A rejoinder To Dr. Kelfala Kallon’s Feeble Argument of “Two Stolen Terms”
Sierra Leone as a country was epitomized by a senseless and brutish civil war that ravaged the country into wanton destruction of lives and property. It is no gainsaying that this senseless war adversely affected the gainful potential of a prosperous country. Down memory lane, though, the governance then of the embattled SLPP was characterized with meaningless development strides and nothing to show for its eleven years misrule. Reflections back to those years of peril by any meaningful Sierra Leonean cannot bring forth an equitable balance of the burgeoning and tangible development strides of President Koroma and any other fractious SLPP.
Coming to the thrust of this piece, President Koroma was democratically elected by a significant majority of the voting population of this country. Coming from the opposition in 2007, it speaks volumes of messages that the people of this country saw him as the fittest candidate to take Sierra Leone from a state of development decadent country to a country that now stands as a case study for other developing countries all over the world. The development agendas of the President have catapulted Sierra Leone from a war torn country to a peaceful, stable and fast developing country as captured in the words of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon quite recently. Significantly, the people of this country with satisfaction and seeing the good works of the President coupled with his development-oriented leadership style decide to repose a second term confidence by electing him in a landslide first ballot victory with 58.7%; it is a working President that gets that. Therefore, it is a very weak and vague argument put up by Kelfala Kallon of a stolen two terms. A view which has nothing to draw people into but laughter and to a large extent a doubt over the academic credentials of a man like Dr. Kelfala Kallon.
I was wondering what he meant by stolen terms. These elections (2007 & 2012) were certified by international observers as the freest, fairest, most transparent and credible the country has ever had. His Excellency was democratically elected by the people with overwhelming votes cast.
Upon his assumption of office as President, with so much passion to move this country forward, he came up with his Agenda for Change focusing on five thematic areas covering Agriculture, Education, Energy, Infrastructure and Health. All of these areas have experienced tremendous improvements and as it stands now under the Agenda for Prosperity, the country is set to leapfrog in development. Providing astute leadership for a country that was once brought down by civil war to the admiration of even the international community is triumphant achievement. This was absolutely not evident in our governance systems in the then SLPP starting with stabilizing our economy, fixing our battered infrastructure, and creating the enabling environment for mutual ties with our economic partners, his Excellency has continued to make inroads in all directions.
The Koroma administration is so much in position to implement and achieve the avowed gains of the Agenda for Prosperity. This prosperity agenda covers an inclusive government of national character with a cohesive national plan to make Sierra Leone an enviable country in the sub-region and also at continental level. The following gives you an idea of what we are talking about: Vice President Alhaji Chief Sidique Sam Sumana comes from Kono (Eastern Province), the Minister of Internal Affairs, Joseph Bamdabla Dauda hails from Kenema (Eastern Province), Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Moijueh Kaikai comes from Pujehun (South), Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Musa Tarawalie hails from Moyamba (South), the Minister of Water Resources, Momodu Maligie hails from Bonthe district (South) and his deputy, Foday Bayoh also hails from Bo (South),
Furthermore, the deputy Minister of Justice, Arrow Bockarie hails from Bo (South), the deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Osmond Hanciles hails from Bonthe district (South), deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Karamoh Kabba comes from Kono (East), the deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Sylvester Rogers hails from Pujehun (South), the deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security, Augustine Kotu hails from Kailahun (East), the deputy Minister of Health 2, Foday Sawi comes from Kailahun (East), the deputy Minister of Information and Communication, Theo Nicol comes from Congo Town (Western Area), the Sierra Leone Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Vandi Chidi Minah hails from Pujehun (South), the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Victor Bockarie Foh comes from Bo (South). Moreover, the Resident Minister for Southern Province, Muctarr Conteh is a Southerner.
In the burgeoning growth in both the public and private sectors, some sections of the public deemed it necessary to give the President an extra time thus the birth of the slogan ‘’AFTA U NA U’’. This slogan has raised serious debate within and without the governance structure. Well meaning Sierra Leoneans believed that with all the good works of the President and his continued effort to make this country a desired destination for investment, it is argued that he should be given an extra time. Some media houses and some civil society organizations have positioned themselves on the issue but recalled some significant democratic credentials of the President and advised not to be consumed by the debate.
The government in dissociating itself from such idea has issued a press release from State House reaffirming his position that the President has no intention to run for a third term as he has said that on several occasions that he is serving his second and final term as stipulated by the constitution.
Words are not just to be said but to be well explained. At Dr. Kallon’s age and level of education, he should not be saying words that are characterized by ambiguity and vagueness as no Sierra Leonean, including well meaning opposition stalwarts could agree with the view that the 2007 and 2012 elections were rigged. Politics is not all about saying lies. As the saying goes ‘a lie is nothing except it is supported’. To Dr. Kallon such a calumny would not take you anywhere but a complete ridicule and shame and nobody will support you except the narrow minded savage.
Mr. Kallon, please respect yourself and be reminded that these foolish antics will not in any way distract the President. The President’s democratic credentials are affable and his development strides coincide with the growing developmental aspirations of the people of this country. Importantly, though, some people believed that the “AFTA U NA U” debate justifies the provision of the freedom of speech that was enshrined in the 1991 Constitution which tells you that nobody should be strangled or trampled upon in the exercise of this right.
However, the President together with his spokesmen (Alhaji Alpha Kanu and Mr. Abdulai Bayraytay) has continuously said that he is doing his second and final term. ‘’It is a democratic debate but the bottom line is that H.E. is poised to respect the 1991 Constitution under which he came to power and he is ready to relinquish power after his two term tenure’’, Mr. Bayraytay once said on radio. Mr. Kallon please have a rethink before making such out-rightly vague and outrageous argument.
By Ngor Saffa
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