Between God, Sam Sumana and Koroma’s choice of Running mate

Mallam Osman,
Your analysis on the present political events in Sierra Leone are the most powerfully written yet in the present circumstances. Thank you very much for such a fantastic job. You really understand the political parity in Sierra Leone. As you mentioned in your article on Sam Sumana’s appointment as running mate appointed by the APC’s then Opposition Leader Ernest Bai Koroma, my response to it by an article in response to yours by an SLPP insider in New Jersey brought great rift between us; we who are Family members and religious brothers in our community.
aziz nabe4
AZIZ NABE
I was the Chairman of the Rapid Response Committee of the Opposition APC in North America and President of the APC Chapter in New Jersey. The gentleman was condemning the appointment as nonsensical in that, Sam Sumana was a novice and an alien in the political arena in Sierra Leone. That, even when he was in the United States, no body could identify him as a socialite or political firebrand , therefore, his appointment just sealed the defeat of the APC Party more than the Wootetteh defeat of 2002. He boasted of being popular than Sam Sumana in the United States and in Sierra Leone, so if put in the SLPP Ticket, it will be a done deal. But here was someone who went to contest for the Freetown East Two constituency from Fullahtown where he did not get a symbol with all his popularity and boisterous attitude, and “Borku Talkology”
In my response, I reminded him that the onus of naming a running mate , as enshrined in our constitution, was the sole prerogative of the candidate. He could confer with his party loyalists , but was not bounded to take their advice. The decision should be his, and his alone. On being popular in his own merit, this scenario was not a popular nor a beauty contest. He might have little  or big impact on the ticket, but that was the choice made by the candidate, chosen from a long list of possible candidates. He knew why he chose him to be his running mate. The bottom line here was that, they were both young and smashing to look at as against the incumbent whom they were trying to knock out. And they did thumped him out of office like no body’s business.
I believe the President understands the work his deputy has done for him over the years. He made up his mind to chose him, but he has the discretion to change him for someone else. I believe the choice is his,and anybody flouting around with rancorous rumors about him or her being the speculative choice this time around is simply digging his or her own grave. Non will be. We shall know when the time comes, but at this time, the President will not say ” finng ” to no one, even to Madam Sia, his beloved half. You  have to know  the President too well to understand when he is up to something sneaky. As he is an aggressive listener, so is he an abrupt decider when things do not work well with him, things he won’t discuss with no one, but himself , only at the last minute when it would be too late to convince him to change his mind.
Those who should be worried about going back to their jobs should know themselves by now. Their arrant behavior in dispensing their temporal political power in their designated offices should trigger their fickle consciences and make believe that, their days are almost over. One thing that is certain, which most of these people in their present positions should understand is that, their appointments in those positions were temporal, based on the term of office of the President. As his term will expire next year, so will theirs be expired. Therefore, it is foolhardy to think that all of them will be automatically transfigured in their positions when he shall have won a landslide victory over the box -up- mix- up- union of the Grandmother and Grandson ticket of Convenience. As we know them, they are Strange bedfellows with dubious characteristics and immoralities. Dr. Kadi Sesay had simply compromised and mortgaged her principles and her academic prowess in her political pursuits. On principle — because of a principle, or rule of conduct, such a highly educated woman should never have compromised her principles  We are looking up to her type to use those standards in order to teach those of us that do not reach up to her level and standard of education how to behave and conduct ourselves in the political landscape. But if because of the whiff and arrogance of power, she flaunted her principles–the following of the rules of right conduct; honesty and fairness, what’s new in her political pursuit will she bring to the nation differently from her colleagues who had done the same in past decades ? The mere truth that she ignored the fact that her grand “pikin” Boss is a complicit extra-judicial killer, a national passports thief, an economic saboteur–stealing national revenues from the national coffers while in office and after office through his elder brother Steve Bio, and the hasty sales of a government owned Hotel which proceeds he stashed in his private account overseas, should have tickled the conscience of this wonderful woman to deny being in that hopeless team she now finds herself.
