By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Sierra Leone’s Former President , Ernest Bai Koroma has vowed that he will muster all available legitimate and democratic means to robustly defend his reputation which he said has being tarnished in the findings of the Commissions of Inquiry and the Bio-led government’s White Paper Report released last week.
According to the statement from the Office of the former President released on Wednesday , he said will defer to his lawyers to look into the reports , the White Paper and the series of maligning actions being instituted against him so as to advise him on the next course of action adding that he has always supported the fight against corruption and the quest for accountability in public office.
“I have learned with utter disappointment about some of the defamatory contents of the Reports of the Commissions of Inquiry and the White Paper thereto pertaining to some of the activities I undertook while exercising my official functions as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone. I have also noted with utter dismay the Government’s hostility against me and some officials who served in my administration,’’the statement said, adding that while it is apparent that the allegations against the former president are without merit and are a politically motivated charade calculated to impugn his hard – earned reputation, he further believe that the Bio-led government’s relentless heckling around him has reached undue and unacceptable levels that amount to political harassment.
The Statement from the former President further said that for ten years, he served his country diligently, fairly and with honour and integrity adding that his government was widely recognised for its robust fight against corruption, for consolidating peace, rebuilding the country’s battered infrastructure, for improving the lives of our people in many ways and for the peaceful, smooth democratic transition he superintended.
“It is unfortunate that the government has chosen this route to unduly tarnish my reputation because of politics. Such ridiculous political witch hunt does not only scare good and well-meaning citizens from getting involved in governance; it also has the propensity of undermining peaceful democratic transitions on the continent as current leaders following these unfortunate events in Sierra Leone might find it difficult to readily hand over power, especially to opposition political parties,’’the statement from former President Koroma added.
The former President has been invited by the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) to appear on Monday for questioning over the findings in the commissions of Inquiry and the government’s White paper even though there has been any statement from the former president confirming to honouring the invitation from the country’s graft agency.
President Koroma ruled the small west African nation of Sierra Leone from 2007-2018.