The choice could not be clearer at Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections – Op ed

Yankuba Kaisamba: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 September 2020:

A president who can bring our people together and hold the country together, or a president who divides us and expose us to political instability and uncertainties? In less than three years, the people of Sierra Leone will vote to elect a new president. The 2023 elections will be unlike any the country has ever seen.

The people will decide to go backward, remain as they are, or take a different path away from half a century of the combined misrule under  the two established political parties – SLPP and APC. 2023 elections will not be about what government has done or not done.

Sierra Leone faces an existential threat in which our proud values as a peace-loving people and freedom have been broken into pieces, exposing the country to a serious regional and ethnic confrontation of unimaginable proportion. This must be avoided.

The 2023 elections will be a defining epic moment for the salvation of a nation, which remains divided along ethnic and region lines.

A nation traumatized  by eleven years of  war, is now steering towards increasing violence; citizens’  lives disrupted by armed officers parading the streets chanting their support for the president rather than the State; youths in a state of despair by the lack of jobs and leadership to give hope and unite the people of Sierra Leone.

There has never been a time in Sierra Leone’s history as a people and as a nation, that a single issue — national unity and peace, has galvanised and informed the overarching concern at the ballot box in a national election. The 2023 general and presidential election is the time.

The peace and unity of our people, all our people, will be the compelling election calculus in 2023, above all other considerations.

Sierra Leone is at war with itself, in peace time, and will continue to be in such position, impacting negatively on the more  important developmental issues.

A leader who can hold our fractured country together and not divide us further is what the 2023  election is all about.

There will be no progress and development in Sierra Leone in  the absence of national cohesion which is increasingly being undermined  by mistrust, tribalism, and corruption.

It is possible to unite a divided people when there is the right leadership with the right temperament, commitment, vision, and actions.

People are brought together not by political rhetoric or by force of arms,  but by winning the trust of the people, and show respect for decency and fair play.

My fellow Sierra Leonean, 2023 election is about who can hold our country together from breaking into pieces. The unity of our people will  give the strength and purpose we need to build a fairer and more equitable, peaceful society for our people and future generations.

No other challenges the country now faces is as formidable as the imperative for national cohesion. We need that president who can do that for the people of Sierra Leone. You will be presented with a clear choice by 2023.

On another note of importance, I have never known Francis Ben Kaifala – the Anti-Corruption Commission Czar (Photo) to waffle. A brilliant lawyer and a man of empathy, he was on my litigation in Freetown. But I cringed at seen this brilliant mind, struggled in a press conference to explain the paopanista’s rice gate scandal. God will help him.

We now know that over 600 stolen bags of rice out of a reported 50,000 have been recovered. But the public still do not know who stole the rice  and there are still over 49,000 bags of rice, which were  donated by the Chinese to the hungry people of Sierra Leone yet to be  accounted for.

The four paopanista government officials , including a minister, were   indicted by the ACC, only for the case to be  withdrawn live in court, by the ACC lawyer. We are not clear whether it was for lack of evidence or the state decided not to present the evidence, or pressed ahead with the case.

I found it incredulous that the ACC could’ve indicted minister Alpha Timbo and his team to court, for  what was by definition, a public theft,  without any shred of evidence.

Is Sierra Leone going to see another gate remaining  unlocked, to add to the  several previously  unlocked  gates?

Voucher gate,mudslide gate, Ebola gate ,land gate and two rice gates — one  under president kabba and this year’s under president Bio paopas regime–  all to  remain  closed to the public?

At this stage, I  call on  professor Jimmy Kandeh to give us his expert opinion. “The state in Sierra Leone is an organized protection racket that favors and protects fraudsters and looters of the country’s resources. State offices are nothing more than rental havens working against the interests of ordinary citizens. COI is just another head fake that is reminiscent of NPRC COIs. One misdirection after another, no matter what it is called, attitudinal change or new direction, the state remains a racket that impoverishes our people and ransoms our futures.”


  1. STARGER, the debate is over, I look forward to unnerving you again elsewhere Mr Emotional All Peoples Congress. “Me dae normor for pull you gear” sir.

  2. STAGAZER, keep gazing at whatever you are gazing to keep your emotional outbursts intact. Read your history not like the romantic you are nor with a muddled up mind, but with the ambition to trigger an iota of analytical thinking. Do you know what Sir Milton said in his death bed? Do you know why Siaka Stevens broke away from SLPP where he was Minister of Lands Mines and Labour?

