By Kabs Kanu , Senior Adviser, APC
People have spread all kinds of rumors that Chief Sam Sumana will also be crossing over to the SLPP. If Sam Sumana had done so, I would not have condemned him at all, after all he had been through . I say this from the bottom of my mind and God knows that I mean it. But reliable agents of the Kono Chief I have spoken to told me that nothing like that is in the making, though , in politics , you never say never.
But for now, John Ernest Leigh and Sam Sumana are among the most principled politicians I have seen and come to respect in Sierra Leone . I will explain. My angry Kono brothers and sisters can attack me if they want. I am somebody God created to leave nothing in my mind unsaid. Even Sam Sumana himself can attack me for this post, if he wishes. I will say what I feel and it is coming from my mind.
John Ernest Leigh fell out with the SLPP while they were still in power . When a government is in power in Africa and enjoying the powers of incumbency and controlling the instruments of power, it is uncommon for anybody to believe they will lose power easily. So, you know a man of principles when he leaves a party that is still enjoying power.
Mr. Ambassador John Leigh did not have any assurance that SLPP were going to lose power in 2007 when he fell out with them. He must have still believed that by hook or by crook, Solomon Berewa would have rigged the elections to keep SLPP in power. But once he had made up his mind, he did not care. He could have played a wait-and- see game to prospect whether , to compensate him, SLPP would have offered him a lucrative job after they would have won, but he did not. He had made up his mind . That is what you called principled cross -carpeting. He did not care about the load of goodies the SLPP would have offered him later. By his writings in the COCORIOKO FORUM ( All on record ) he even made reconciliation impossible. That is a principled politician at work.
Even when Mr. Leigh came to the APC and was offered nothing, that did not make him bitter . He did not join to gain any personal emoluments or benefits. He held on to his convictions that the SLPP is a tribalistic, “Mendecratic “( to use his own words ) party that is not good for Sierra Leone. But still,he could have led the parade of sugar ants seeking reapproachment with President Maada Bio in 2018 when SLPP returned to power . What will sugar ants, carpet baggers and turn coats not do ? What didn’t Moijueh Kai-Kai, Alpha Kanu and Victor Foh say in public about the SLPP and Maada Bio ? These three men will not , in good conscience, look at me in the face if we ever meet . I ran the APC media and everything that happened during APC campaign and rule is carefully archived in my Cocorioko newspaper . They know it. That is why they will not dare to respond to me when I lash out at them. John Leigh decided to remain John Leigh, the man of principles. Maada Bio can stuff his goodies. Leigh is more interested in his principles.
Now to Sam Sumana. I have only spoken to him once in life, when he visited New Jersey in 2008 after APC won the 2007 elections. We have never spoken after that. He preferred to deal with me when he wanted information published, through third parties like the late Foday Mansaray or the late Alex Mansaray . We defended him stoutly and aggressively in Cocorioko and forums throughout the internet during the timbergste issue. When he won the case, I was one of his defenders he never reached out to . Not even a phone call but I do not hold that against him. All politicians are different in their dealings with people .
Then came his issues with the APC and he lost his job as Vice- President of Sierra Leone and heir -apparent to the presidential throne . We staged demonstrations against him and wrote damning articles against him . I still believe that he could have handled his relationship better with his brother-in – law, Senior comrade and the most quiet politician ever in this nation, former President Ernest Bai Koroma. Ernest Koroma loved him . That I can attest to any time, anywhere. Anyway, the devil came in between them. The Bible warns us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities , demonic powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.
Whatever the facts are, the Kono Chief ( Another usually quiet politician ) lost his dream job and dream ambition. Don’t you think that given the fact that he was really removed from power and all kinds of public demonstrations were staged against him by the APC and he has a legitimate cause to even feel that he was demonized by us, Sam Sumana would have been the most bitter politician against the APC in the nation, full of ire, revenge and lack of restraint ? In comparison to Sam Sumana, what did Ernest Koroma and APC do to Alpha Kanu , Gento , Victor Foh and others, especially ? They were never dismissed . APC never staged public demonstrations against them. Nobody ever demonized them. What would these men have done if they had undergone the bitter experiences Chief Sam Sumana went through ? For Ernest Koroma, a politician, to have promised them the flagbearer ship and it not materializing is not enough excuse for the blind rage , bitterness, anger, vengeance and witchcraft- type vindictiveness Alpha Kanu and Victor Foh have been expatiating, even to the point of attempting to burn the APC down to ashes . This is the context within which I have come to have the highest respect for Chief Sam Sumana . He could have done what these men are doing today and nobody would have justifiably blamed him. But Sam Sumana has proved himself to be a better human being than the loathsome characters mentioned above.
Now fast forward to 2023. Sam Sumana , after everything that happened, agreed to mend fences with the APC. Yes, Sam Sumana actually made peace with the APC. He went to Ex- President Koroma , thrashed out issues with him and they even sat down and ate cassava leaves together. This is what God wants. Some people said he did it because he wanted to be flagbearer or running mate. If true, there is nothing wrong with that. After all, as a bona fide citizen of Sierra Leone , Sam Sumana has a right to aspire to any position in the land and if he thought that such ambitions would have been achieved through his APC, he had a right also. The constitution grants him the right and freedom to associate with his APC if he felt that it was through the APC that he could have achieved his goals. Many SLPP supporters confessed to me that when the talk of Sam Sumana being APC running mate was rife, they had sleepless nights and food was not sweet in their mouths because they feared the consequences in the ballot box in Kono . Sam Sumana remains a powerful man in Kono . Do not listen to claims to the contrary.
The APC however chose to stick to the same platform of 2018, the hugely popular Dr. Samura Kamara and another young man with a very bright political future in Sierra Leone, Chernor Maju Bah ( Chericoco ). Conversely, the APC have the right to determine whom they want as flagbearer and running mate . It is their call . You cannot quarrel with a party for deciding whom they want to represent them in elections.
After what many would consider a big disappointment, if Sam Sumana was as petty , shifty, untrustworthy, vengeful , unprincipled and a wishy-washy sugar ant politician without ethics , like Alpha Khan and Victor Foh, he could have done what these men are presently engaged in now —not only seeking to damage the name of Ernest Koroma but also muddy the waters for the APC. His supporters are livid , but he himself has remained cool. He has not betrayed the APC. In fact, I learn that he is continuing with the APC.
In fact, believe it or not, the SLPP reached out to Sam Sumana , from what I learnt. What won’t the SLPP do on this earth to hurt , pain, dumbfound, torpedo, obliterate, exterminate and destroy the APC ? President Maada Bio and his Co-President Fatima Bio even offered Chief Sam Sumana lots of money to cross carpet from the APC and join the SLPP gravy train, I was briefed . They planned a monster celebration program . But Sam Sumana allegedly turned them down . He still prefers his APC . If you do not respect somebody like Sam Sumana for such steadfast principles and love for his party, you will not respect anybody . In a world where principles and loyalty no longer guard the actions of our politicians, we should applaud men like Sam Sumana.
I therefore call on all my APC comrades to forget whatever they ever had against Chief Sam Sumana and embrace him for the love and faithfulness he is showing to the APC at a time when those who have benefited most from the party and enriched themselves through the APC , like Victor Foh, Alpha Kanu, Musa Tarawally, Gento Kamara , Moijueh Kai- Kai etc. have paid the APC back with the most sickening ungratefulness and treachery ever seen in our country.
APC must continue to reward faithfulness, loyalty, dedication and commitment, for these virtues are in short supply in today’s world of political opportunism, treachery, unfaithfulness, disloyalty , ungratefulness and love of money.