Ernest Koroma: Congenial Liar or Toothless Bull Dog?
Some of the most important aspects of leadership include integrity, honesty and truth. Ernest Koroma and his APC followers have tried hard to sell EBK as honest and truthful. Most Sierra Leoneans believed him especially on issues of unifying the country. Ernest Koroma made the following statements touting his party’s focus on national unity and respect for democracy: “We the APC are the champions of the masses, the providers of security and stability, the only party that has given full meaning to the concept of National Unity. We do not pontificate about one country, one people. We are the builders of one country and the unifiers of all Sierra Leoneans”. “Mr. Speaker, Honorable members, the centre piece of my government, will be anchored on acceptable democratic practice. I will ensure that all state institutions created by statutes and conventions, for the promotion of democracy, function independently.”
These were admirable statements uttered by President Ernest Koroma but the only problem is that Ernest Koroma has done the exact opposite of what he uttered. Most people are now questioning the integrity and honesty of Ernest Koroma. The actions of Ernest Koroma and the APC relative to his speeches have led patriotic Sierra Leoneans to wonder whether he is a congenital liar or just a toothless bull dog that does not have the guts to do as he preaches out of fear of the real controllers of APC. This president has shown a curious knack for dishonesty and deceitfulness and the dangerous thing about all this is that he does it with a smile. He has the audacity to tell bold lies that he is president of all Sierra Leoneans while he has personally directed the sacking of close to 3000 Sierra Leoneans as punishment for exercising their freedom of association, ethnicity or regional origin.
Neal Walsch suggested that the Five Levels of Truth-Telling: First, you tell the truth to yourself about yourself. Then you tell the truth to yourself about another. At the third level, you tell the truth about yourself to another. Then you tell your truth about another to that other. And finally, you tell the truth to everyone about everything. Clearly Ernest Koroma has never followed these levels of truth as he has lied about everything to everyone including the international community. For instance he vowed to protect the integrity of democratic institutions but he constantly instructs his attorney general to subvert justice through the use of nolle prosequi. While others are being persecuted for misappropriating pittance, his brother gets away with benefitting from an illegal duty free waiver to the tune of $1 million dollars. While he was chairman of the Libyan rice committee that was used to set up NASSIT, he led the charge of lies that the SLPP sold the rice and pocketed the proceeds. More recently, his Foreign Minister has been implicated in the misappropriation of rice meant for poor people. Yet he lies with a smile on his face that his is a corrupt free government. People who constantly tell lies about themselves, others and everything are considered congenital liars.
Some people have argued that Ernest Koroma is just a toothless bull dog that actually believes in what he says but does not have the guts to see it through. So he condemns violence but does not have the fortitude to say no to murderers and rapists who are his close protection guards. He tried to reshuffle his cabinet but sources say his Foreign Minister, Zainab Bangura dared him to move her and Ernest the Weakest caved in to her threats of exposing his foibles. The lack of guts in acting on his utterances suggests a very weak leader in the eyes of some. It is my contention that Ernest Koroma is both a toothless bull dog who depends on serial lying to cover his weakness. However, lying is not just adopted over night, it I something that has to be cultivated over the years. Ernest Koroma comes across as someone who has thrived on lies all his life.
He should start telling the truth that he is incapable of governing, that he has divided the country more than any president in the history of Sierra Leone; that he and his family have bankrupted the country; that the economic foundation of that country is on the verge of collapse and his cultivation of violence will eventually lead the country into another round of violent conflict. Ernest Koroma has no tolerance to communicate honestly with the people; he would rather defend his dishonesty on the grounds of party loyalty at the detriment of national unity. As such he has perfected the art of rationalizing his dishonesty and phoniness with charm, while settling for speeches that foster superficial seriousness about national unity. Our president is both a liar and a toothless bull dog. Sierra Leone deserves better.
By Ahn Moss
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