Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 April 2015
Since his unilateral and dictatorial sacking of the country’s Constitution and the appointment of his handpicked new vice president Foh, president Koroma himself is believed to have enjoyed very little inner peace.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has been reliably informed by a State House source that, some of the closest political allies and senior ministers of the president, have withdrawn their support for the beleaguered president.
This rift has now prompted an emergency APC party meeting, which will take place on Thursday, 30th April 2015, at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown.
It is understood that the country’s information minister – Alpha Kanu, who has always been one of the most loyal friends, and perhaps one of the strongest political allies of president Koroma, is now leading a mutinous faction against the president’s decision to appoint Victor Bockarie Foh as vice president.
The president is accused by key senior ministers and the mutinous faction within the party – especially the group known as the Temne tribal faction – led by Kanu, of failing to consult the rank and file members of the party before appointing Victor Foh as vice president.
Last week, Victor Foh visited the Temne heartlands of the party to drum up continuing support for the president, against the rising call within the party for his resignation as leader.
And of notable absence during Foh’s tour of the northern province, was information minister Kanu (Photo) – a son of Port Loko, who is said to be deeply disturbed by president Koroma’s new political alliance with his former arch rivals for the leadership of the party, who in 2002, took Koroma to Court.
During his visit to Port Loko and Kambia – vice president Foh spoke to the Temne people about the importance of the loyalty shown by the late son of the soil – former vice president S.I. Koroma to Siaka Stevens.
State House sources told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that this statement by Victor Foh must have deeply offended Alpha Kanu, especially as it could be interpreted as a euphemism for Kanu’s now ebbing support for the president.
But several key figures in the party’s executive and senior ministers regard Victor Foh as a highly divisive figure, who would stop at nothing to consolidate his power withing the party and across the country. (Photo: Victor Foh in Kambia).
Victor Foh hails from the South of the country – the opposition SLPP heartlands, and is therefore not considered by purist in the ruling APC party as true RED.
It is also symbolically significant that the noticeable shift in power at State House, saw Victor Foh and Jengo Stevens at the Lungi Airport to welcome the arrival of president Koroma from his US trip. (Photo Below: Jengo Stevens and Victor Foh – courtesy of Cocorioko).
So, where was information minister Alpha Kanu, who was not only absent from the president’s entourage, but failed to turn up at the Airport to welcome his president?
So, as the days and possibly weeks unfold towards the emergency meeting, political wounds within the party will become more deeply infected by animosity and rancor.
It is also understood that president Koroma will use the emergency meeting to steady the nerves of party rank and file, and will call for a vote of confidence in his leadership.
Elections in Sierra Leone are not due till 2018. But the fight for the heart and soul of the ruling APC which started in 2010, has no doubt intensified and may destroy the party.
Sierra Leone Telegraph also believes that with the Supreme Court likely to decide that president Koroma’s decision to sack the vice president was unconstitutional, president Koroma may now be looking for a face saving strategy.
This emergency meeting may well see some shocking changes at the top of government and the party leadership.
Should president Koroma resign from the leadership of the party and Victor Foh effectively becomes the president, a Supreme Court decision about the vice presidency will therefore be of less importance.
All eyes are now on Thursday, the 30th of April.