If you ever thought President Ernest Bai Koroma would not take the bait for term extension or a third term, please think again. While the first gentleman may have said openly that he will go away when his term expires, he appears to be pursuing or motivating his political strategists to pursue what has been dubbed as an ‘extra time’ for the President.
According to reports, plans are at an advanced stage for a well-stage- managed public show of support for an extra time that would see the President staying in office for two more years after his five year term ends.
Strategists of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party are working overtime to actualize the plan which will include a public demonstration on Independence Day. Pro- extra time T-shirts, banners and other campaign materials which will be displayed by paid supporters are being printed.
The Independence Day pro- extra time demonstration will take the form of a procession that will run from Calaba Town in the east end of Freetown to the National Stadium by well-motivated supporters. Others who will be transported in hired buses from the provinces will join the demonstration to give it a national character.
For a long time now President Koroma has been pampered by his supporters including cabinet ministers, APC party stalwarts and members of parliament to try his luck on either a two year extension or a third term. One such call was made recently by the Deputy Publicity Secretary of the APC Robin Fallay. Fallay, the former SLPP MP who abandoned his boy hood party for the ruling APC after he was refused symbol insisted in recent radio talk show that President Koroma deserves an extra time to complete the development projects which he has initiated.
The public show of support will likely pave the way for a constitutional amendment that will allow not only the President but Members of Parliament to extend their mandates by additional two years.
It is not clear whether the two years extension move will be actualized by way of suggestion to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC), a body charged with the responsibility of reviewing the 1991 constitution or it will come in the form of a Private Member Motion in parliament.
The extra time move has already been described by many as dangerous and as a political suicide.