AN OPEN LETTER TO H. E. PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA
Dear President Koroma,
As an unabashed, unflinching, uncompromising, and biased supporter of our beloved APC party, I am writing this open letter to you to express a sense of frustration on the current events and direction many of us APC supports in the Diaspora are experiencing. I hope you will appreciate and understand where our frustrations are coming from.
There is a feeling in many of us Diasporans that the traumatic Mudslide event of August 14 has unintendedly blinded us all from focusing on the March 2018 elections next year. Decisions taken before and after August 14, i.e. postponement of the party conventions, have created not only hardship for us in the Diaspora, but confusion, and a semblance of a lack of strategic direction. The information flow needed for party mobilization and strategy seems to be grounded to a halt except perhaps for a very select few who may be privy to what is going.
Information flow in any organization is what makes the world go round, an absence of which creates uncertainty, loss of hope, and dampening enthusiasm. It is unbelievable to many of us that six months to the 2018 Elections most of us don’t even know what is going on, and what strategy to use. It is even worse to hear from some of our Members of Parliament lamenting about not knowing what election strategy and platform the party is working on, which goes to show there is a complete election information blackout six months to the elections. All party conventions have been postponed indefinitely. It seems like all eyes of the party hierarchy are just focused on the flow of the Mudslide aid and resettlement planning. Though not privy to what is going on behind the scenes, I personally, like many other Diasporans is perplexed by the semblance of inaction.
Your Excellency, as our beloved head of state and party leader, where are we in the preparation for the 2018 Elections? What is required of us especially in the Diaspora? Strong APC Diaspora stalwarts, enthusiastic about the 2018 Elections, bought tickets to attend the originally scheduled September party convention. They had to cancel and pay financial penalties to rebook. Just after that rebooking with new dates for mid-September, another shocking blow was thrown at us, and this time with no date in sight. We in the Diaspora are left asking questions whether our contributions and participation in making our party strong and rule for ever really mean anything to our senior party hierarchy and decision-making body in Sierra Leone.
Your Excellency, there is a semblance of overconfidence in some circles of the party hierarchy that no matter what, the APC will win the next election. Many in the APC talk about the disarray within the SLPP opposition. But it is evident that the opposition SLPP currently has a flagbearer candidate who most in the party are converging around, with a cogent strategy to misinform and propagate our missteps in governance. They don’t seem to be distracted by the semblance of disarray. It is unfortunate that the ruling APC party up till this moment cannot come together and appoint a flagbearer. It is unfortunate to hear from the SLPP opposition making a mockery of the APC’s decision to indefinitely suspend the party convention because of the mudslide. As they clearly pointed out, the APC was able to hold a convention during the peak of the Ebola epidemic when it was contagious to have large gatherings of people. Why is the mudslide apparently becoming the main reason for the indefinite suspension of very important party activities?
Your Excellency, the party is dropping the ball. The 2018 Elections are for the APC to lose, and not for the SLPP to win. The current status quo is not enabling party strength going into a very important election. The APC seems to be suffering from an inertia that may lead to its demise. There are many negatives currently besieging the party both at home and abroad. Make no mistake that based on the behavior of some of our trusted leadership, the opposition has enough ammunition to launch dangerous attacks with a potential to incapacitate our party going into the 2018 Elections. What strategy do we have to counter the oppositions’ propaganda? If we in the APC are not careful, the spate of entrenched institutionalized corruption and malfeasance could undo the invincibility of our party.
Just recently, you felt badly betrayed by the actions of some of your high ranking and trusted lieutenants relating to the Hajj Gate. There are many APC supporters who have suspicions on the current decision for the indefinite suspension of party convention. Rightly or not, they suspect the decision is not unconnected with the volume of mudslide aid donations coming into the country. As you felt betrayed with the Hajj Gate and Ebola, there is a feeling that the same actors are currently planning how to once more swindle proceeds from the mudslide relief aid. You should not rule out the possibility that there are many in your senior leadership hierarchy who are not enthusiastic about the 2018 Elections, but are more interested in how much more they can embezzle before you hand over power to a successive government. Winning the next General Election is not as appealing to them as fattening their ill-gotten wealth.
Finally, I am appealing to you as Head of State, Leader of our beloved APC, and younger brother to think carefully who our party will appoint to lead the relief aid distribution effort. We as a party have suffered so many self-inflicted injuries which could have been avoided. In strengthening your legacy, please ensure your leadership in the next six months is carried out to buttress the love you have always portrayed for your people and country, and your fear of God Almighty. Please think carefully about who you will entrust the Power of the Purse for the Mudslide Relief Aid, and the 2018 Elections campaign. We as a party cannot afford more corruption scandals going into 2018. We have had too many scandals, although some not true. But we have to pay attention to perceptions. If not for your popularity, the party’s chances going into the next elections are doomed. Many of your lieutenants are not interested in your legacy, or the party’s posterity. They are more interested in how much more they can illegitimately gain before you hand over power. They see you as the only hope in their efforts to fatten their ill-gotten gains before you retire.
May God Almighty protect you and our country from their devious plans. May our beloved country overcome the vice of greed and disproportionate and indiscriminate plundering of our resources. May All Mighty God endow our country with sincere and passionate patriots. May our party, the APC rule forever.
Dr Yahya Kaloko