Monday, June 9, 2014

Is President Ernest Koroma Clearing APC of any Challenge to His Dominance?

Dr. Richard Konteh
Some months ago it was Almamy Petito Koroma the then minister of works. Petito was sacked for the usual "failure to perform to the expectations of the President." Now it is Presidential Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Konteh, dismissed because he was allegedly negotiating a mining contract to his own benefit (his own personal Agenda for Prosperity) and is involved in the identical timber scandal that once engulfed Vice President Sam Sumana, which the government then denied strenuously, stating that it was an attempt by opposition detractors to stain the reputation of the presidency. Well now, it seems as if the timbergate has moved from the VP's office to State House. Maybe Sam Sumana was a "Chuneh."
Konteh and Kokobeh Reverend

What gives many of us analysts room for caution is that both Petito and Richard Konteh are people that were popularly rumored in the past to be prime candidates to replace President Koroma at the head of APC when his tenure came to an end. It is therefore very suspicious that now that there is a secretly funded movement calling for an extension of the President's mandate, those who were poised to replace him are suddenly starting to drop by the wayside.

Almamy Petito Koroma
Was this not the same timber export violation that the VP was caught on camera arranging? Was it not for the same underhand dealing that Momoh Konteh was found innocent and Alex Mansaray treated with kid gloves? The Vice President employed Sylvia Blyden to come to the TV and convince the people he was innocent because at the time she was viewed as trustworthy. Was that not why she is now Special Executive Assistant to the President from where she is quick to remind lesser folks of her cabinet rank? Why was the Vice President also not investigated?
Konteh and the MCC

Of course Sierra Leoneans will be jubilant over this news, as we are a country and a people who love to rejoice over the downfall of those we envy. But Sierra Leoneans, think for a moment. Was this not the same Richard Konteh that opposition activists were talking about his owning houses he could not justifiably afford? Was it not called a mere case of envy and an attempt by the opposition to destroy the character of a reputable man? Are we now to suddenly believe that Richard Konteh is a criminal because State House said so? Are we to suddenly believe that Richard Konteh is the only "Kokobeh" in State House?
This reminds me of a time I went to a small bar on Pademba Road to quench some thirst during the days of Momoh. At that time they had just fired Tommy Taylor Morgan who was Minister of Finance. I think that was his name. I met some old Krio men sitting by the bar in animated discussion, while slowly sipping their Star Beer and smoking some strong smelling cigarettes. Could have been Milo or Gauloise.
One of the old men made the following statement which I will remember to this day.
He said, "Tunde, bo Tommy nor tiff lek Krio Bo! E tiff lek kontri man!"
All I can say is that if this were true about Dr. Richard Konteh and this was the same man who was leading the bid to get the Millennium Challenge Corporation dollars, no wonder the Americans refused to give our country a single penny. Maybe as soon as he opened his mouth they saw a criminal. I wonder how his  main fan the Rt. Rev. Kabbs Kanu will spin this.
Another angle to this whole Timbergate Part II may lie in the rumor that the current head of Anti Corruption Commission is also poised to be in contention to replace Ernest Bai Koroma. Could it be that he was using the ACC to dig dirt on his potential rivals? Who knows.
All I can say is that now that a rat has been caught in State House, maybe the squirrels will be next.

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