By our political correspondent
As the political wrangling intensify within the All Peoples Congress Party, what was once brushed aside as an impossible decision seems to be gathering speed. Dr Samura Mathew Kamara, current Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is closing in as the trending Presidential choice for the APC flag. This may come as a surprise to some but those already well entrenched in the game would confirm that his meteoric rise to prominence is not unconnected with his stature as a “safe pair of hands.”
President Koroma may be seen to have arrived at such a choice given the pragmatic relationship he has shared with Samura Mathew Kamara over the years. In the most trenchant of times, it has been his quiet diplomacy and professional approach that has led President Koroma to make some very wise decisions. It is also not to be detracted from the work Samura Kamara has put in in the various positions he has held not only under the present APC Government but even beyond. He has served the NPRC and the SLPP Governments in positions of trust and probity and in these roles, he has always been above reproach. To say that Samura Kamara is clean is therefore an understatement in terms.
Many who choose to blame President Koroma for his choice would be doing so without understanding the dynamics of his commitment for Sierra Leone. President Koroma is sending a message by choosing Samura Kamara to succeed him and that message is underlined by the word, TRUST. President Koroma is expected by now to have had a good run at examining all the potential aspirants but as Chinua Achebe would say, for a man who has been “given the yam and the knife,” wherever he cuts the yam should not incur complaints. In the fullness of time, many would have to come to terms with a Samura Kamara succession and get down to rallying behind him for the next government to be an APC government because it is accepted that the APC other government is by far preferable to an APC opposition.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Dr Samura Mathew Kamara is a politician of quiet demeanour. His charity to others is not trumpeted over the rooftops and this is why many would accuse him of not being a grassroots politician. He has a conservative outlook simply because by the nature of his job, it would be folly for him to be seen gallivanting like a proud peacock at every turn of the dice. However, those who have worked with him would tell of a very compassionate and accommodating person to be around. He is a good listener and a much attentive to the challengers of others. He is always with a quiet smile, non threatening and easily approachable. On the whole, it is no wonder that he seems to be quite taken by the elites and those who are perceived to be of high status in society. That attribute, one must hastily add, does not detract from the very astute empathy and acceptance of the issues and challenges of others that characterizes Dr Samura Kamara as a person.
For many reasons and for his easy manner, Dr Samura Mathew Kamara now finds himself at the coalface of Sierra Leonean politics. The challenge he faces is to convince the rest of the APC domain that he is someone that can work with everyone, most to some very high degree of satisfaction. He is one person who can be seen as an outsider but still not too distanced from the hierarchy. His hometown at Kamalo has seen the arrival of many a convoys brought to that quiet tranquil town along the highway to Kamakwei. Samura Kamara has always kept touch with his people and is very proud of his Loko heritage. His name resonates with that of the proud Loko warriors of old and the steady and stoic character of a people who do not shirk from honest labour. Proud and content with their lot, Dr Samura Kamara epitomizes the very distinguished quietness of the typical Loko people.
There is no doubt that he will make for Sierra Leone a great choice to succeed President Ernest Bai Koroma and his international exposure and experience will be invaluable as he steps into the shoes of a President who is easily a very difficult act to follow. The rest of the flag bearers would have to stand down and allow the APC Chairman and Leader to have his way and for him to be assured that the Party would hold even if his chosen successor is not the most popular. What he will have to do is to take on the mantle of standing alongside the successor so that he hands over to him at the end of the elections in March 2018. The arguments about the vagaries of the Samura Kamara candidacy would have to be a matter of conjecture but if it so happens that his choice as successor remains the President’s prerogative, then it is very likely that he would be guided and well couched to step easily into the shoes of such a great man as the current Chairman and Leader. The die is cast. It is going to be a difficult sell but not one that is impossible. This is a man in whom the people of the APC would easily find favour and a listening ear.