Sam Sumana and his critics
Politics, it is often said, ‘is a dirty game…’ really? I can’t tell, for I am not a politician. Granted that it is indeed a game that is ‘dirty’, it implies, therefore that it is not for a saint. If it is not for a saint, I could also argue that we should not expect the features or qualities of a saint from the current Vice President, Chief Sam Sumana. Simple – the Bible tells us that we were, as human beings, created in the image and likeness of God (ask your pastor ) as human beings, we are bound to be committing sins each and every other day and for Christians, the Bible tell us that because we are sinners, Jesus was sent by His Father, God, to die for us. He died indeed, but that has not still stopped us from sinning, thus the thought that there is no saint on planet earth.
From a religious standpoint, a “saint” refers to any believer who is “holy” and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth. In politics, just as in any other profession you may be thinking of, we need to completely forget about the possibility of one becoming a saint, for one cannot be more Catholic than the Pope. No way!!! I have read few political commentaries on the political leadership of Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana from the viewpoint of whether or not he will stand the test of time, come the 2012 elections. The commentaries are all centered on the chances of Sumana retaining his current position.
I will not for now discuss that issue again even as we get closer to the 2012 general elections for it is clear, very clear and constitutionally stated that IT IS THE PREROGATIVE OF HIS EXCELLECNY THE PRESIDENT TO EITHER RETAIN OR CHANGE HIS RUNNING MATE. So that should be left with the number one gentleman to decide. The decision is completely that of His Excellency the President.
But I know one thing for sure; the President, just as the party he is leading the APC, is a grateful gentleman. The point should also be made clear that President Koroma’s trust and confidence over his able Vice President cannot be shaken by whatever propaganda, not even by propagandists wanting to associate the Vice President to been a woman beater. Generally, it is utter foolish for anyone to associate the Vice President to violence for even his gentle face, in terms of appearance and looks, tells more than we can imagine.
From a journalistic perspective, efforts have been made to present Sam Sumana as a ‘saint’ on planet earth. Several theories have been propounded by political commentators in terms of how Sam Sumana has been serving his boss, HE President Koroma and also from the perspective of how he has not been a good public relations material for his very self, an argument I have often ignored for obvious reason. For some, the fact that the man (VP) has been enjoying media support from critical newspapers down town means, there is something underneath the carpet on Sam Sumana that those critical newspapers may be using to gain the attention of the Vice President. There is also, recently the ‘Savisman’ theory as propounded by a friend and brother, who thinks, the Vice President has not been showing the tendencies of a real ‘bra’ and as such, this has accounted for the alleged PR wahala, if any that the Vice President is faced with. A particular friend and brother, has even gone to the extent of comparing the SI Koroma type of Vice Presidency that we once witnessed under the ‘old APC, to that of the current Vice President, in the person of Sam Sumana, of the new APC, led by President Koroma.
In the first place, the type of politics that was been played at the local level by people like S I Korma cannot be played to our present day political make-up and so, it will be out of place for anyone to say, Sam Sumana’s Vice Presidency features are not the ones we need for now. In so far as serving the country and the Presidency has gone, we have seen how Sam has gone the extra mile in not only representing His Excellency the President well, but also, he has demonstrated that with his presence around the Presidency, President Koroma is definitely sure of winning the 2012 elections. Or do we want to see a Voice President that sees himself more powerful than his Boss? Definitely no! Indeed, Sam Sumana is a ‘bra’ but his type of ‘bra should not be seen overshadowing the ‘bra-ism’ of his Boss. The Chief-Servant, we all know is President Koroma and NOT SAM SUMANA.
A good & loyal servant, but not the saint ‘some’ people are looking for
When the typical African politics is taken into serious perspective, the current VP may not be the type of ‘bra’ some may be looking out for but this should not be the yardstick to be sued in evaluating the performance of the man since his stay in power as Vice President for the last four years. There is also the aspect of Sam Sumana enjoying the support of newspapers, believed to be closely linked with the opposition party. For me, the argument should have been on how these newspapers have been contributing to national development. If any newspaper down town has something fishy on the Vice President, there could be no way of suppressing such. I recently wrote about the role of the independent and critical press as inspector general to a given political system, which is provide the necessary public criticism to ensure some degree of political integrity among the power holder.
From a personal point of view, it is an interesting and effective public relation job for newspapers, seen as been critical of government’s policies or ‘aligned to the opposition…’ to be taking/writing about the positives of the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. President Koroma., for sure, is a friend of the media and his friendship cuts across; be it pro or otherwise. As a result, he has continued to enjoy the type of media support that a politician needs. Sam Sumana may have a problem in this direction-not too media friendly, but fair enough, he still enjoys some level of support. Vice President Sam Sumana definitely has his human errors just as is the case with every other human being.
President Koroma’s successes within the last four years cannot just be spoken ill of, except for a selected few who are of the view, that except power is placed on their door step, nothing developmental will ever take place in the country. President Koroma has indeed succeeded today because of the able team of helpers-Ministers, Heads of MDAs etc he has around him, coupled with what Sam Sumana has done.
Sam Sumana is liked and loved Sierra Leoneans, he is trusted and he has been a performer. During a recent family visit to Kono city, the few discussions I had with people showed that, Kono is not as divided as being portrayed and that Sam Sumana’s effort in terms of developing the district are appreciated by his people. One Councilor Kai Gbongbor, representing ward 84 in the Kono District Council shared his view with me on Sam Sumana by saying the man “has demonstrated to be a loyal Vice President that has always worked in line with the agenda of his Boss…” Councilor Safea Paul Kanda, of SLPP, representing Sie Chiefdom, even agreed, that the ruling party has done some goodies in his chiefdom by saying “…I am grateful to them (APC) because they have fixed my road…Lei chiefdom is now connected in terms of communication…” Politics, I once argued, is all about loyalty and so far the Vice President has demonstrated that he is loyal to President Koroma. We are yet to be told of a situation where he had wanted to be more power than his boss as we have seen in some cases in our political system.
Come on, the President already has a winning team and none of his players at present is injured to be removed from the pitch of play. You can’t change a winning team like that. Yes, there are many other Konos, but with the training and apprenticeship that Sam Sumana has gone through, it means a lot. Trying to discredit him therefore won’t serve us well as a people and country. But if we are still in search of the ‘saint’ we need, then Sam Sumana is not the choice, for we have no saint on planet earth. But so far, he has shown that he is a good and loyal servant but not the saint that some people are looking out for.
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