From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone: Reputation Ball is in Koromaís Court!
By Sylvia Olayinka Blyden
May 29, 2015, 17:04

Recently to mark the anniversary of the first case of Ebola confirmed in Sierra Leone, two researchers from reputable international think tanks spent a considerable amount of their writings quoting copiously from an October 2014 New York Times article which had incorrectly damned President Koroma and this government. The article portrayed Koroma as uncaring enough to abandon at the ports, equipment to fight Ebola; just so an opposition politician who brought them to help save lives, will not receive praises.

What made that particular article so painfully nauseous is that political tolerance is a hallmark of legacy of President Koroma. Since he gave his assurance to the Opposition in the year 2009 that under his leadership, this country would see unprecedented tolerance in politics, Ernest Bai Koroma has never looked back. It has been very high political tolerance!


However, that legacy is not what the world recognises.


Instead, going by the published research from credible institutions, President Ernest Koroma is seen as so petty that he refused to clear from the ports, much-needed anti-Ebola goods just so as to prevent credit given to an opposition political rival from  his hometown who shipped them in. Honestly, one canít blame those who believe this because, government never formally debunked those claims.


That is just one example. There is another case regularly cited in international media where Koromaís Defence Minister is said to have ordered dozens of expensive plasma TVs and Hunting Guns for himself out of Donor Funds. The allegation is baseless but to date, there has been no effort by Koroma to debunk those corruption claims floating internationally - unchallenged.


There are scores of other such serious reputational oversights by Ernest Bai Koroma which he is going to bitterly (very bitterly!) regret in the near future. Koroma is playing with his reputation! Let him mark my words today!

Koromaís reputation is all he has to count on in his post-presidency years but going by speed with which Dr. Samura Kamara was KICKED OUT of AfDB Presidency race yesterday, the cards are stacked against the Presidentís reputational image right now in certain international circles.


The very speedy elimination (kicking out!) of the widely experienced Samura Kamara was curious. Frankly, it is an indictment on Koromaís Government! I hope Koroma recognises this and re-orientates his thinking about how his local and foreign public relations are handled - because time is running out.


I once asked a loved political brother whom I admire so much as to whether a Catís record can be defended by Mice! My brother did not understand what I meant and I explained further that a Cat should appoint Cats to defend and protect his image. A Cat should never appoint Mice as his image makers; because Mice will only pretend to like Cats but canít genuinely defend Cats! If a Cat leaves his reputation in the hands of Mice, he is on self-destruction!


Mr. President, the Ball is in your court. Time is running out! I drop my pen.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.