• March 31, 2023


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By Idrissa Aloma Kamara


Whether Kono remains a swing state in the new political dispensation it remains debatable.


The All People’s Congress (APC) and the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party (SLPP) are currently engaging the district in the battle for supremacy. The Kono people are yet to decide their political destination come June 24, 2023.


The Konos are equally important in the body politic of Sierra Leone, as their district is one of the bread baskets. Their political relevance is indispensable in the socioeconomic development of the country, irrespective of holding executive positions or not in any of the two parties, APC and SLPP.


The SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio made lot of promises to Kono people including and not limited to setting up of a university and sustainable electricity supply. The fulfilment of these promises is yet to be realised. The Konos endure the pain of political marginalization by the two giant political parties, despite being considered a swing district.


The SLPP is claiming political dominance and with the assurance to win the coming elections with no second round explicitly, with the anticipated support from the Kono people. The APC is also very determined to persuade and win the votes of the Kono people. Whatever perspective one may want to look at it, Kono remains an important factor in the political engagement.


The formation of the Coalition for Change (C4C) political party by the Kono defectors of the APC lubricated the passage of defeat for the APC in the 2018 general elections.


The antagonism to fight the APC party in Kono stemmed from the former Vice President Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana and Honourable Saa Emerson Lamina, who were considered being irrationally treated by the top echelons of the APC party. The C4C gained political sympathy of the Konos, using the incident of Chief Sam Sumana and Emerson Lamina to mount their political campaign. With the political sympathy and empathy obtained from the Kono people, the C4C was able to dominate the political landscape of Kono and won majority of the seats in the district that guided the APC into five years of political asphyxiation.


The coming of the SLPP revivified the Konos with new hope of jumping the hurdles of their development ambitions.  To the greatest dismay, the hopes were nothing but hallucination.


Politics is here once again with political equivocators making the same unfulfilled promises to win the heart of the district. The Konos have been placed in serious dilemma on whether to go APC or SLPP.


With the same exasperated promises of setting up a university and improving electricity generation, the ruling SLPP government has wetted the appetite of the Konos again, who are yet to decide on whether to go along with such promises or to re-join the APC rank and files to democratically weed out the present SLPP government, come 24 June 2023.


The formation of the C4C political party in the district paid no tangible dividend to the good of the Kono people in terms of development and social cohesion. In the absence of the anticipated development, it is highly anticipated that the Parliamentary Leader of C4C Hon. Emerson Lamina has pitched camp with the SLPP, while the C4C political party remains in political strangling. If the rumour is anything to go by, it is evident in the submission of Hon Emerson Lamina on the European Union Ambassador Manuel Müller, who he advocated for his withdrawal from Sierra Leone, accusing him of meddling with the politics of the country. However, the European Union responded by rebuffing his assertion, which ungraciously transformed Hon. Emerson Lamina to an image of political taunting.


Alhaji Sam Sumana, a founding father of the C4C, has relinquished his membership to re-join the APC. There where speculations that he wanted to contest for the presidency of the APC party. His coming back to the APC was punctuated with lot of reasons why he should not be accepted. At the end of the convention, the APC agreed to accept him. The fate of C4C is now irresolute in the new political indulgence, as their founding fathers have pitched allegiance with the two giant parties.


The current debate on whether the Konos would join the SLPP awaits an answer. Gauging the development expectations of Kono in the eyes of the APC, it is profusely clear that the APC did extremely well compared to the present SLPP government.


The problem with the Konos is personal egotism from their political stakeholders. Some of the stakeholders are benefiting personally from the current government, while others are experiencing gross marginalization. Kono is not owned by single individuals. It is owned collectively by the Kono people. Any development desire must target the Kono people. “A bird in the hand is worth too in the bush.” Indeed, certainty is better than possibility. The Konos have realized more socioeconomic benefits in the APC rule to that of the current SLPP government. Personal political vendetta has been the problem of the district which continues to create the political vulnerability to swing from one political party to the other.


This time around, it is anticipated that the Konos would work defencelessly to determine their political destination.  Politics and out of politics, Kono is a district in the geopolitical boundaries of Sierra Leone.  Economically, Kono district is very viable in supporting the nation’s economic growth. Therefore, more political attention is needed for the continuous support to the growth and development of the nation.


The Kono politicians need to change their attitude from selfishness to a holistic value if they really mean to develop the district. Discerning the truth from the lies is discretionary, and it is estimated that the Konos this time would make the wise decision to exonerate from the present scale of socio-political neglect.  Lot of political miscalculations have been made and must be corrected now to avoid political misfortune.


Where are the Sam Sumanas and the Diana Konomanis? They hold a major stake in the political decision of the Kono people.  The need to explore every opportunity to consolidate peace would bring Kono to its feet in the new political commitment.

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