It has been reiterated that Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Koroma has no intentions to seek a third term. The Deputy Publicity Secretary of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) , Mr. Cornelius Devereaux , has told the AWARENESS TIMES newspaper exactly what officials of the Government have been saying on Facebook that President Koroma has not told anybody that he will be seeking a Third Term.
This was exactly what the Awareness Times newspaper reported yesterday : ” Speaking on the issue of the slogan “After U nar U”, misinterpreted to mean that the APC wants a third term for President Koroma, Deveaux said it is clear that every Sierra Leonean has the right to his opinion. He said the APC’s position as a party in this has been echoed and reechoed on countless occasions by no less a person but the principal spokesman of the party, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, that he has no intention to seek a third term. He said people should see this as a policy statement orally coming from the mouth of President Koroma himself. He said the issue of who is going to succeed President Koroma is not at all a burning issue for the APC as the party has a reservoir of competent and capable people to succeed His Excellency President Koroma.”
I think the fundamental problem with those angry about the third term issue and busy bandying threats on officials and the President is that they do not understand the difference between OPINION and FACT. This is clear even from the slogan : “AFTER U , NAR U “. As Mr. Cornelius Devereaux has insinuated, all these are merely the opinions of people, not the position of President Koroma, the government or the APC.Secondly, opposition members are erroneously thinking that the Government is behind all those who have been expressing their views that if the people of Sierra Leone want it and demand it, President Koroma deserves a third term. Again, as we have been telling them on Facebook, they are wrong. President Koroma has asked nobody to go out to the public and say he wants a third term. As I said in my last article on this issue, the reason President Koroma is silent is not that he supports the suggestion but that he is a democratic leader who believes that people are entitled to their opinions .It is therefore hoped that people will stop all the blame game on President Koroma that he is secretly nourishing a third term. Rather, people should focus on the latest that has come from an official of government that ” the APC’s position as a party in this has been echoed and reechoed on countless occasions by no less a person but the principal spokesman of the party, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, that he has no intention to seek a third term. He said people should see this as a policy statement orally coming from the mouth of President Koroma himself.”I think the solution to this problem is that our people should learn to be politically tolerant of the views of others. They have to learn that if it is okay for them to propagate that Maada Bio deserves to be the President of Sierra Leone, the other side also has the democratic right to say that President Koroma merits a third term by dint of his achievements in office. It is all a question of opinions and these things nourish our much-cherished multi-party democracy. In the same vein that people would say there is no constitutional provision for a third term, it is in the same vein that APC supporters are free to say that Maada Bio is not fit for the presidency because he has a horrendous human rights record and international stigma which bars him from gaining a visa to enter the United States. Nobody wants a president of his country who cannot enter the U.S or sit down with leaders of the world to discuss solutions to the problems of the world.
OPINIONS, OPINIONS, OPINIONS ….That is the buzz word here. People are entitled to their opinions. Robin Farley and others are entitled to their opinions in the same vein that SLPP supporters are entitled to their opinions. The problem is that SLPP supporters desperate for power failed to take cognisance of this fact and interpreted every opinion as official declaration from the APC or President Koroma.
OUR PROBLEMS IN SIERRA LEONE WILL END THE DAY WE LEARN THAT IN A DEMOCRACY, PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINIONS.