By Ibrahim Bockarie…..
It is no doubt that the height of the Kono Conference came when the elected Vice President Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana, who was Skyped into the meeting live, ended his speech with an old Kono song of unity, “mor ni moh nyon biya”, meaning “let us hold each other up”.
The second annual Kono Conference in Washington DC was indeed a great success! It was a forum where Kono descendants of all tribes and political leanings came together, putting aside their differences, to discuss the future of Kono.
Many in the DC area were angered over the invitation of Minister Diana Konomanyi given her association with the injustices faced by the people of Kono at the hands of the APC Government and President Ernest Bai Koroma (EBK). CAUSE Kono, a watchdog organization, issued several press releases announcing their intention to demonstrate against Hon. Konomanyi. Individual Kono descendants took to social media to record their rage at the betrayal of Kono leaders like Hon. Konomanyi in allowing the plundering of Kono and persecution of Kono youths.
It was Chief Sam Sumana from his residence in Accra, Ghana who made countless phone calls to CAUSE members as well as ordinary Kono residents in the DMV area to hold off on demonstrations and come together in a show of peace and unity. Just as he had appealed to thousands of supporters after his controversial dismissal from office, Chief Sam Sumana stressed the need for restraint. He consoled and counseled all the aggrieved that Sierra Leone had just emerged from a protracted civil war and the country was lagging in all areas of development so what was needed was peace at all cost.
Putting country first and the safety and security of the people of Sierra Leone before his own personal and political concerns is what led Chief Sam Sumana to pursue a legal route at the ECOWAS court in his claims against the Government of Sierra Leone.
Chief Sam Sumana has also openly declared his intention to contest elections in March 2018. He has urged all his supporters as well as millions of other Sierra Leoneans who are fed up with the economic backwardness, political corruption and basic incompetence of the current APC Government to join him when the time comes to form a serious coalition that will finally defeat the political stranglehold of EBK and his small group of cronies, which includes Hon. Diana Konomanyi, come next year. The KKY movement and registration of the National Grand Coalition are also gaining traction in Kono and throughout the country. Anything but APC!
As for the people of Kono, the vast majority have already decided. They have experienced first-hand the economic exploitation of Octea mining company backed by powerful politicians such as Hon. Diana Konomanyi and Chief Paul Saquee against their own people. The people of Kono have experienced first-hand the intimidation and violence meted out against Kono youths by the likes of Dep. Minister Karamoh Kabba as well as his open disrespect of the women and mothers of Konoland. The people of Kono are still sickened over the treatment of their sons the elected Vice President Chief Sam Sumana and the elected popular Mayor Saa Emerson Lamina. The true voters are not those in the Diaspora but the thousands of hungry, sick, and dispossessed Konos back home who, like all other Sierra Leoneans, have suffered enough over the past eight years of APC misrule.
Hon. Diana Konomanyi and the Kono APC contingent she brought to Washington DC should make no mistake of the hospitality and civility of Konos in the DMV and the organizers of the Kono Conference. No amount of money can bribe us. It was the decision of the Conference to use Diana Konomanyi’s donation in part to finance the attendance