If the March 7 Presidential election results do not show a clear winner, with fifty five percent of the total votes counted, a re-run election is expected to be held at least two weeks after the announcement of the final results of the first round election.
Give and take, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has, at least, five more weeks left to serve in office. He is likely to step down by the end of March 2018.
It is evidently clear that, no single Presidential candidate will score an outright win in the first round of the election on March 7. If that happens (as widely expected), there will be a run-off election between the first two parties that score the highest number of votes in the first round of voting.
The Koroma Era
President Koroma first came to power in 2007, promising to unite the country, maintain peace and stability and grow the economy.
According to latest figures obtained from the Central Bank, Sierra Leone’s external debt has risen to US$1.5 Billion (One Billion and five hundred Million US dollars) while domestic debt is estimated to be around Le3.5 Trillion (Three Trillion and five hundred Billion Leones). Public debt continues to escalate, youth unemployment continues to grow and the economy refuses to grow as expected.
President Koroma is currently presiding over the decline of the country. Poverty is on the increase. Many family heads cannot afford to put food on the table for their dependants.
Under the leadership of President Koroma, there has been great improvement in electricity supply and road infrastructure continues to be his greatest achievements.
President Koroma has failed to unite not only his party but the country as a whole. He has hurt a lot of people, not only in his party but in other political parties as well.
He personally presided over the expulsion of his Vice President from the ruling APC party. He did not only sack Chief Sam Sumana as Vice President, he got him thoroughly humiliated. Sumana’s Diplomatic Passport was withdrawn from him, his security detail was dismantled and all his entitlements stopped.
Musa Tarawally was arrested, detained at the CID Headquarters for two days, his house comprehensively searched and his passports seized. Nothing of Police interest was found.
Charles Margai was arrested and detained at the CID Headquarters because of a disagreement over a piece of land at Aberdeen purportedly belonging to the First Lady, Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma.
In 2012, on a campaign trail in Bo, Julius Maada Bio was attacked and injured by people suspected to be members of the ruling APC party.
Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray was attacked in Lunsar and his party’s head office in FreetownPetrol-bombed. All of these incidents were never publicly condemned by the President. Is this the way to unite a country?
March 7 Elections
All of these people are running for President at a time when, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s name is no longer on the ballot papers. All of them, in one way or another, hold a grudge against the President.
These elections are very crucial for many reasons. People like Julius Maada Bio and Charles Margai will give it their best shot. Bio is not likely to lead the SLPP again if he does not win the forthcoming election.
The good thing for Bio is that, he has the greatest chance to win these elections either on a first or second ballot. If there is a second ballot, political parties like NGC, CDP and PMDC will prefer to align with the SLPP than the APC. The APC did not show sincerity, when they were in coalition with PMDC between 2007 and 2011.
Charles Margai is no longer considered a strong contender for the position of President. His party exists only in name. PMDC is no longer considered a threat, in any shape or form.
There is no sign that, President Koroma is ready to unite the country ahead of crucial elections on March 7. He does not speak with any of the serious contenders from the opposition parties running for the Presidency.
An outgoing President should be seen to be uniting the country especially at a time like this. He should have invited all the Presidential candidates (or at least the four serious ones) and addressed them to remember that, Sierra Leone is the only country some of us call home.
He should be organizing dinners at his private residence by now, inviting all the Presidential candidates to wine and dine with him. By so doing, he would ease the tension in the country.
Nobody will criticize the President for supporting his party’s Presidential candidate, especially when that candidate was handpicked by him and him alone. But as an outgoing President, he should be seen to be reaching out to other potential winners of the Presidential election on March 7, 2018.
Indeed, President Koroma’s tenure of office has been a pot-pourri of little success and a monumental failure of leadership at all levels.
The public will have the opportunity to deliver their verdict on Koroma’s leadership of the country after he would have stepped down probably by the end of March 2018.
The jury is out on his leadership of the country!