By Theophilus Sahr Gbenda…..
The seizure of former VP Sam Sumana’s diplomatic passport, on arrival at the Lungi International Airport by immigration officials as reportedly directed by orders from above, is nothing short of an unfair treatment in my humble view.
The big Rastaman says, “When you dig a pit for an enemy, make sure you dig another for yourself”. This is so because what goes around most often comes around. The key factor is ‘time’.
The fact remains that he was duly elected Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and therefore can never be considered an ordinary citizen whether sacked or what have you. Thinking otherwise speaks total disrespect for legitimate former leaders.
Possessing a diplomatic passport is a special privilege accorded to diplomats/consuls when posted overseas and high level persons within a government.
In some cases, diplomatic passports can be granted to persons considered as statesmen because of their former standing in life and so on.
For instance, I would want to see President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and VP Foh carry diplomatic passports even when they shall have left office as a mark of recognition and respect and in view of the fact that they can no longer be considered ordinary citizens.
Granted that my uncle Chief Sam Sumana is no longer in government and that it is up to the government to wave off his diplomatic status by withdrawing his diplomatic passport, the simple point is that such should not be done with utter malice. If anything, there are procedures for granting and withdrawing even ordinary passports.
The long and short of it therefore is that our duly-elected and later sacked vice president was far from being treated fairly. If anything, he deserves better.
I might be wrong, but that’s just what I think and I’m sure thousands if not millions more think alike.