Sierra Leone: Dancing On Water - Sam-Sumana, Kono Politics and the a P C

16 September 2020

By Emmanuel Aiah Senessie

When a man gets up one morning and announces that he is going to dance on the Baffin River, it becomes a laughable matter. But when he invites the media to come and witness the event, people become concerned. They will think the man is either mad or dangerously out of touch with reality, or both. This is the case with Sahr Samuel Sam-Sumana, the former Vice President of Sierra Leone, who was unconstitutionally sacked in 2015 by Ernest Bai Koroma and ousted from the All Peoples Congress. By deciding to go back to the party that humiliated him and the Kono people, thinking he will become the unchallenged A P C flagbearer in 2023, Sam-Sumana has decided to dance on water.

In 2015 when Sam-Sumana was sacked and ousted from the APC, the Kono people felt angry. This unconstitutional action was a humiliation not only for Sam-Sumana but for a majority of Konos. For the man had become an icon of Kono Politics. Some people even thought he was the political Moses, sent by God to lead the Kono people out of slavery to the Promised Land.

That was why the Kono People decided to teach the A P C a bitter lesson in 2018. When Sam-Sumana came back from political exile in Ghana and became the flagbearer for the newly formed C4C (Coalition for Change) party, the Kono people decided to pitch tent with him. The C4C mobilized the Kono people to vote for their son, uncle and brother in order to tell Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC that Kono People matter. This was no tribalism but realistic political revenge.

In his campaigns, Sam-Sumana blasted the APC for their visionless leadership, injustice, neglect of the Kono people, disregard for the Constitution and utter contempt for development. The people clapped and cheered for him. He was a credible messenger and the people understood his message. By so doing Sam-Sumana hammered nails into the coffin of the APC in Kono District.

There are many people who say that the APC was (and is) still popular in Kono District because they won a sizeable per centage of the votes in 2018. What they don't admit or understand is that Kono has a significant number of Northerners who will die for the APC, no matter the circumstances. That is why they even have an organization called the Northern Alliance. This organization is found in no other community or district in Sierra Leone but Kono. But despite the dishonest and tribalistic campaign methods of the members of the Northern Alliance, C4C took eight out of nine Parliamentary seats. This was no mean feat. That was in February 2018.

The Parliamentary elections were concluded but there was a run-off for the Presidential election. It was during this time that Sam-Sumana became politically inconsistent. There were two candidates for the Presidential runoff: Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and Dr, Samura Kamara of the All Peoples Congress (APC). It was believed in Kono and by the two parties that whoever the Kono people supported would win. So, each of the two presidential candidates decided to woo Sam-Sumana to give him his support, which would eventually guarantee the support of the voters in Kono District.

But Sam-Sumana started to play a double role. He had blasted the APC and told the Kono people not to vote for that ungrateful party. This was still fresh in the minds of the people at the time of the runoff. So, when the Kono people found out that by refusing to come out openly in support of Maada Bio and the SLPP, as the people wanted him to do, there was the strong suspicion that he wanted to go back to the APC. The Kono people therefore became angry. "Let us leave him to go his own way", they decided." But we are going to support the SLPP and Maada Bio." That is how the run-off played out in Kono. By his inconsistency Sam-Sumana lost the support of the Kono people and the respect he had within the SLPP. He became politically faceless.

Now Sam-Sumana is playing a dangerous political game with the people. He told them to get out of APC and support C4C in 2018. Because of the humiliation given to him and the Kono People, they agreed. And now in 2020, he is optimistic he can take them with him back to the APC when the circumstances have not changed. He has gone back to the APC without holding consultations with the Kono People. He believes that whatever he says and does, the Kono people will follow him, as if he has the power to remote-control them like a Voodoo priest. If the Kono people decide to do that, and I know they won't, their action will be like that of a dog going back to lick its vomit. Sam-Sumana is a man making frantic efforts to dance on water. Whether he will succeed only time will tell.

I rest my case.

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