From the Editor’s Keyboard

Random Thoughts

By  | 11 May 2012 at 05:51 | 1846 views

Is President Koroma Loko?

I normally don’t like to talk about ethnicity but I was amused by a rumour doing the rounds in Freetown right now. The rumour is that President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared himself a Loko, one of the minority ethnic groups in the country.

I am amused because I don’t see anything wrong with the fact that the president belongs to any of the ethnicities in the country. The only problem I see is that many people who had earlier thought (or hoped ) he was Temne or even Limba, will be sorely disappointed or even angry. This reminds me of what the late S.I.Koroma did in Makeni many years ago when, with the businessman the late Jamil Sahid Mohamed at his side, he declared that he was Mandingo, not Temne. That was a grave miscalculation, because even though it was true, it destroyed his political power, because without Temne support, the great S.I. quickly crumbled into dust.

I hope the rumour about president Koroma is not true; if true his media trouble-shooters should move in quickly to throw water on the fire before it’s too late.

There is a perception that Temnes are being marginalized in the current administration just as they were under Joseph Saidu Momoh and his Ekutay gang that led to the formation of PDP-Sorbeh by the late Thaimu Bangura, the late Sheka Kanu and the late Musa Kabia.

I have not seen any blatant manifestation of this yet although the resignation of James Sanpha Koroma (former secretary to the president) and the sacking of Abdul Serry-Kamal (former Attorney-General) and the demotion of Zainab Bangura (former Foreign minister) and Alpha Kanu (former Mines minister) do not help matters.

The sackings of Dr. Salieu Turay (former ambassador to Russia) and Dr. Abdul Karim Koroma (former ambassador to China) are also problematic. Dr. Turay was recallled because the Russians were upset with something his son did and AKK was recalled because....well nobody seems to know with certainty.

I will return to this issue later.

Photo: Dr. Salieu Turay, former Sierra Leone ambassador to Russia.