    Give this forum some figures as to where the Sierra Leone economy stood when Siaka Stevens took over and where it stood by the time he was through with it. I mean World Bank figures. You argue like the market women at Krootown Road Market who clap over each other’s head, spin around, bounce their hips for them to hit the back of their head, just to utter rubbish. You won’t hear from me anymore, you’re too much of a sissy for my comfort.

    • I have seen many of those market women in Freetown laboring under the burning sun,and they are virtuous and honorable people with unmatched perceptions into the realities of life;Yep,most of them may not have gone too far in school but unlike you they are people of integrity doing whatever they can to keep their heads afloat,and above water.Your ingratitude towards the legendary Stevens doesn’t diminish him but it totally belittles you like filthy rags worn by a roaming beggar. I am not gonna waste this forums precious time trying to give you authentic financial and economic figures pertaining to the Stevens era because that flicker of light that flashes intermittently inside your NGC head will not be quite bright enough to comprehend what is being discussed.(lol)

      And who is it upon the face of the beautiful earth that doesn’t know what Milton said before he passed on? Such pathetic words of a defeated man like yourself that still abides eerily in the tunnels of ignorance and darkness in chains, needs not be repeated here;(lol)Now here’s what Good Old Stevens said when he was leaving for the eternal heavens one quiet enchanting evening;” I have finished my course,I have kept the faith;the doors of loyalty and empathy i have left wide open for future generations to come so that they can thrive and prosper with confidence and great ease;I bless my people and this sacred lands that only a few will be able to govern gloriously;And pay no heed to those who will criticize what is good,and he that has been blessed by the Almighty for they are losers and failures;(lol)Those timeless words reminds me of YOU!(LOL)

  3. Now this:Folks,Outlandish speculation never seems to end on this glorious forum;Gentlemen here’s a few lines to jostle your prudent minds and your funny bones;Brace yourselves!And please show some form of restraint,don’t laugh too hard until you drop.Here it comes:” Had he lived for at least another five years Sierra Leone will most certainly have become another Singapore by now”…Bwahahahaha.Who? Slowpoke Miltin Margai?(lol)You guys are just too delusional and out of touch with reality;Please learn to think properly and critically before ever uttering such a quirky statement on this glorious forum again.

    Listen,there are no guarantees in life;Had Milton Margai been alive a million things evil and disastrous could have also happened;The man and his tribesmen were like thorns,and prickly barbed-wire just like Maada Bio and his henchmen today totally uncreative,arrogant and tribalistic.He was given a whole mile to walk and run and he threw it away,squandered it – give him millions more to tread and he would’ve misused and wasted it with ineptitude and unproductivity.(lol)

  4. Indeed the 2023 presidential and general elections could not be more stark in what they extrapolate: A slip into another conflict that’s far more destructive than the rebel war which raged for more than a decade. This assertion is made on the platform of the indisputable fact that Foday Sancoh’s revolutionary united front (I refuse to give any capital letters to the name) was made up of nearly all the ethnic or tribal groups in the country, which denied the atrocities they committed any characteristic of being targeted at a specific group. There were even some Sierra Leoneans who initially supported the rebels in their quest to remove the old APC from power; it was only when they started killing civilians that they turned on them.

    The conflict which is simmering at moment has the awful prospect of being both tribal and regional, and may well start within the army. We cannot afford to hide the fact all those killed by the army under President Bio have been northerners. What if one of these days northern soldiers refuse to obey orders and instead turn their guns on brother soldiers from the southeast? Events could easily slip out the grip of anyone – including Maada Bio.

    As things stand the only way the country can stage a bloodless revolution is to dump APC and SLPP in 2023 or vote in such a way that no one party scores a decisive victory, thereby forcing a sharing of power. Bring APC back in 2023 and they will pick up where they left off in 2018. Maintain SLPP in power and they will be emboldened and become worse. The only real leader that we have ever had who recognised the multi-ethnicity and regional diversity of our country was Sir Milton Margai. Only the Almighty Allah/God knows why we were dealt the blow of losing him in 1964. Whenever his name comes up I recall ANIMAL FARM written by George Orwell. Sir Milton represented Old Major and Siaka Stevens represented Napoleon. The latter destroyed the dream the former had for Animal Farm and turned it to a nightmare. May Allah/God shower His mercy on Sir Milton. Had he lived for at least another five years Sierra Leone would most probably have become another Singapore by now.

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