Undemocratic Character Of President Koroma Exposed?

By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)….

I am not a member of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and I don’t want to be a member. I never wanted a job from this government (in fact, I rejected some). I have no affiliation with the current APC Flagbearer Aspirants and I have no business in the APC, but I am most uncomfortable about Mohammed Sankoh alias One Drop’s rude and crude attempt at trying to whip up public sentiments against current APC aspirants already campaigning to succeed Ernest Bai Koroma.

In his myopic column, Sankoh argued that: “When President Koroma will eventually speak or make his anointment on the succession issue; the matter will be finally settled without a cough! Not even a finger would be raised in protest”. Such a misguided claim portrays Ernest Koroma as an unrepentant dictator who does not respect the will of the people including members of his own cabal (APC). This shows that the APC’s constitution exists in form, and not in substance; the will of Ernest Koroma and the will of the APC members move in separate spheres, the first the reality, the second in rhetoric, and the two does not meet. Therefore, it may be advisable for APC to suspend the application of its constitution, thus making Ernest Koroma as the supreme leader (Ayatollah).

A situation where Ernest Koroma is being worshiped as a “god” who can unilaterally decide on the aspirant to send to hell or heaven “…without a cough! Not even a finger would be raised in protest”, presents a dangerous undemocratic practice obtainable only in totalitarian societies like Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Idi Amin’s Uganda and General Than Shwe’s Burma.

This undemocratic portrayal of Ernest Koroma by Sankoh – who has branded himself as a self-styled “Koromaist” who has remained an unrelenting vuvuzela of Ernest Koroma through unguarded columns, is indeed a great disservice to the APC. This extremely shocking dictatorial tendency being brazenly presented by Sankoh shows Ernest Koroma’s disregard for the APC constitution in total disdain for our laws and political institutions portends great danger for our democracy and constitution, and should be resisted before it festers.

Sankoh also boasted that Ernest Koroma removed Vice President Sam-Sumana with impunity, thus Ernest can impose an aspirant and nobody will resist. Such juxtaposition is wrong and dangerous. The removal of Sam-Sumana was very embarrassing and portrays an obvious insincerity and reckless disregard for the constitution of Sierra Leone. Sankoh has exposed Ernest Koroma’s true colours to the world as an unrepentant dictator. Our country’s foreign image is now a joke, and Ernest Koroma has become a laughing stock in the international community.

It’s important for Sankoh to understand that in some democratic societies, first year students have gone on to lead their student bodies. I was appointed school prefect when I was a junior pupil. Therefore, long term service to an institution might not be relevant in this situation – a member who joins today might be better than a member who joined yesterday. What is important is that the person is competent and is able to deliver. Barrack Obama is a good example. So being an old guard of the APC should not be used as a tape-rule to measure who succeeds Ernest Koroma. After all, Ernest Koroma – reportedly a disguised financier of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and relatively new in the APC hijacked the party from his elders/seniors – who had struggled with the Party for a long time (the likes of Serry-Kamal , Edie Turay, Kahinday Bagura, Victor Foe etc).

Through his shrewd and skilful manipulation, Ernest Koroma continues to monopolise the APC and now undermining and suppressing APC aspirants. We are no longer in doubt as to who is behind the prevailing poor state of affairs, manipulation of elections, undermining of democracy and the rule of law. Under Ernest Koroma’s leadership, unfortunately, we saw how the APC UK Branch elections were manipulated by his surrogates – from elections to coronations. What an error!

Ernest Koroma’s manipulative attitude and reluctance to map out a succession plan for APC could bring the party into disrepute and crisis. Sankoh should go back to school, read history books and reflect on the damage that occurred in 1985 – when the dictator Siaka Stevens hand-picked Joseph Saidu Momoh. Stevens decided to appoint Momoh as President at the expense of the will of the people. The downfall of the APC. Stevens’ intolerance of criticism even extended to those within the framework of the party. This is illustrated by the case of Alfred Akibo-Betts, the man responsible for uncovering the ‘voucher gate’ scandal , at the Ministry of Finance, in 1981. Akibo-Betts was forced to withdraw from the elections in 1982, since Stevens’ thugs no longer wanted him.

Today, we are seeing a recurrence of the sad chapter of history of APC. Ernest Koroma should not be allowed to relegate the APC to his personal property. The few democrats in the APC must reject this attack against APC Flagbearer Aspirants and they must reiterate confidence in them, especially those aspirants who are passionate about change and want to enjoy their democratic rights to vote and be voted for.

I am not a member of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Say what you want about the SLPP – and I have – they know how to fight with style. They may be stabbing each another, but the SLPP might emerge victorious in the next elections, should they put forward a good leader. The APC, on the other hand, could end up as a far more dangerous and messy affair. The portrayal of Ernest Koroma as the “god” might create a big challenge for the party to identify a good aspirant who could win the elections. The Alliance Democracy Party is already winning over disgruntled voters in APC strongholds.

APC insiders who spoke to Pipul Pikin Media accused Sankoh of playing to the gallery and reading the wrong script. They recommended that Sankoh be schooled on the principles of the APC Constitution. According to the APC constitution, “the final authority of the Party shall rest with the National Delegates’ Conference, which shall…have the power to…Elect/Select the presidential candidate”. Therefore, Ernest Koroma cannot handpick a bad aspirant to lead the party. The imposition of an unpopular and unelectable aspirant could be the breaking point for the APC. The APC party stands at a critical crossroads in its history — one that will likely determine its future political trajectory.

Ernest Koroma has been accused of mounting nothing more than a political expedition, to impose his successor, to attempt to marginalise APC aspirants, who refused to dance to his selfish music. People are scared in the APC, to say wrong is wrong for fear of intimidation or because they feel the political status quo is powerful – very powerful. Well, so what? Some leaders were very powerful, but today they no longer exist. Nothing last forever – Ernest Koroma will become history.

As the biological clock for the leadership of the APC ticks more loudly as each day passes, it is not lost on the ever-ambitious aspirants that s/he who is able to persuade or pressure Ernest Koroma, naturally or artificially, will have the last laugh. Otherwise, any aspirant who is anointed by God and willing to take the risk, mobilise members of the APC/grassroots is likely to succeed Ernest Koroma.

We must take copious note of the fact that Sankoh gave no inspiring answers as to the aspirant with the so-called “APC-ness” who might succeed Ernest Koroma

The simple question for Sankoh is: Does the APC needs a good and popular aspirant elected by its members or a bad and unpopular aspirant hand-picked by Ernest Koroma?

Or could it be true that Ernest Koroma is still clinging onto his selfish agenda of “More Time and After U, Na U” figment of imagination?

Over to you One Drop!

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