By Sorie Fofana.
At the end of his second and final term in office, His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will be stepping down from office in the next twenty four hours.
As the nation awaits the outcome of the Presidential run-off election held on Saturday 31st March, both parties are claiming victory.
After a stalemate at the NEC Tally Center on Sunday, an emergency meeting was held at Bintumani Conference Center yesterday, where both Presidential candidates, NEC top management team and the heads of election observation missions met and resolved the impasse.
Tallying of results resumed yesterday afternoon. It is not yet clear who is actually going to emerge winner of the run-off election. It’s a tight race! It can go either way!
But from all indications, the main opposition Presidential candidate, Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio has made significant progress which might lead to an easy victory for him.
Dr. Samura Kamara of the APC did not do well in Kono district and in the whole of the South/Eastern Region.
His main challenger, Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio excelled in the North/Western Region especially in Kambia, Koinadugu, Falaba and in the Western Area Urban.
All said and done, it is too early to predict a clear-cut win for any of the two candidates. Exit polls however put Brig (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio in a commanding lead over his main challenger, Dr. Samura Kamara.
By the end of the day today, a clear winner would have emerged. NEC is the only institution tasked with the sole responsibility of declaring the winner of the Presidential run-off election.
Goodbye President Koroma
Immediately after a winner is declared, the President-elect is sworn-in by the Chief Justice at State House. That event will automatically mark the end of Koroma’s colorful era.
President Koroma will be remembered for many good things. He did his best to govern the country. But he failed woefully to unite a divided country. He failed to instill discipline and his administration helped to undermine the rule of law in the country.
By and large, we wish President Koroma a peaceful retirement and pray that, he stays around to help the new President in tackling some major challenges that the country faces.
We call on Sierra Leoneans to remain calm, peaceful and law -abiding as we await the final verdict to be delivered by NEC later today.
Let us all remember that, there is only one country that we call home. Let our differences not lead to the destruction of our country.
In every contest, you must expect to have a winner and a loser. Whoever wins must be prepared to unite the country and be magnanimous in victory.
Long live Mama Salone and goodbye to President Koroma. His tenure has been quite portentous.
Good luck and goodbye, Mr. President!