Reelecting a people’s President
I must start off by registering my appreciation to those hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans who have seen the need to come out in their numbers and register for the pending November 17th elections. I have often and again argued that one of several ways through which we could be part and parcel of the governance process of our country is by registering and then cast our votes when the time comes for elections. I am impressed that people are coming out but I still will continue to ask that we give our best and come out in our numbers for the good of our country. (Photo: John Baimba Sesay, author)
Positive signs ahead
Practically, from the look of things, there are positive signs, that the needed outcome will be achieved not just by NEC but by all political parties back home, in terms of ensuring full participation of the citizenry of Sierra Leone, in the country democratic process. Latest reports, as of today-February 8th indicate, that a total of 616,125 Sierra Leoneans have registered so far for the November elections. Statistics indicate that in Kailahun a total 31,361 have registered, Kenema 42,966, Kono 33,553, Bombali 49,736, Kambia 33,085, Koinadugu 26,652, Port Loko 60,701, Tonkolili 39,403, Bo 69,456, Bonthe 12,383, Moyamba 337,471, Pujehun 21,105, West Rural 44,158 and West Urban 114,122, reflecting 70% of the projected figure for phase one. And this is just a few months into the registration exercise itself.
But if one may attempt to analyze these figures from the perspective of past elections, one could draw the conclusion that President Koroma stands a better chance of being re-elected come November. The Western Area – urban and rural inclusive, is dominated by supporters of President Koroma. Only recently, the President went round the Rural District to, in my view, test his popularity and the result is there for all to see.
And because of his popularity, he has succeeded in wooing more people to come out and register. President Koroma should be re-elected, being a hardworking President. He has always been part of the people and he knows what the people want for the country.
There have been several political theories, as related to the pending November elections. There have been attempts to not only undermine the hard work of President Koroma, but also efforts have been embarked upon to discourage the electorate from re-electing him for another five years term in office. The nature of President Koroma in terms of his commitment to Sierra Leone’s development agenda and his time and energy to meet the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the common man in Sierra Leone must have helped in winning the hearts and minds of several people, including those who once had no love for his leadership style.
Prior to 2007, President Koroma had seen the need for Sierra Leoneans to come together and work for the common good of the country, devoid of regional and political affiliations. So when he came into political prominence in 2007, he worked towards ensuring a government that had a national feeling and reflection. From Kailahun to Port Loko, Bonthe to Bombali, etc, we saw the appointment of Ministers from various regions into the governance of the country.
The reelection of President Koroma is not just based on his popular support in the north-west of the country, but given the fact that today the people of Kailahun, Pujehun and Moyamba are today seeing the true meaning of a national leader. Bombali, just as in the case of Port Loko, Western Area, Tonkolili et el are well know strongholds of the ruling party.
If Kono is for the Konoman, then it should be reserved for the present team, which has Sam Sumana as current Vice President. Kailahun is also very strategic. I know for sure, that a place like Kailahun is only waiting for the final decision by NEC and then we will know how grateful they are to President Koroma. For years, Kailahun is a place that was been ignored and neglected but this today is a different story. But because President knows the relevance of his supporters, he will always go round to tell them what he has done within the last four years, unlike others who have no record to show for their stewardship. He will never undermine or downplay the significance of the voting population, he knows he is popular but still, but he is still getting to the people and making them feel part of state governance.
A people’s President
You definitely must have felt the impact of having a people’s President occupying the seat of power at State House. Today in the person of President Koroma, even the traders at Abache Street are at liberty to see him, even the okada riders have the pleasure of meeting and discussing with the President, his unannounced visits to public places is just too enough for people to see in him the sincerity he has, in terms of improving the status of his people.
Sierra Leone does not, at this period and even after, need a leader that sees himself as a god, not a leader with the tendencies of being a dictator, but one who chooses to be part of his people. Indeed, we need to reelect a people’s President in the person of Ernest Bai Koroma.
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