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As The Koroma Era Winds Down

Manjoroka

As The Koroma Era Winds Down

By Sorie Fofana……………………………

Frenetic political activities have started in earnest. All sorts of awards are now being given to ruling party Politicians, positioning themselves for leadership role in the country.

The APC National Youth League have had to postpone their planned Annual Conference in Port Loko indefinitely. The conference was postponed due “to the adverse economic situation facing the country and the government even though 98% of funding had been sought”. This is very ridiculous!

Is the APC National Youth League telling us that, their conference was to have been funded by poor tax payers of Sierra Leone through the government? What has the “adverse economic situation” in the country got to do with a conference organised by the youth wing of the party? The APC National Youth League should have just announced the postponement of their conference without given such a lame excuse. Period!

The Battle To Succeed Koroma

President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s popularity seems to be diminishing across the country. He no longer enjoys the celebrity status he once enjoyed when he was newly elected as President in 2007.

It has reached a point where, just a handful of people in the APC are interested in what the President does these days. They see him as a lameduck President.

The President has failed to rein-in his non-conformist Social Welfare Minister, Sylvia Blyden. Blyden has been using her newspaper (Awareness Times) to attack other Ministers and even senior government officials without any official reprimand from her employer. All what people hear from State House is that, Sylvia Blyden is difficult to manage. Really?

It is indecent for anyone to be serving in a Cabinet and at the same time, attacking other Cabinet Ministers by briefing against them in your own registered newspaper.

Look at the way the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Neneh Rugiatu Turay is being ridiculed by the Awareness Times newspaper, which is owned and operated by Sylvia Blyden.

If the President cannot protect the Deputy Minister, why can’t he just sack her? It is unacceptable for the President to continue to maintain a loud silence over what is happening right under his watch at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.

It is a well-known fact that, Sylvia Blyden has a bigger political ambition than being a Cabinet Minister. After all, she had set up her own political party YPP (Young People’s Party) before now and even campaigned openly against the APC party. What will stop Sylvia Blyden from reviving her party if she does not get her way in the APC?

Joseph Kamara seems to be enjoying a free ride in the APC by winning several leadership awards. Just past Friday, he was awarded the Leader of the Year award.

The following day, the Sweissy Jewellers crowned Joseph Kamara as their Godfather and Goodwill Ambassador.

President Koroma is likely to step down in 2018 at the end of his Presidential tenure. The question many people (even in the APC) are asking is: who will succeed President Koroma as APC flagbearer?

The party’s urbane National Secretary General, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh came closer to answering that question, when he was interviewed by John Baimba Sesay in China six weeks ago. In few words he said that, the party will not give its ticket to any newcomer. “You cannot enroll in a school today and expect to be a School Prefect the following day”, he noted.

People like us will now be interested to know when some people jumping all over the place to lead the APC actually joined the Party.

Ambassador Yansaneh and a few others have paid their dues in the APC. Is it payback time for them? Will President Koroma (the architect of the New APC) allow the party to go back to the dark days of Momoh’s Kleptocatic and backward style of leadership?

Koroma To Stay After 2018

Robin Fallay and a few others have continued to argue that, since President Koroma is one of the most successful leaders of the APC party, he should be allowed to continue to serve as party Chairman/Leader even after he retires in 2018. Some of us hold a contrary view to that.

By 2018, Koroma would have served as President for ten years. What else does he need? He should position himself in the country as an elderly Statesman. Whenever there is a political problem in the country, Politicians (both ruling and opposition Politicians) should be able to turn to him for his wise counseling. He should not get himself actively involved in party politics after his tenure comes to an end in 2018. He can continue to support his party but he should not be seen to be playing an active role in party politics.

What will happen to him in the event that he falls out with whoever becomes the party’s flagbearer and eventually President? It is a very dangerous card to play! President Koroma should think about that very seriously. He should not allow himself to be misled by sycophants who continue to praise sing his name even when things are going from bad to worse in the country.

End of A Remarkable Era

Koroma’s colorful Presidential era is slowly ebbing away. He will be remembered for many good things. Nobody can deny the fact that Koroma is a transformational leader. He is a very tolerant man and a man with a big heart. Whether he will use his remaining time in office to unite the country remains a mystery.

All said and done, President Korma will be remembered by many people (especially Sierra Leoneans) for his infrastructure development across the four regions of Sierra Leone.

Whoever succeeds President Koroma as flagbearer of the APC, they will have a tall mountain to climb in terms of his simplicity and magnanimity.

Long Live The President!

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