Santhkie Sorie: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 March 2018:
The decision not to support any of the two parties slugging it out at the runoff next Tuesday, 27 March 2018, is precisely what I expected and wanted from the leadership of the National Grand Coalition (NGC). It shows the type of elements they are made of.
Kandeh Yumkella said it all along that his campaign was not about a desire to grab power, but to serve his country – to try to cure the ills in society and to correct the wrongs that have become the norm.
Principally, Yumkella spoke about corruption and its repercussions in the entire country, which have led to abject poverty and degradation of our once enviable educational system.
He said he would declare “an education emergency” within days of being sworn into office.
This signifies the deepest understanding of the crude fact that a nation is as good as the quality of its people.
The evidences are all over the place when one looks at a country like Singapore in Asia and Switzerland in Europe.
These countries have nothing by way of natural resources, but they are both regarded as developed nations, tiny as they are. Why? Because of good leadership which recognises the advantages of having a very skilled and educated population.
As an example, if I walk into a store selling watches, instinctively I would go for the Swiss-made watch because Swiss watch makers have impressed the world with the quality of their watches – a surest way of trading with the world and earn foreign currency.
What do we make in Sierra Leone with our leaders’ best expertise is in how to cart the country’s money to foreign lands where it yields nothing for us.
Yumkella’s neutrality can only boost his reputation and credibility even to his worst enemies and critics, with both SLPP and APC seeing him as anathema, with the capacity and ability to subject them to a choke-hold.
There is another dimension to the Yumkella phenomenon. Once parliament is seated we shall for the first time find out the exact budget allocated to each constituency every year, but which never reflects itself in any development in the respective constituencies.
I can see Kandeh Yumkella travelling to Kychom to tell his people about the money that has been given to him for them; and sitting down with them to determine their priorities and how the money should be spent.
Not only will his people be surprised at the candour but will remark that it is the first time it has happened, their former MP never did it. Now then, constituents all over the country will find out what is happening in Kychom and start questioning their respective MPs closely for them to come clean.
The Kandeh Yumkella revolution is underway.
In parliament we will have either SLPP or APC joining the ranks of the opposition. They will be inhaling smoke and exhaling fire for having lost the run off. Suddenly there is an inferno on the corridors of parliament, no more dull moment, which witnessed the spell of Bernadette Lahai.
Recriminations, claims and counter claims and exposures will become the daily diet. The beneficiary? Mother Sierra Leone who will stop crying at last, seeing her own heading in the right direction after realising that she has always had enough to keep her children happy.