True, both of them served in the NPRC Junta government. We thought having people like her in that government would have made a difference in the lives of the people of Sierra Leone. I believe the only achievement she earned was, when she was part of the National Commission for Democracy, the stern decision she and her counterpart Mr. James Jonah took against the rapacious commands and persuasions to cancel the elections in 1996 by three months old coup leader Maada Bio to give him more time to loot our coffers. That refusal, perhaps, by the persistence of  Mr. James Jonah. gave her merit in making the other delegates voted for the holding of the elections at the appointed time. When she was appointed Minister in President Kabbah’s government, she suddenly lost her cool by supporting the  executions of her Northern brothers in the army they termed as APC collaborators, and the mutilations and slaughtering of so many innocent lives in Freetown by the commands of the Kabbah and Berewah presidency from the Kabassa Lodge.to the ECOMOG Troupes.down town Freetown. The trio gave commands to ECOMOG to kill everybody who stand their way, and to destroy every building even if it means they have to reconstruct the whole city afresh after all the impasse had faded away. That was when she became a cold blooded conspirator to the murdering of our people who had ran away from the provinces to abide in Freetown — who could not find their ways around to hide from those atrocities. That was why vultures feasted on so many unfortunate souls during the  take over by the AFRC in Freetown. She could not use her power of conciliation of the womanhood to revert their bad decisions, but spurred them up to commit such heinous atrocities to their country folks. The simple tenet of resigning from such a bad governed government became invincible to her, and she was there overseeing the liquidation of our country to the stage of poorest country in the World, darkest and most squalid city in the world. Now I wonder why she is trying to be the first woman President of Sierra Leone when her track record is so stinky than a racoon.
Maada Bio simply has an incurable desire to become President, and the arrogant character of a cold blooded killer who could careless about his past crimes. His denial of his crimes are sprouting out now that he is frantically choosing a running Mate when the elections are yet 12 moons away. What has he to do that is so serious to drop himself out of the gang of thieves that planned to visit the United States and the United Kingdom to show off his candidacy to honest Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora if all is well with him within the Laws of those nations ? Although Bio is still denying about participating in the extra judicial killings of Northerners in the armed forces and civilians amongst the 29 people being killed extra-judicially by his Junta, people should simply see his track record when all the comic show of power started.
Captain Julius Maada Bio was one of the junior officers who had participated in the April 1992  coup that had ousted the President J. S. Momoh led  A.PC government. His first assignment when the NPRC was formed was as the Secretary of State Southern Province, and was stationed in the city of Bo which is the second city of the nation and capital of the South. Later, he was moved to the state capital,  Freetown, to serve as Secretary of State in charge of Information and Broadcasting. As a leading member of the Junior Army Clique that conspired the overthrow of the APC Government,  Julius Maada Bio served as member of the Supreme Council of State (SCS) throughout the NPRC’s stay in power. Unfortunately, when Captain Valentine Strasser’s deputy, Captain S.A.J. Musa was sacked and exiled to the United Kingdom, Bio was appointed to the position. A few months later, he was promoted by his Boss from Captain to Brigadier -General surpassing all other earned positions in the army to become the second highest ranking member of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces in the Republic of Sierra Leone (RSLMF). , to become senior in military rank to his political Military Boss Valentine Strasser. I believe that was a great blip that boosted his undying and incurable ambition to become president of the Republic.
There was a rift within the governing membership of the Supreme Council of State over whether to seek Peace with the RUF before multi-party elections which was slated for March, 1996, a stance he had taken religiously, or to go ahead with the election, notwithstanding the ongoing unfettered war they could not stop,  a solemn promise they had made to the people in the country to end the war, and the conditions for participation or disqualification of junta members in the forthcoming elections, a stance taken grudgingly by Valentine Strasser through the advise of his Mother.
