By Mohamed Sankoh (One Drop)
Every month, President Ernest Bai Koroma is sure to make some sort of history. Just last Saturday morning, he joined world leaders like Muhammad Buhari of Nigeria, Ronald Reagan of the United States of America, Margret Thatcher of Great Britain, Francisco Mitterrand of France et al, who had the rear opportunity of listening to their own obituaries.
But the rarest thing about those personas, above, is that they did (and do, in the cases of Presidents Koroma and Buhari) not have the priceless opportunity of attending their own funeral ceremonies like Tom Sawyer in Mark Twain’s masterpiece novel: “Tom Sawyer”.
PRESIDENT KOROMA REJOICING FOR SIERRA LEONE AT THE LEONE STARS GAME LAST SATURDAY, THE SAME DAY PEOPLE SICK IN THE MIND ANNOUNCED THAT HE HAD DIED
And as Barack Obama notes in his book: “The Audacity of Hope”, an argument of whether it is raining outside can be settled by stepping outside; that’s exactly what President Koroma did last Saturday by strolling to the Siaka Stevens Stadium, during the Leone Stars Vs. Harambee Stars of Kenya match, to refute his obituary that was being peddled on social media. As I see it, the only bizarre thing about the whole ‘President Koroma Obituary’ charade was the knee-jerk and unnecessary press release released by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
That press release produced, and still produces, the effect of a situation in which a man has to say something because he has to say something even though he has nothing to say! But let’s leave the “sorry lot” (in figurative-speak without any premeditated One Dropian swipe at my comrades) at the Ministry of Information and Communications for a moment. Because there is no way a group of carpenters will be able to do a welder’s job effectively. So, let me continue with the topic under today’s One Dropian dropping: President Koroma’s obituary.
Well, that was, or this is, not the first time that the President has been announced dead or critically ill while he is still alive and kicking. Long, long, long time ago; there was a Vice President of Sierra Leone called Alhaji Sam Sumana. This man was so power-thirsty that one day he picked up his phone, while in his Freetown mansion, and allegedly called some of his kinsmen in Kono District, eastern Sierra Leone, just to inform them that his boss was critically ill and that he would soon die and that he (Sumana) would soon be crowned the President of Sierra Leone.
The story went that while Sam Sumana’s kinsmen were allegedly rejoicing that their chance had come or would soon come; one Doubting Thomas picked up his cellphone and dialled the President’s number. And he was shocked to learn that President Koroma was not only bright-eyed and bushy tailed but was playing his usual Squash at the President’s Lodge at Hill Station!
But with last Saturday’s obituary charade, my question is: Who wants President Koroma dead? My guess will only point to two sets of people. One set is those who might be supporting one of the flagbearers in the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and only believe that their candidate will only succeed with the President’s premature death. The other set is the wishful-thinkers in the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) who are praying that the President’s premature death would usher in confusion in the APC particularly, and the nation generally, which will put the APC and SLPP on the same page of a rudderless direction.
But again, who wants President Koroma dead? That same question was asked by Sorie Fofana yesterday on the Global Times Newspaper Online (12 June 2017). And Mr Fofana, one of the few Sierra Leonean Editors I have great respect for, answered thus: “The life of the President is being controlled by God. God wants President Koroma to continue to live and to continue to lead our country until March 2018. Nobody can stop that and nobody should try to stop that!” That sounds very much like an unrepentant Koromaist! But Sorie Fofana is no Koromaist and he is only speaking (or writing) from the heart. And President Ernest Bai Koroma will not only live but will live to live every day. And another day.
That’s why I am still at a loss as to why should someone wish the President dead when he only has less than a year on the seat of state? Even if someone hates the President with the hatred which people of God are expected to have for Lucifer, at least he shouldn’t be wished dead simply because he is someone else’s father, husband, and uncle. And to those who might wish the President dead because they are eying his seat; they should heed the late Chinua Achebe’s advice that one should respect today’s king so that others will respect you when you too become king tomorrow.
But whether the President’s haters wishful-think of his death or kill him in the figments of their imagination, the fact is: President Koroma will live long enough to oversee the political transition within and outside the APC. By always wishing him ill-health and even death, while he is still bright-eyed and bushy tailed, the President is being transformed to the metaphorical cat with a thousand lives. In fact, the President will only die when he is dead! Mark these One Dropian dropped words.