By Sorie Fofana.
On Wednesday 28th June, 2017 Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella was due to “suspend” his campaign for the flag bearership of the main opposition SLPP (Sierra Leone Peoples Party).
The venue for the Press conference, Kona Lodge, became a media circus. The media was curious to run with the biggest news item of the day. But, unfortunately, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella did not even show up at the venue for the Press conference.
What was meant to be an important Press conference turned out to be a medley of irrelevant political activities. Calls were made by Dr. Yumkella’s supporters present at Kona Lodge for him to leave the SLPP and form his own political party. This was done on the day the SLPP started the process of rerunning their lower level elections as ordered by the Court of Appeal on 5th June, 2017.
When Dr. Kandeh Yumkella returned to the country, after his graceful retirement from the UN system, he announced that, he was interested in running for the post of President. Unfortunately, at that time, he did not know what party to run under.
His attempt to convince President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to allow him to fly the APC flag was rejected, because, he was not a registered member of the party.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella granted an interview to Dr. David Tam-Baryoh claiming that, he had never joined any political party and had never voted or campaigned for any political party in the country. His intention was to stand out as the only Politician that has never played any role in the backwardness of the country.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella’s attempt to join the SLPP through the backdoor spectacularly backfired. Some of his key supporters falsified documents claiming that, he had joined the party long before it was even formed in 1951.
Before formalizing his registration with the SLPP, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella’s credibility had been severely battered. He was like a dead man walking!
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is not prepared to settle down for anything short of the flag bearership of the SLPP. He either gets it or no one gets it! That is the dangerous card he is playing right now.
It is a well known fact that, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella and a handful of his supporters are determined to leave the SLPP. But he does not want to leave the party without further destroying its credibility.
He is the hidden hand behind all the legal battles that the party has had to contend with since he joined the SLPP. He is hiding behind nonentities like Victor Sheriff, Alex Kargbo and Alusine Bangura to destroy the SLPP.
If Dr. Kandeh Yumkella does not want to continue with his membership in the SLPP, why can’t he leave the party (his father’s party) in a very dignified manner? Why does he want to destroy the party before exiting?
When Charles Margai lost the flag bearership of the SLPP in 2005, he left the party and established his own party, the PMDC. He took along with him a lot of disgruntled party members. Some or almost all of them have either returned to the SLPP or have joined other political parties.
Mr. Margai who propped up the APC to win the run-off election against the SLPP in 2007 is now a battered man. His PMDC party is of no political consequence in Sierra Leone. Emerging political parties like the ADP of Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray have rendered Mr. Margai’s party completely redundant.
There is no way the PMDC would create any political impact in the 2018 elections. The party’s MPs were completely wiped out in the 2012 elections. The party does not have a single seat in Parliament and may be it has a few Local Council seats (not more than two) in the South/Eastern Region.
The election of Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio as the SLPP flag bearer in 2011 was the straw that broke the back of the PMDC.
Brig (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio is loved by a good number of South/Easterners. His candidature in the 2012 elections helped crushed the PMDC in the whole of the South/Eastern Region.
Not Man Enough
The former outspoken National Secretary General of the SLPP, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa yesterday upped the ante by publicly calling on Dr. Kandeh Yumkella to resign from the SLPP if he is man enough.
Some Western diplomats based in Freetown, who have met with Dr. Kandeh Yumkella on one or two occasions, have all concluded that, the man is very egoistic and completely indecisive. He lacks focus and does not have the support needed to win the flag bearership of the SLPP.
The former PPRC Chairman, the Late Justice M. E. Tholla-Thompson once told me that, after visiting some parts of the South/East of the country, he sincerely realized that, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella does not have the required support to lead the SLPP.
The Late Justice Tholla-Thompson was a straight talker and a fair-minded man. May his soul rest in perfect peace!
The Bio Factor
Even though some of us are not supporting Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, we cannot deny the fact that, the man has an attractive natural charisma and he is quick to impress people.
Some of us have always held the view that, if only Dr. Yumkella had shown some level of political maturity, he would have been an excellent running mate. He is a fearless guy and he understands governance issues.
The idea had been floated that, if Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio wins the flag bearership election, he should just easily appoint Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as his running mate. But, as things stand now, even if Dr. Kandeh Yumkella decides to stay in the SLPP, he would not enjoy the privilege of being appointed as running mate. No President or flag bearer candidate would like to have an over ambitious Vice President or running mate. No way!
If Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is truly determined to leave the SLPP, why can’t he leave NOW? He does not need to wait until he is chased out of the party in an undignified manner. That will be very humiliating to him.
The problem with Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is that, he is very indecisive, egoistic and lacks political experience. My view!