However,  Valentine Strasser was too ambitious to contest as a civilian candidate, but was disqualified in age by the 1991 constitution that was prepared to usher in a multi-party political system in Sierra Leone by the APC Government of President Momoh. He was just 33 years old, and the age limit was slated at 45 years in order to contest for the presidency of the Republic.. That brought about his problems with the Maada Bio camp that caused his overthrow from power and sent in exile in the Republic of Guinea in Cuffs and a little port mantle. But Bio’s motives were misunderstood , partly because his elder sister, Mrs. Agnes Deen Jalloh was a member of the Rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), but to his surprise, even though he used all kinds of tactics, including making a personal peace with his uncle by marriage Coporal Foday Sankoh within 5 days to the elections to disrupt the political process  that was on going, with a promise to making him deputy leader of the NPRC should the elections were postponed or nullified ,very vigilant Civil Society Organizations unconditionally rejected his ” Peace before Election ” campaign, and forced his junta to proceed with holding the elections and restoration of constitutional order.  After a winner in the SLPP was found in Tejan Kabbah after the second rounds of elections on March 15, 1996,  Bio handed over to Mr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah as the elected President of the New Republic of Sierra Leone. His handing over to Tejan Kabbah promulgated an NPRC Indemnity and Transition Decree, 1996. See (http://www.sierra-leone-.org/Laws/1996-NPRC6.pdf) which provided indemnity to the whole  Army and all members of the NPRC and their appointees for all actions, intentional or otherwise, including the very coup that brought them to power, and all extra-judicial killings during their time in government. Bio retired from the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces (RSLMF) upon stepping down from power as 3 months old head of state of the   country. People close to him intimated that he looted the National Treasury and hurriedly concluded the sale of a prominent government -owned hotel for millions of United States Dollars which was paid for partly in cash and in gem stones, and property in Ghana to a rogue and shady foreign businessman and stashed the proceeds in a private account in his name in an Island, details which were confirmed by both President Kabbah and his vice, Mr. Solomon Berewa. They even accused him of conspiring to have sold our national passports and stashed $400,000 US dollars into the same account. Charges he could not make comment on either to deny, refute or accept and apologies for misdeeds. We all know that absolute silence is a sign of guilt, yet Dr. Kadi Sesay could not decipher between wrong doings and honest doings, and woefully accepts to work with him. What a disgrace of human lapses. I wish she had thought wisely before accepting to be his running mate in an election she verily know they will lose with indignity.  When God wants to help you, He will always confuse your adversaries to blunder beyond measure.
The struggle continues unabated.
Mohamed Aziz Nabe
APC,  New Jersey, USA.
In a message dated 11/17/2011 11:25:48 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, mogbuama@yahoo.com writes:
Emmanuel,
Good analysis. But my question is watin nar pipul den problem?
Koroma en tem nor done yate. Parliament has not been adjourned for
elections so why should the president be in a hurry to name a runnig mat e when his party has not even named candidates for parliamentary elections. The president knows that unlike other countries where parliamentary/ congressional candidates sometimes win on the coattails of a sitting president, in Salon the president wins on the coattail of parliamentary candidates. A presidential candidate is likely to win the area his parliamentary cnadidate carries.
The president may not want to rock his smooth sailing boat with such an announcement at this time.
We have the same problem here. Rumours are making the rounds here pitting Biden against Clinton. But that’s politics.On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 10:37 PM EST Sahr Musa Yamba wrote:>Awesome! Just awesome analysis!
>
>—–Original Message—–
>From: Emmanuel Saffa-Abdulai
>Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 6:05 PM
>To: foisl@yahoogroups.co.uk
>Cc: Nanette Thomas; leonenet@lists.umbc.edu; Foday Morris; apc-worldwide@googlegroups.comfoisl@yahoogroups.co.ukalbertacademy@yahoogroups.com;salonefreeflow@yahoogroups.commgibrilsesay@yahoo.co.ukmgibrilsesay@yahoo.com; APCNA
>Subject: [foisl] Between God, Sam Sumana and Koroma’s choice of Running mate
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>Between God, Sam Sumana and Koroma’s choice of Running mate
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>By Osman Benk Sankoh
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>The first time I ever heard the name Samuel Sam Sumana was few hours after he was selected by then All Peoples Congress (APC) opposition leader, Hon Ernest Bai koroma as running mate. Their first outing together was at a gathering organized by the US Ambassador to Sierra Leone.
