do and make speeches everywhere, as long he does so as a private citizen and not pretend to be representing the people and government of Sierra Leone.

He had a full decade not only to make inspiring speeches to spur his country to greater things, but to enhance his own legacy and he failed on both fronts.

Whatever he does now to remain in the consciousness of the nation, is a desperate attempt to make amends for his poor leadership as president, which, day in and day out is being laid bare by numerous events for all to see.

Ernest Koroma has looked into the pit of oblivion and has developed a hatred for its features. Especially because it confers loneliness on its victim. It is worse for public figures like former president Koroma, who merely a year ago was surrounded by people saying “yes sir” to him all the time.

To compound his melancholic situation, Ernest Koroma is constantly receiving calls from within his APC to step aside from the party’s chairmanship, so that the party can be reformed if it is to become an effectively democratic fighting force, or at least conduct internal free and fair elections for the party’s leadership.

What is certain is that both prospects hold the dismal outcome of political suicide and a hasty burial for the former president.

It is sad to see a former president fighting to stay relevant.

His presence in Portugal last weekend, was designed to show the APC party rank and file that the international community still admires the former president. But he failed.

Today he is being lampooned even by supporters and loyalists of his APC party, as he heads for a disgraceful fall from grace.

How many people in Lisbon have ever heard of Ernest Bai Koroma anyway, apart from the handful of Sierra Leoneans that have made Portugal their home?

Ernest knows the countries where he can quietly slip in and out of these days, without facing withering and humiliating demonstrations.

We are waiting to watch Ernest Koroma live on television in Sierra Leone before one of the Commissions of Inquiry, as he  showcases his articulate powers in explaining where he was when his administration descended into a bottomless pit of corruption and den of criminality.

3 Comments

  1. Mr Anthony Moiba, you asked me to tell you whether there are “no better politicians in the APC to replace our former President” and I should be honest that “he failed badly, especially in his second term in office”.

    The first part of your question should be appropriately directed to the headquarters of the All Peoples Congress (APC); I think they would give you a better answer than me. I am pretty sure there are many eminent politicians out of their present 68 members of parliament. But perhaps, at this moment in time, Earnest Bai Koroma (EBK), is the only figure that can unify the party, and win them the 2023 elections.

    Then the APC party would be faced with various scenarios: one being, EBK would steer the government for half of the mandated first term in office, and hand over to his running mate or vice President, and (EBK) would retire permanently.

    My brother, Mr Moiba, the APC are frustrated because of the OBSTRUCTION of their development agenda after the recent 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections. Who knows, if the APC were in power today, the University of Kono (UNIKON?) and Mamamah International Airport could have been up and running.

    Furthermore, more roads could have been built to integrate the country and thereby create a viable business environment. For now, all these development strides have been given the red light by the present Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) government; albeit we should commend their Free Quality Education (FQE) initiative.

    Take your pick. It seems the conflict here has culminated to a chicken and egg situation. Which one made the first appearance on earth?

    Whilst pondering this question, bear in mind that education without the requisite facilities and environment is a total lost cause. Even in the United Kingdom (UK) which boasts of an advanced economy, a lot of people (including parliamentarians) have the tendency to opt out of public schools and put their children in fee-paying private schools. Why? This is because of the free-rider problem in the utilization of public goods. ‘Free’ is never associated with ‘Quality’.

    Now, coming to the second part of your question, I think it is unfair to lay all the blame on EBK’s shoulders for a failing economy. EBK is just a human being like each and everyone of us, and therefore prone to failures or mistakes. And whilst evaluating his successes or failures, we should ask ourselves: what were the circumstances that led to these failures?

    EBK took power from 2007 and up to his second term in office, in 2013, every sector of the economy was relatively running fine. From peace, human rights, law and order, social cohesion, freedom of expression to a buoyant economy that climaxed to 20% growth.

    It was in 2014 when nature stuck its hammer blow on the Manor River region of West Africa, in the form of an ebola virus epidemic, that “things fall apart” for EBK. It took about 2 years for the countries in this region Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to eradicate this dreadful disease. And consequently, all the economies of these three countries contracted drastically.

    The question is, can we blame EBK for the sudden dip in Sierra Leone’s fortunes? Or, was it a man-made disaster in which EBK was part of?

    Another negative thrust in EBK’s effort in steering the economy was the drop in the price of iron which eventually led to a complete halt in iron ore mining activities in the country. Can we blame EBK for the great loss in revenue in this sector, or can we think deeper and reflect the blame on global market forces?

    Notwithstanding, the 2017 mudslide disaster was the last straw that broke the camel’s back! Excuse me for using this cliche, but it sounds appropriate in summing up the natural calamities that EBK encountered in the last three years of his presidency. Note that in statistical or econometric analysis, there is no such thing as luck or bad luck. There is always a lurking variable that is obstructing manipulation.

    As for corruption, I kept repeating myself that it is a human’s instinct; and this is evident to the fact that even when the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Commissions of Inquiry (COI) are investigating members of the erstwhile government, corruption is taking place in the present administration. Corruption happens all over the world, though in varying magnitudes.

    Corruption is a function of poverty – and that is why it is rife in West Africa. In the case of Sierra Leone, it is olnly the incorporation of e-controls that will abate this phenomenon in the activities of government.

    It is high time the pendulum of blame is deflected away from EBK. The present government was elected to manage the problems of the country. They should not use the finger to disguise their incompetence.

    Have I succeeded in addressing your concerns, Mr Anthony Moiba?

  2. Whatever you report has nothing to do with this great man. We will never forget his great works – SLPP newspaper. He is facing no pressure to resign. He will do so honourably at convention. Not like Maada Bio who refused to resign just to force himself to steal an election and now president of Paopanistas.

  3. I personally believe that former President Koroma possesses most of the attributes of a “Con Artist “. He looks good or handsome, charismatic and he is a smooth talker. But since most of the corruption reports about his government is just allegations which should be proven in the court of law, we need to give him the benefit of the doubt for now and respect the on going process and procedures that the president has put in place.

    But the things that are obvious about him is that he has tasted the sweetness of power and money. The path he is now choosing by blatantly lying to the world that he will retire from politics 3 months after the 2018 elections, has proven that he has the urge to taste the bitterness of humiliation and disgrace, which I believe will be handed to him on a golden platter within his own political party and constituency.

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