• October 6, 2023

CHERICOCO: THE BIGGEST LOSER

CHERICOCO: THE BIGGEST LOSER
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In the wake of Dr Samura Kamara’s failed attempts to win the office of the president is a trail of destruction so long among who is the Honourable Chernor Maju Bah. Many people in the main opposition All Peoples Party (APC), the international community, media and Civil Society Organizations believe that he is the biggest loser, although it shouldn’t be so.

To one set of APC members and supporters, in the midst of the 24th June 2023 presidential election result brouhaha, Hon Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah, appears to have been forgotten as no one has heard anything from him. With the focus of the present fight heavily leaning on the side of the number one contender and APC flagbearer, Dr Samura Kamara, Chericoco and his camp have gone incommunicado.

The APC people say since 2018, Hon Chernor Maju Bah’s political stock continues to lose value, saying he is worse off after this 2023 elections defeat than after the 2018 cycle.

After the then main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) duo of Julius Maada Bio and Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh were declared winners of the 2018 presidential elections, Hon Chericoco was still able to keep his seat in the House of Parliament. The affable and generous barrister of law has represented Constituency 126 in the House consistently since 2007.

Because the constituency system of election was used in 2018, Hon Chericoco was able to run as Dr Samura Kamara’s running mate for the presidential race while at the same time rerunning for the seat of his constituency. After they were prevailed upon to accept a highly questionable presidential election defeat at the hands of Maada Bio and Juldeh Jalloh for the sake of peace, national unity and cohesion, Hon Chericoco was consoled as he was able to be re-elected to his seat, from where he should have been the Speaker owing to the party’s then majority in the House.

After much backroom wheeling and dealing that even saw ten duly elected Members of Parliament from the APC removed by a court judgement and replaced with ten from the SLPP, thereby skewing the leadership of the House on the side of the SLPP, which saw Dr Chernor Abass Bundu being forced on the House and citizenry as Speaker and number three man on the ascendency list to the presidency in the event of the absence of the president and vice president, or them not being able to perform their duties.

Maju Bah settled with being the minority leader of the opposition in the House, in a role where he performed his duty to task by taking the ruling party to book on key constitutional or legal issues with the propensity to negatively impact on the people they are in government to serve.

We can see that despite losing the 2018 elections, Chernor Maju Bah was able to bounce back and be consoled by winning his seat in the House. The biggest loser then was Dr Samura Kamara, who was not in the employ of the government of Sierra Leone before and after that loss.

Five years down the line, we have a repeat of the 2018 elections cycle that saw the same SLPP duo in the office of the state president – Julius Maada Bio and Dr Juldeh Jalloh – versus Dr Samura and Chericoco. This election, compared to the 2018 cycle, has been won with almost the same objectionable and questionable actions that arose five years prior.

In the back and forth drama that has ensued since electoral commissioner Mohamed K. Konneh announced Maada Bio the winner of the 24 June 2023 elections, we have seen and heard quite a bit from Dr Samura Kamara. The people are however disappointed in Dr Samura Kamara who they say is not fit for purpose for the fight that is ahead of the APC to see the rerun of a presidential election.

While many people are hopeful that there will be a rerun of the 2023 presidential election, Chernor Maju Bah has ended up the biggest loser for not only losing the presidential race, he also lost his seat in the House of Representatives where he has provided effective, stellar and consistent representation for his constituency since 2007.

Because of the use of the proportional representation system of election, Hon Chericoco is no longer in House. He lost both the vice presidency and MP seat in the wake of the trail of destruction that has resulted from Samura Kamara twice failing to defeat Maada Bio.

However, many of his supporters say Chericoco is far from being the biggest loser. They say he might appear so at present but that in the long run, Chernor Maju Bah, because of his youth, experience, popularity, and generosity stands to be a constant force in the future leadership cadre of the APC, and the nation.

He will end up being the biggest winner after all as at just barely past 51 years of age, time is on his side to make a significant impact in the leadership class of the country going forward. If it wasn’t for the expected tribal witch-hunt that is about to engulf both the SLPP and APC to determine the parties’ new executives after Maada Bio and Samura Kamara’s exits, we would expect for Chernor Maju Bah to be the APC’s new party chair and leader.

But since we see Dr Samura Kamara consolidating his grip on the APC leadership, we are having a hard time to consider both men going against each other for the soul and leadership of the party. Not only Chernor, Dr Samura Kamara’s insistence and the bad advice he has been getting regarding his popularity and relevance in the party and country, will also affect others in the party who are also capable of running for the state presidency. His attempts to continue after 2028 have caused quite a stir in the party, where no one has been bold enough to tell the good doctor to start taking stock of his age and the past two elections cycle results.

If the progress that is slowly creeping into the leadership make up of both the SLPP and APC is allowed to continue without undue pressure from above or below, then Chernor Maju Bah’s future position in the party’s and nation’s political landscape is assured.

He stands a much better chance of being president of Sierra Leone than the party’s former flagbearer.

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