“It is now time for me to leave the political stage and continue serving Sierra Leone as a statesman’’- Former President Ernest Bai Koroma
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Sierra Leone’s two termed serving President Ernest Bai Koroma has said that it was time for him to leave the political stage and continue serving the country as a state’s man, a statement from the office of Former President Ernest Bai Koroma said on Wednesday.
According to the statement from the former president’s office, it said that the erstwhile president wishes to reiterate that he has no interest whatsoever in party or national office adding that the former states man strongly believes that he has been privileged by God and his people, to serve as President of his country for two terms and as the Leader and Chairman of the All Peoples Congress (APC), for even a much longer period.
‘’President Koroma notes that he is looking forward to his continued contribution to the promotion of democracy, peace, security and stability in Africa and other parts of the world. The former president and outgoing Chairman and Leader of the APC, therefore, thank the APC and the people of Sierra Leone profoundly for the privilege accorded him to serve them,’’ the statement added.
The outgoing Chairman and Leader further notes that his party , being the great institution it is, is capable of a smooth and successful transition which he said have clearly demonstrated over the last four difficult years thus appealing to the membership to move on in unity with the great task ahead.
“While the Party is concluding its constitutional reforms, the litigations and preparing for its convention, I urge the general membership to embrace the prospects of a new leadership including the chairmanship of the party, and to work together for victory in June 2023,”Former President Ernest Bai Koroma said.
The two term former president also reassured that the APC will continue to work with all stakeholders including the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the Judiciary, and other actors to ensure that the transition process is smooth and that a new executive is ushered in as soon as possible.
‘’In this faithful period of Ramadan and Lent, the Former President and outgoing Chairman and Leader sends his best wishes to all Sierra Leoneans and his prayers for a unified, peaceful, democratic, and prosperous country’’
It could be recalled that there has been calls from Koroma’s party members and inner circles including critics for him to step down from party chairman and leadership position since he is no longer president.
The Party’s National Youth Congress (NYC) said in a statement on Thursday that it welcomed and respect the decision of the former president to exit the political stage and his strong reassurances not to contest for any position in the next National Delegates conference.
‘’ We therefore here by state that this decision has not come as a surprise as it has always indicated that his departure is imminent. As the wing that hosts the present and future determination and sustainable growth of the party, we wish to endorse, support and congratulate the former president for that brave decision,’’ NYC said in a statement.
It added that the former state’s man commitment to peace , security and promotion of democracy and good governance which was something that form essential features of his distinguished leadership throughout his tenure as chairman and Leader of the APC and as President of Sierra Leone thus stating that they as youths are proud of him whilst wishing him the best.