Published on October 21, 2010 by Cocorioko News · No Comments
By Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu :
The article by new Cocorioko columnist, Rosetta Zizer, titled SIERRA LEONE NEEDS A PRESIDENT LIKE ERNEST BAI KOROMA, struck a cord , because it was the truth. Sierra Leone is just coming out of a deadly war and the country needs a President like Dr.Koroma, who is open-minded, fair even to his detractors and not full of vindictiveness, venom and poison. This is one of the most impressive things about President Koroma that endears him not only to citizens of Sierra Leone, but foreigners within our midst , world leaders and members of the International Community. Many of his old college mates voted for him and are ready to die for him not only because he is competent and doing his job well; they love him also because he is an honest man who has no evil in his heart even for those who wrongfully criticize him.
President Koroma succeeded to become Standard Bearer of the All People’s Congress ( APC) after a bitter court battle with some members of his party who tried everything to derail him. Though he prevailed, thank God, President Koroma came out of his persecution with no malice in his heart for those who fought him to a standstill and tried to stop him from being the Presidential candidate of the party . And when President Koroma won the elections, he demonstrated exemplary magnanimity by bringing some of those who fought him to occupy senior positions in the government. This is the spirit that is needed in Sierra Leone where we need to avoid opening old wounds and seek national reconciliation and national unity.
President Koroma, since he came to power, has received tons of unfair press attacks. He is the most productive President we have had since Independence and within three years he has achieved what other leaders could not do for quadruple the number of years he has spent in power.Inspite of this, some journalists at times write as if President Koroma has not achieved anything in power. Despite the unfair attacks on him, President Koroma has maintained his dignity and cool-headeness and today Sierra Leone boasts of having one of the most free press in Africa. A small country like Sierra Leone has over 50 newspapers, most belonging to opposition parties and they write stinging articles against the President everyday. To this day, however, journalists enjoy freedom that they have never had before in Sierra Leone. There is no journalist in jail and no newspaper office has been ransacked or illegally searched as it used to be in the past. This is because President Koroma and government officials have not been vindictive at all.
The President’s controlled, measured and tolerant personality makes it easier for citizens, foreigners and members of the International Community to listen to him and believe him. Whatever the President says is highly respected and believed because those listening to him know that he is honest and fair about what he says. The President has no communication barriers or trigger points that make people doubt what he says. This is what makes him a successful communicator who is able to pass on his message without any credibility problems.
President Koroma has addressed three town meetings in the United States since he came to power and all of them have been successful . The town meetings ended with the President being held in high esteem and his ratings to soar more than ever .The reason is that during these meetings, President Koroma faced difficult questions from people , but he maintained his cool, stuck to the main issues and gave credible explanations that won him applause from his listeners. During the last OGI Town Meeting in New York , somebody asked him to explain how he felt about his government being labelled ‘WUSUM STARS’ , with Northerners mostly constituting his government. Some leaders would have responded to the question with anger by either being condescending to the question-asking person or lashing the critics and calling them names, which would have created a communication barrier. The skillful and composed President he always is, President Koroma took on the question with impressive calmness and decided to demonstrate that his government was not BOMBALI WUSUM STARS as some of his critics were contending. He called on members of his government present at the meeting who were from the South-East to stand up. As one after the other stood up , the crowd cheered , without the President having to say much. In the end, the President was able to make the audience believe that it was untrue to describe his government as WUSUM STARS because there were South/Easterners occupying key positions. The President succeeded in comfortably and brilliantly answering a difficult question through his calm and composed approach , based on a demonstration of the truth .If the President had insulted his critics or called them names, his message would have been obscured .People would have seen his anger more than the truth in his message. Anger is never an effective mode of communication. Anger erodes one’s self-respect .
President Koroma is a magnificient communicator in what he says and does and his pleasant , outward demeanor and body language give him more credibility. Because of this, even his critics and detractors don’t get tired listening to him. Efficient communication is the cornerstone of success in today’s world. And President Koroma will succeed as leader not only because of his achievements . He will succeed because he is also a good and decent communicator who captivates his audience with a preponderance of salient truths . Anybody who therefore claims to be speaking for President Koroma must try to be truly representative of him .