Ernest May Rule Again

 

Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Hon. Sidi Mohamed Tunis has viewed with great suspicion the continued stay of former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as Chairman and Leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC).

According to him, Ernest is clinging on tenaciously to the leadership of the APC because he wants to make a political comeback. “He is building his future to stand as President,” he said.

If not, then, he said, cannot understand why Ernest who said that three months after the March 2018 elections he would resign as the party’s Chairman and Leader as well as from active politics. He went further to accuse former President Koroma of being the mastermind behind all the confrontations between APC and SLPP inside and outside of Parliament.

Hon. Tunis alleged that it is because Ernest Koroma harbors ambition of standing again for the country’s presidency that he is using the APC to throw spanners into the works of the Bio government. He supported his assertion by stating that if the APC Secretariat which he said is controlled by Ernest, Minkailu Mansaray and Ambassador Foday Yansaneh leave the party’s Members of Parliament to do their work of representing their people without being dictated to by the party, there will be no ‘wahala.’

Ambassador Yansaneh, the administrative head of APC as its Secretary General in reaction to Hon. Tunis’s premise explained that Ernest continues to remain as political head of APC because twice he has sent his letter of resignation to the secretariat, twice it has been rejected by the party’s National Advisory Council (NAC). Ernest, he said, believes in the Constitution; “he has served two terms as stipulated by the constitution,” he said, adding that as a former Head of State, Ernest deserves respect from President Bio, which, he said, is not forthcoming, alleging that Bio’s government is humiliating the former President. Ambassador Yansaneh in calling for respect for Ernest from Bio and the government also mentioned the issue of the withdrawal of state security personnel assigned to Ernest as a former President.

Hon. Tunis denied Ambassador Yansaneh’s allegation, stating that since leaving power, Ernest and Bio have spoken about two or three times. The last time Ernest travelled, Hon. Tunis said, he called Bio who ensured that protocol was observed for him at the airport. Hon. Tunis said when Ernest went out; he complained that Bio wants to arrest him. He said it was other ECOWAS heads of state that asked President Bio about Ernest’s report, to which, he said, President Bio said he knew nothing about such. Hon. Tunis maintained that the reason why Ernest is not getting the respect that he deserves as a former Head of State is because he continues to take part in active politics.

Ambassador Yansaneh replied that given the condition of the APC, given the torment that the party is receiving from the ruling SLPP, the reason why NAC refuses to accept Ernest’s letter of resignation is because he is the only one for now that has the stature and strength to build the party and keep it together.

There is no doubt that former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma who remains the Chairman and Leader of the main opposition All People’s Congress continues to command great respect and huge popularity among the rank of file of the party, as was witnessed when he returned from leave overseas after leaving the presidency and the huge welcome he received in Makeni where, he said, he will spend the rest of his days in retirement except if needed to take part in party and state functions.