By Sorie Fofana……….
When I interviewed President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House in April 2009 (in the presence of his then ebullient Press Secretary, Shaka Tarawally) for the maiden edition of the Global Times, the President categorically denied marrying his wife (Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma) for political reasons. He said his decision to marry Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma was borne out of love and not politics.
Mrs. Sia Nyama Koroma hails from a prominent political home in Kono. Her late father, Abu Aiah Koroma (fondly called Pa Abu) was a household name in Kono district. He enjoyed the flora and fauna of life.
Pa. Abu Koroma contested the 1996 Presidential and Parliamentary elections under the banner of his own registered political Party, DCP (Democratic Centre Party). During his final rally in Kono in 1996, he personally invited me to travel with him to Kono, in order to witness and also to report on the turn-out. I was a Senior Reporter at the “New Vision Newspaper” at the time. The turn-out, as expected was huge. Afterall, DCP was seen as a party that represented the Kono people.
Pa Abu Koroma was a very persuasive public speaker and a political wizard. He held Cabinet positions in both the J.S. Momoh and Ahmad Tejan Kabbah administrations. He served as Minister of Mines in the Momoh Government and Minister of Parliamentary and Political Affairs in the Kabbah Government.
After he begged to be relieved of his duty, as a Cabinet Minister in the Kabbah administration, Kabbah went ahead to appoint him as Chairman of the Board of Directors at SIERRATEL.
A Visit To Kono
President Ernest Bai Koroma has paid several visits to Kono in the past ten years. Afterall, Kono is his second home. He once told me (before he became President) that Kono was too close to his heart. His choice of Chief Sam Sumana as his running mate (both in 2007 and 2012) could not have been a mere coincidence. It was a clear demonstration of how Kono is too close to his heart.
Those of us who hail from Kono, see President Koroma as our brother-in-law. That is why he always receives a red carpet welcome in Kono. His visit to Kono, last weekend, was fully screened on national television. The President was very frank with his in-laws. He told them that they were not serious in trying to