October 2, 2022

It is now 20 years with former President Koroma still on the   driving seat. Koroma is still Chairman and Leader of the party exercising unlimited powers even after he had left power as President. The former President has failed to make real a promise he made over a year ago.

In 2019, former President Koroma assured APC (All People’s Congress) and the people of Sierra Leone that he would resign from active politics in three-month period. Ernest Koroma was never under duress when he made such pronouncement.

He made the promise on his own volition, and the people of Sierra Leone expected him to live by it. Despite the promise, no sign of the former President’s departure exists. An experienced and loyal member of APC intimated this press in an exclusive interview that the former President need not be told about his exit.

He is not even supposed to be taken to court to vacate his seat at the expiry of his mandate.

“He ought to have known that himself,” he emphasised.

The APC politician went on to state that refusal of the former President to go brought about rancour and disagreements in the party. He cited the court matters of NRM (National Reformation Movement) and Alfred Peter Conteh, a Sierra Leonean resident in the United States. In January, 2019, NRM an offshoot of APC, dragged the party to court owing to certain clauses it disagreed with in a constitution that was going to be adopted in the north-western capital of PortLoko.

One of the main clauses NRM disagreed with was the ‘Selection Clause’ through which Samura Kamara was made flag-bearer. Top APC members believed that the clause renders APC Constitution a bad law.

They therefore call for its expunge. The clause would have remained there had it not been an injunction slammed on the party leadership.

NRM’s will prevails in legal wrangling that went for months. The group’s demands have been accepted even if not in good faith. Conteh also sued APC calling on the court to end the executive members’ political existence since they have ridden into the sunset.

Justice Adrian Fisher’s ruling handed down a month ago stopped former President and others from taking part in the party’s political activity. By the order, a new executive must have been put in place now to hold lower level elections and to take the party to a convention.

Time is no longer in favour of APC; procrastination is a thief of time.

The ruling SLPP (Sierra Leone People’s Party) has put its house in order long ago by holding their internal elections even in the midst of controversies and the Corona Virus pandemic.

A serious challenge could be posed to SLPP only if APC (All People’s Congress) put in place the right structures. A divided house cannot succeed, and he who fails to plan, plans to fail. The President’s continued rebuff to calls to step down is a source of major conflicts in the party.

The former President is seemingly not ready to keep his hands off from the party despite Fischer’s ruling and directives. He is poised to exercise considerable influence in the party hopefully to install a puppet leadership.

His insistence on holding the forte is strong a manifestation of dictatorship. It is a political machination most APC members seem to be less comfortable with. Insider sources have intimated this press that the former President is again fighting for PAOPA to reign.

Dictatorial tendencies exhibited by the President have made him vulnerable to a number of allegations. A number of APC members have started to sense a secret political deal between former President Koroma and President Julius Maada Bio.

The deal is to pave the way for a Bio’s second term so that President Koroma can save his neck. As President Koroma continues to show dictatorial tendencies, his subordinate, Ambassador Osman Yansanneh, the party’s Secretary-General does likewise. By the court’s ruling, Yansaneh should have given up secretariat duties to a new person by now.

But, evidence shows that the current Secretary-General still performs his functions as usual. Actions of his boss have emboldened him. It is a clear case of trampling on court orders leaving the public to question judicial powers.

Court orders are sacred and demands respect. In all jurisprudence, no one flouts court orders without facing the music. Every member of society as well as organisations or even governments is bound to respect directives from the court talk less of members of a political party.

The continued occupation of the offices of Chairman and Leader and Secretary-General by former President Koroma and Yansaneh adds weight to allegations of collusion between the former and current Presidents.

A senior member of the APC has also intimated this press that the former President’s dictatorial tendencies cost the party’s victory in 2018.

He said the President transformed himself into a despot overnight when he successfully manipulated the emergence of Dr Samura Kamara as presidential candidate for the party.

It happened in the north-eastern capital of Makeni where flag-bearers were never subjected to an election, but selection. Election is a democratic principle that is universally accepted and cherished.

It is the basis of power and authority in any organisation or political entity. Despite her clear weaknesses of democracy, Sierra Leone is a democratic state meaning that its structures, activities and programmes in any entity or organisation must be democratic.

Election, no doubt, is a key feature of democracy. When selection is given preference to election, the act is almost equal to shutting down a party. Former President Koroma’s selection of Dr Samura Kamara left APC in one of the biggest political tussles in history.

A great number of APC stalwarts deserted the party because Samura Kamara was installed. He did not occupy the seat based on the approval of those concerned. Kamara also did not enjoy the will of the majority.

He did not go through the rigours of campaigning within the party, and virtually could not do so outside the party. APC members saw the weakness and dormancy of Samura’s campaign in the election period.

His weakness was made visible when heavy political weight deserted him. Kamara’s emergence as flag-bearer of the party of 2018 was the manipulation of a dictator and nothing else.

How long Will APC nurse and nurture dictatorship?