“Call For The Resignation Of President Ernest Bai Koroma”
For every passing day brings ridicule to Sierra Leone’s national body polity. The image and reputation of the government of Sierra Leone continues to suffer unprecedented attacks for its ineffectuality, inefficiency, opulence and immorality both at national and public life.
I believe as any concerned Sierra Leonean will agree that our country’s politics is infected with political virus worst than the Ebola pandemic and that Sierra Leone needs new direction, new vision and mission, and that can only be achieved through a truly independent approach. Sierra Leoneans will agree with me that both the APC and SLPP parties have outlived their relevance as far as the development and democratic culture of Sierra Leone are concerned.
The latest public scorn and ridicule to Sierra Leone’s national body polity has been the official silence of President Ernest Bai Koroma on the leaked Panama Papers. I am worried about the government’s silence on the leaked Panama papers and this has continued to taint the image and reputation of the government of Sierra Leone and public confidence in the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma.
I believe it would be a noble service and in the best interest of Sierra Leone for President Ernest Bai Koroma to step down immediately and a transitional government be formed to organize elections within six months. The proposed transitional government would be charged also with the responsibility to institute an independent body to look into the revelations from the Panama leaks with a goal of acting on them and with the view of verifying the facts; carrying out investigations, probing, prosecuting and recovering all the loots stashed away from our country.
It is estimated in the Panama papers that Sierra Leone is losing two hundred million dollars ($200, 000, 000. 00) yearly to shadowy deals by foreign companies, including the Koidu Holdings, involving tax evasion and money laundering. The authors of the Panama Papers believe illegal moneys stolen out of Sierra Leone are kept in offshore individual private and company bank accounts.
President Koroma can follow the Prime Minister of Iceland by stepping down honourably. Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned because of his name mentioned in the Panama papers. But the lackadaisical attitude and insensitivity of the government of Sierra Leone in the Panama papers leaks is unfortunate for a country still in the bottom pit of the United Nations Human Development Index as one of the poorest and educationally backward country on earth. This is unacceptable and reprehensible.
It is absolutely clear that President Koroma has lost direction and not capable of leading a government in Sierra Leone. The fact that foreign companies operating in the country are mentioned in the Panama Papers leaks, the much rhetoric talk of anti-corruption drive of the government and the anti-corruption crusade of the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma can at best be described as a picnic.
I need not to repeat again media reports about the massive corruption associated with Sierra Leone’s fishing industry. Unfortunately, it has been reported that Sierra Leone loses over a hundred million dollars ($100, 000, 000.00) to illegal fishing activities of foreign vessels in the country. For, a country like Sierra Leone, with a population of over six million people to lose three hundred million dollars ($300, 000, 000.) yearly to corruption practices is totally disgraceful and very tainting for the image of the country. I don’t want to be seen belonging to the Borboh Bellehs or Adebayors mafia gang.
If Sierra Leone is to fight and win the war against corruption in Sierra Leone, the culprits should be exposed as it occurs, then forced to resign from office. Our experience in the last five and half decades of self rule has revealed waiting for corrupt officers term of office to expire before probes can start has done more harm than good to the Sierra Leonean nation.
In this information age, electronic systems should be installed by any serious anti-graft government, which would expose, to the press, any spending process that doesn’t follow laid down internal-control procedure. It is now obvious that the probes that are done after public officers leave office cannot stop subsequent frauds by incoming officers.
It is so unfortunate that some members of a particular ethnic group, who believe are Allah’s chosen few to determine who should be leader or not in Sierra Leone are so naïve and myopic even on issues so clear and true. Sierra Leoneans will continue to suffer if we keep ourselves blind, deaf and dumb to government failures. I believe those few Sierra Leoneans because of their ethnic, political, opulence and immorality have identified themselves as blind supporters behind our corrupt leaders. For some, I could say they have been misled to toe the wrong path. The result is that, big party gurus of the APC and SLPP will continue to ruin and dehumanize the Sierra Leonean nation to their criminal tastes and designs.
It is not a mistake or an accident and I want to reiterate it here again that Mr. Ernest Bai Koroma should resign as President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone. If the President refuses to resign then Sierra Leoneans must rally their representatives in their various constituencies to commence his impeachment process based on moral and ethical grounds.
God bless Sierra Leone!
Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh (alias ABS)
Independent Presidential candidate-Republic of Sierra Leone.