The astute display of maturity and statesmanship by the elected Vice President, Alhaji Chief Samuel Sam Sumana in the current political and constitutional row has earned him an avalanche of praise, both at home and abroad.
VP Alhaji Chief Sumana who was purportedly “relieved” of his duty as Vice President of Sierra Leone, by President Ernest Bai Koroma and subjected to a virtual house arrest in the wake of his controversial dismissal is being commended within Western diplomatic circles for conducting himself so well in the face of intimidation and provocation from ruling party officials.
Last week, the Executive Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas was kept waiting for almost an hour before his meeting with the Vice President at his private residence in Freetown commenced.
Dr. Chambas spent over forty five minutes outside the gate of the VP’s private residence waiting for clearance from State House before he was allowed to hold a face-to-face meeting with VP Sam Sumana that day. He afterwards commended the country’s elected VP for his show of statesmanship and called on him to continue in that light as, according to him, VP Sam Sumana has earned the admiration of the world for exhibiting leadership.
Dr. Chambas flew from Abuja on a special diplomatic mission to engage VP Sam Sumana and President Koroma in talks aimed at resolving the political stalemate within the frame work of constitutionality and the rule of law.
Details of the talks are sketchy, but Global Times understands that the UN world body is apprehensive that President Koroma’s decision to sack his Vice President may trigger political tension in the country.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leoneans abroad have also lavished praise on VP Sam Sumana for his show of maturity and leadership so far. It follows a special message he broadcast to Sierra Leoneans living abroad on the current political situation in the country.
He told Sierra Leonean diasporas that the President’s action should not be considered as a Sam Sumana issue, but a national issue as the action has been condemned nationally and internationally as a rape of the 1991 Constitution.
VP Alhaji Sam Sumana was first expelled by the ruling All Peoples Congress APC party on March 6th for anti- party activities among other charges before being “relieved” of his duty as Vice President by President Ernest Bai Koroma. That act as well as the appointment of another Vice President has since been globally condemned.
Civil society groups and the main opposition SLPP have called for a nation-wide demonstration if the President refuses to rescind the sacking order of the elected Vice President.