At a time when everyone had almost forgotten about a third term or a term extension for President Ernest Bai Koroma, the APC National Publicity Secretary 11, the Right Honourable Robin Fallay has brought up the issue,once again. He said the issue must be publicly debated.
All said and done, it is only a statistically insignificant group of APC hustlers that is behind this dangerous move.
When Balogun Logus Koroma floated the idea of a third term for President Koroma, he was compensated with a Cabinet post. Perhaps, Hon. Fallay is fighting for his own slice of the Presidential cake.
President Koroma should not allow the third term or term extension debate to dominate his Presidency. If President Koroma fails to kill the term extension debate, the issues that he cares about will be injured too badly. Issues like free health care, skills training for the youth, job creation and infrastructure will be relegated to the back burner.
The question must be asked: why does President Koroma need two or five more years after his final term expires in 2018? Is there any compelling reason for President Koroma to demand another five year term in office or an additional two years to his current mandate?
Those behind this divisive campaign must now come out and explain to the country why the current Constitution must be changed for the good of just one person out of a population of six million people.
Some of us have long argued that, President Koroma should not attempt to do anything that will undermine the peace and stability of this country.Why does President Koroma really need another two years after his current mandate ends in 2018? What difference will he make in two years after 2018?
Any attempt by President Koroma to push through his ambition to remain in office after 2018 will harm his public standing and even his international clout. The President should not make himself a target for criticism even by his own party supporters and international backers including Tony Blair.
It is important to remember that both Olusegun Obasanjo and Abdulai Wade of Nigeria and Senegal respectively attempted to stay in office after their respective mandates expired. When they failed in their criminal attempt to stay in office, they lost face.
President Koroma has, to a large extent, made significant contributions to the development of our country. He has won both local and international accolades for his determination to fight for democracy in not only Sierra Leone, but in many West African countries including Ivory Coast and even in neighbouring Guinea, Conakry. He has been to the White House here in America to meet with President Barack Obama and to be show cased as one of Africa’s finest leaders.
With all these accolades, can President Koroma allow his legacy to be destroyed just because he wants to remain in office until 2020? Can President Koroma allow Sierra Leone to degenerate into another round of civil unrest just because he wants to remain in office until 2020?
The serious opposition political parties,genuine civil society activists, radical student leaders and the critical media must all stiffen their spine and kick against any term extension for President Koroma. He does not deserve it, because, it will polarise the nation.
After all, the impression should not be created that, after President Koroma there is nobody left in Sierra Leone that is capable enough to govern the country. Even in the APC Party there are safe pair of hands to run the country. Sierra Leone is not a family trademark. It is a nation state built around six million people.
Third term advocates must give peace a chance. Sierra Leoneans know and have tasted the bitterness of war. Foday Sankoh who started the eleven year civil war was consumed by the village fire he set in Bomaru in March 1991.
President Koroma can end this mindless and senseless debate today if he can only come out openly and denounce the action of his foot soldiers. It has to be said that the President’s silence on this important national issue is not at all golden.
What is really wrong with the current two five year term limit in our national Constitution to warrant its review?
In America, they say, don’t fix anything that is not broken.
Thank you and God bless Mama Salone.