Great leaders write their autobiographies with a golden pen so that they will forever glitter for passers-by to note with ecstasy, wonder and admiration. His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma’s African Leadership Award reception must have left both his political opponents and his admirers bewildered and overwhelmed as to how he has attained such a historic new height in the course of his leadership.
Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that whoever (Sierra Leoneans on non-Sierra Leoneans) has been following up the unfolding events in the political, economic, infrastructural or developmental arenas since President Koroma’s ascendance to the helm of power in 2007 in Sierra Leone should not by any means have an aorta of doubt for having him as a towering figure in the entire leadership history of Sierra Leone. No president before him had brought such laurels and pride to Sierra Leone as he has done. History will, therefore, record him as a pioneer in a number of domains for his charismatic, shrewd, political and visionary leadership.
On the occasion of award giving ceremony, it was so impressive to hear Dr. Ken Giami, the Chief Executive of African Leadership Magazine describe President Ernest Koroma as “ a unique character who brought transformative leadership qualities, commitments , dignity, and integrity to Sierra Leone”, and I would proudly say’ to Sierra Leoneans as well’. What a true descriptive statement emanating from an outside observer!
Truth to tell, Dr. Kem Giami was absolutely right in describing our president as “ a unique character” in the sense that EBK is the leader who has in him a number of lofty qualities all of which one can hardly find in an African leader. Here is a president who displays leadership skills and maturity in his governance of the land; here is a leader who, in the face of political provocation, maintains his cool and composure refusing to get the least distracted; here is a president whose main concern is to drastically transform the mediocre standard of living of his people into that of a middle class; and, above all, here is a president who, with fortitude, tenacity and resilience, is determined to restore the long lost pride of Sierra Leone to place it among the dignified nations on the world stage.
It is worthy to honestly note that President Ernest Koroma’s winning of these glorious international accolades did come out of the vacuum. Rather, it is his governance style and his landmarks on the Sierra Leone soil that have earned him the respect and admiration of both his people and the international community. His winning of the African Leadership Award should serve as a wake-up to all Sierra Leoneans, irrespective of their political and regional affiliations, that we should all rally behind this national hero to help him deliver the goods in an atmosphere of patriotism, seriousness and maturity, thereby propelling his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ to glowing successes.
Sierra Leoneans had tremendously suffered in the hands of unscrupulous and unpatriotic politicians who had no national concern or interest imbued in their psyches simply because their sole aim in sitting behind their desks was to usurp and embezzle tax payers’ hard-earned moneys and the Government coffers. However, it was after President Koroma’s occupation of the highest office in the land that we have started to breathe an air of hope and solace optimistically anticipating meaningful changes that would positively impact upon the miserable lives of the masses in Sierra Leone. It is high time Sierra Leoneans breathed a big sigh of relief as a manifestation of getting themselves loosed and freed from the long suffered shackles of poverty and misery in a land believed to be sleeping on riches.
On the other hand, President Koroma should consider this award as a source of motivation and inspiration for him to speed up his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’ in order to ensure that solid ground works are put in place before he departs the State House in 2017. President Koroma should have no room for complacency, and neither should he have time to look back at his achievements. Rather, it is now that he should double, or even triple his strides so as to accelerate his developmental plans. He should ensure to institute his own legacy for which he would be gleefully and eternally remembered. Indeed, President Koroma’s popularity is on the increase to the immense relief of supporters and admirers day by day.
I think all that President Koroma needs today is to have patriotic officials around him who are well-equipped and committed to help him transform Sierra Leone into the dreamland we all envisage and wish it to be. Beside his cabinet, he also needs unflinching support from all Sierra Leone nationals so that at the end of day each and every one of us will emerge victorious and enjoy the fruits of their labor. On the other hand, if President Koroma’s leadership qualities can be recognized and appreciated outside the shores of Sierra Leone, we, the Sierra Leoneans, should be the first to acknowledge and appreciate his transformational oriented leadership. By so doing, I believe, EBK will grow more enthusiastic and more forward looking towards the timely and effective realization of his ‘Agenda for Prosperity’.