>Koroma brought with him a young man from Kono. He was not a politician but a businessman. Koroma introduced him as his running mate and as politicians always do, he followed his boss shaking the hands of whoever came across.
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>I was out of the country. I got the first text. I ignored it. A second came in, and a third and fourth in quick succession, I became curious to know what was going on. The breaking news: “Ernest Koroma selects Sam Sumana as running mate.”
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>Koroma’s choice prompted me to write an article titled: “Sam Sumana who?” Well, that was four years ago. Sam Sumana is now the Vice President and a household name in the country. Over the years he has assisted Koroma in steering the ship of state. But as their term of office comes to an end, the President has to decide whether he wants to continue with Sumana in his second term bid.
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> Speculations have gone overdrive; the rumour mill is busy; newspaper reports and columnists are wading in – in the wake of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) presidential aspirant, Julius Maada Bio’s announcement of Dr. Kadi Sesay, a onetime university professor and former Minister, as his running mate.
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>And as if the harbingers of this rumor know what tickles the President, they have gone to the extent of naming Sam Sumana, JB Dauda, Diana Konomani and Musa Tarawallie as among a short-list Koroma has his mind on.
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>While the President continues to keep sealed lips, what beats my imagination is the thought that whoever he eventually chooses will be a bombshell. Why a bombshell, I cannot say, but I don’t see how Hiroshima will happen if Koroma sticks with Sam Sumana, who it may seem, has all this while been a worthy and loyal number two.
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>I may not be a specialist on the various parties’ constitutions, but even Abacha street traders know that when Koroma in 2007 decided to make then little known Sam Sumana his running mate, he didn’t need to call for some village Headmen or ‘court barray’ to help him make up his mind. The same could also be said of then Vice President, Solomon Ekuma Berewa who chose one time Foreign Affairs Minister, Momodu Koroma to ride with him on the same ticket. Obviously, some consultations may have been made by these leaders. They may have asked questions and answers may have been provided. However, if interested persons had lobbied and even distributed brown envelops to some Council of Elders, then it could best have been described as an action in futility.
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>In 2002, when Former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was about to offload his Vice, Dr Albert Joe Demby, names like Solomon Berewa who was then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Professor Septimus Kai-Kai, once Presidential spokesman and John Ernest Leigh, among others, were peddled. In fact, John Leign even hosted a press conference at the British Council to tell the entire world why he should be positioned a heartbeat to the presidency.
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>For Demby, t-shirts did the talking for him and at an event in Bo; his Jerihun kinsmen were out in their numbers with t-shirts bearing: “together in war, together in peace.” Meantime, Kabbah kept his cool. Berewa followed suit and in an exclusive interview Concord Times then had with him, his response to, “is it true that HE is highly considering you for the number two position,” was, “I am ready and willing to serve the President in any position once it is within the law.”
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>Well, while John Ernest Leigh was literally taken off a flight from Lungi to appear on the SLBS (now SLBC) TV to clarify a statement in his ill-fated campaign that might have embarrassed the then President, Kabbah waited until a Friday, after the Jumat prayers in Port Loko, to unveil Berewa as his running mate. Interestingly, it happened the same day Concord Times published a screamer which turned out to be exactly the opposite, “Septimus Kaikai gives Solo B sleepless night.” Of course, there were a few surprises but it was entirely Kabbah’s decision.
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>I may not be privy to the President’s inner circle but I don’t see any reason why he should be wasting his precious sleep on whom he eventually chooses as his running mate. Apart from the Internal Affairs Minister, who it was alleged, went to Kono to be introduced as a contender for the second highest office in the land, others like JBD, Chukuma Johnson and Daina Konomani may not brazenly come out to say they are interested in Sam Sumana’s post. For Tarawalie, at least he is on record to have openly expressed his disquiet for the sitting Vice President to the extent of emphasizing that he has respect for the VP office.
