Amid pressure for him to identify a possible successor, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has told APC Party officials in Makeni that, he would not allow divisiveness in the Party to overshadow his determination to deliver on key election promises.
The President is determined to leave behind an enduring legacy as he prepares to demit office in February 2018. To his credit, President Koroma is slowly withdrawing from public life. He is hardly seen these days at public functions.
Having delivered two successive general election victories for the APC Party, the President cannot afford not to have a say in who will succeed him as Party flag bearer in 2017/18.
Party sources are confirming that, President Koroma is determined to retain the post of Party Chairman and Leader. This, in their view, will enable the President to oversee a flawless process of leadership succession in the APC Party.
It is strange, though that, the President has still not given any clear indication of where his interest lies. The question many people in the APC Party are asking is: Will the President allow a free vote on who succeeds him as flagbearer of the Party? That is not likely to happen under the watchful eyes of President Koroma.
He wants to ensure that, his Party wins the next general elections. Having served as President for almost nine years now, President Koroma understands the dynamics of Party politics.
With people like Moseray Fadika and John Sesay in the race to become party standard bearer, it is difficult for the President to create a level playing field in the APC flagbearer election.
Moseray Fadika and John Sesay have strong financial muscle to sway any flag bearer election in the APC in their favor. On top of that, Moseray Fadika’s determination to run for the flag bearership of the APC Party cannot be underestimated. He has strong grassroots support base in the Party.
Unlike some of the leading contenders for the leadership race of the party, Moseray Fadika has name recognition. Whether he can be a good national leader is another kettle of fish altogether.
John Sesay, Lawyer Abu Bakarr Sidique Kalokoh and Joseph Kamara hail from Bombali district. That will definitely militate against their chances of leading the APC Party. President Koroma, who has led the party for almost three consecutive terms, hails from Bombali district.
Joseph Kamara and John Sesay would have made good leaders of this country if only they had the support of their party. They both understand the dynamics of global politics and corporate governance.
Victor Foh-The Heir Apparent?
One person that is difficult to write off in this race is Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh, the current Vice President. He knows the in-and-out of APC party politics, having served as the Party’s National Secretary General.
His greatest advantage is that, he is a trusted ally of President Koroma. Over and beyond that, he hails from the opposition stronghold of the Southern Region.
Ambassador Foh has an unassailable advantage because of his immeasurable experience in local party politics in Sierra Leone.
Since he was controversially appointed Vice President, Ambassador Foh has brought the old guard of the party together. Some of them have even been given advisory roles in his office. The youths of the party love him because they see him as a blue-blooded party faithful.
Ambassador Foh is a typical African Politician. He fully understands how to keep his opponents in check. He is a master political tactician. He knows how to survive whenever the going gets tough.
As I stated from the outset, President Koroma is slowly withdrawing from frontline politics. He is hardly seen these days in his usual party colors. He portrays himself now as a Statesman and not as a Politician.
Ambassador Foh is slowly becoming the face of the government. He represents the President at important meetings, both at home and abroad.
President Koroma is slowly becoming a ceremonial President. He now enjoys performing functions that the Constitution mandates him to do. He now delegates official functions to his righthand man, Ambassador Victor Foh.
President Koroma is a skillful and common sense Politician. Having realized that, the momentum in the country no longer favors his continued stay in office after the end of his mandate, President Koroma is slowly disengaging from public life.
It is in his best interest to preside over a peaceful transition of power from him to whoever succeeds him as the democratically elected President of Sierra Leone.
One impressive legacy that President Koroma will be leaving behind is his decision not to go after his predecessor, the late President Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. This should serve as a lesson to all succeeding leaders in this country; never go after your predecessor.
Whoever succeeds Koroma as President of Sierra Leone should ensure that, the security of the state is not undermined by petty political party considerations.
As both parties (APC and SLPP) prepare to elect or select their Presidential candidates, they should not forget that, the security of the state is of paramount concern to every Sierra Leonean and friends of Sierra Leone.
May common sense prevail!