President Bio’s Governance Credentials on Tenterhooks
Few months after his governing party was voted out, Former President Ernest Bai Koroma was at the All Peoples Congress (APC) headquarters in Freetown begging for forgiveness from all those he had hurt throughout his ten (10) years in governance as President of Sierra Leone. Indeed, this had been a man who, for obvious reasons, was seen as a demigod to many.
I could even remember when Dr. Koroma attended one of the party’s Youth conferences and was pronounced Chairman and Leader for life. In essence, many APC supporters worshipped Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma like a god; sadly, he himself believed he was actually one as his actions spoke clearly in that light.
Like a party which bastion is from the Communist ideology, Dr. Koroma’s portrait was the center of attraction of every single APC and national event to the extent that even a Convention for the selection of a Flagbearer Candidate, only Koroma’s photos were allowed in the APC Convention center. This shows how far a man could be eulogized.
In governance, though since the inception of the Act No 6 of the 1991 Constitution, Sierra Leone has never got a Vice President who successfully served in two (2) consecutive terms.
However, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma remains the only leader to have with malice summarily dismissed a Vice President without benefits, securities and worse of it all in a disgraceful manner. Yet, all his government officials including his APC party supporters desperately supported his actions. They never knew they were pushing him to doom. Those who had dissenting views were deemed traitors, with some sacked from their jobs and others expelled from the APC party; to support Sam Sumana became an act of treachery. Nobody could question or caution Former President Koroma.
Former President Koroma is not the target of discuss in this piece, but the reason I made a brief reference to him is that with all his power and authority, strong financial muscle and as someone who singlehandedly decided the fate of many in government and at the APC Party, media reports are that the man is stuck in his hometown Makeni without state security. Former President Koroma, hunted by his past, for obvious reasons must by now be in his greatest state of regret. Certainly, this is not the type of legacy Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma wished to have left behind.
Like Koroma, Bio has taken over as President of Sierra Leone as a very youngman with all the bright ideas, zest and zeal. Bio has inherited a peaceful and extremely religious tolerant nation. This gives him a very good platform to showcase his ideas and deliver on his manifesto by attracting the very best of investments to a very peaceful nation.
Sadly, as if the peace he inherited from Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma is not enough for him, Bio has been a President whose every move has been a cause for alarm. From using the Judiciary to impose a Speaker on the majority party in the House of Parliament; to summarily sacking all politically appointed diplomats through an Executive Order without their complete repatriation costs; then to dissolving all Boards of Parastatals in a single day; with addition to also preside over a government that has manifested blatant disregard for the Rule of Law and the protection of fundamental human rights by letting 9 elected opposition MPs maliciously lose their seats through a troubled judiciary.
Indeed, these amongst many others have so far been the records of President Bio. He has greatly succeeded in deepening the regional divide he inherited. The fact is that Former President Koroma himself did not do much to have regional balance in his government. There was a time in Koroma’s Presidency when more than half of his government ministers were either from Port Loko or Bombali district. These two districts controlled the show in a country that had 12 districts. There was a time when we had no minister from Kenema District (Until Sengu Koroma was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs); and none from Koinadugu and Falaba Districts combined (until Dr. Kaifala Marrah was later appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs).
From all indications, this writer believes that President Bio himself has not been a solution to these challenges. President Bio is the President who made a total of 14 appointments in a single night with almost all of them being Southeasterners. Just one of them, Umaru Napoleon Koroma who was appointed Chairman of National Commission for Privatization (NCP) was Northerner but he has also now been replaced by another Southeasterner. To make things worse, all of them were men. Not a single woman!!
With all these details of excessive sackings of Sierra Leoneans based on supposedly ethno-regional and ethno-political grounds, many will ask if actually the president’s dream of a unified Sierra Leone is in place, or whether he is surrounded by the very wrong persons? It is precedent. If Honourable Alpha Kahn or Honourable Victor Bockarie Foh could now be seen as enemies to their former boss - Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, many will ask whether politics is indeed a place where friendship is permanent.
President Bio is the President today, but he will not be a President forever. His actions today will be his solace tomorrow when he retires. If in any way, it is the advisers that are forcing you to have some of these bad decisions which have caused serious regional and tribal tension in the country, Mr. President, don’t you think it is time to have a rethink?? In the Holy Bible it is stated: Mark: 11:9-10 “Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna! “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10: “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
However, in Mark 15: 12 -15, it details: “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.”
For if Christ himself was crucified by the people whom once hailed him, Mr. President should be very assured that after his presidency, retiring with his young wife and kids, the only friends worthy to be boastful of will be his legacy of love, peace and tranquility, and development which he will inject in Sierra Leone and not the current mood of hate, vindictiveness and ultra disregard for procedures and the Rule of Law manifested by him and his henchmen. Change your ways Sir, and then unite us as a nation once again.