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>Sumana has kept his cool, invoking divine intervention to either keep him or out of office. In God, he has entrusted his hope even as he wonders whether Koroma will extend his contract or throw him under the bus just as Kabbah did to Demby. Those that have followed his stewardship though say Sam Sumana has been a loyal lieutenant who has not expressed any vaulting ambition even though he was unable to win his parliamentary seat in Kono in 2007.
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>It is important that as 2012 draws to a close, the APC tries to cement its grip on Kono where often than not, the people tend to vote in block. That the opposition has a southerner as its Presidential aspirant makes it all the more ludicrous for the APC to imagine that southerners in 2012 are going to vote Koroma even if he constructs diamond paved roads in Bo and other southern-eastern towns. In the same vein, it will only be a dream if SLPP think that getting Dr Kadi Sesay, a northerner from Port Loko but born and bred in Rotifunk in the South will give them a landslide in the North.
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>Maybe it is true, maybe it is not but what value does JB Dauda, the man who is only Foreign Minister in name, bring to a Koroma ticket? Why in fact, he is foreign minister I would not know. JBD has passed his prime – he has lost his political mojo. He has been APC, SLPP and APC again. People who have principles stick to them and live out the principle of: “principles are indivisible; they are either wholly kept or wholly sacrificed.” JBD’s principle is AGIP, an acronym for Any Government in Power. Hopefully, Koroma is not even contemplating JBD as Vice President.
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>Diana Konomani, I have not met. Yes, somebody may argue that because the SLPP has a woman running mate, the APC should also have theirs. Nonsense! Is she really interested in being running mate? Is this not another joke? Do you even imagine she could face Dr. Kadie Sesay in any vice presidential debate? What is her area of specialization? Does she have the clout to address both national and emerging international issues? How can she keep Kono intact for the APC if Koroma decides to send Sam Sumana to the dressing room?
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>Next is Chukuma Johnson. He has been with the President in and outside the Law Court Building. Of course, he has the Western area as his own constituency. If there are indeed Independents in our present day politics, he may possibly be the man to sway them to voting APC. However, that he is from the Western area, a zone considered to be firmly under the grips of the APC makes it more compelling for him not to be considered for Sumana’s post. Like JBD, he has also passed his prime.
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>Like JBD, the current Internal Affairs Minister, Musa Tarawallie has tasted both sides of the watermelon. He was SLPP and later APC. Unlike his predecessor, Ambassador Dauda Tarawallie as Internal Minister uses heavy police escort and convoy whenever he drives around, much to the dismay of tax payers. It appears his name invokes violence. He has himself not helped matters by his abrasive actions and reckless utterances. That he went on Radio to clearly show what I consider to be gross disdain for the authority of the Vice President, no matter what differences exist between the two, is not a good sign of leadership.
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>Interestingly, all these names continue to (well at least) win the confidence of the President. His party recently elected Chukuma Johnson as Deputy Speaker of Parliament. Sam Sumana continues to step in the stead of the President whenever he travels out of the country and so far, he has not yet complained of gross insubordination. Despite all the allegations of violence, Musa Tarawallie continues to swing past other vehicles in his convoy and Diana Konomani continues to be number one citizen in Kono.
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>Yet Koroma’s graveyard silence is getting too loud for comfort. Certainly for Sam Sumana. Is he giving hope to Musa Tarawallie? Is Diana Konomani now secretly rehearsing how to be VP? Is Chukuma secretly beaming in smiles thinking that Sam Sumana’s days are numbered?
>Questions! Questions! Questions!
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>Osman Benk Sankoh
>Community Outreach/ Media Analyst
>Sierra Leone Conference on Development and Transformation
>033-319-155/078-826-764
>

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