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Will APC receive Sam Sumana as prodigal son or the lost sheep?

By Mohamed M. Sesay (Lucky)

The return of Chief Sam Sumana, the sacked former Vice President and founder of the Coalition for Change (C4C) Party to the All People’s Congress (APC) party, has got the Courier to be in his usual pensive mood whether the All People Congress Party will receive Chief Sam Sumana as their true Prodigal son or rejoice with him as their lost sheep who has been missing for far too long. This has also got the Courier to be excogitating whether Sam will gain his previous prominence within the rank and file of the party, having gone and established his own political party. According to emerging muttering from party supporters, Sam’s soon to be completed transfer from C4C to APC has been perceived as the downfall of his political career just like it happened to David Tambayo who has been subjected to an ordinary town crier for APC in Kono. Sam’s transfer from his C4C party to APC has become under the condemnation to many activists describing the move as a deception and also a recipe to undermine multi-party democracy; while fragmented APC Party supporters are also murmuring that they will accept Sam only to secure Kono votes, but will never price him over Samura Kamara nor will they celebrate or rejoice him as the father did to his prodigal son in the bible

Let me just refresh my readers about Luke 15:11-32 in the New Testament Bible about a father who had two sons and the younger son demanded a share of his father’s wealth which the father did. This prodigal son later went and squandered all his wealth in a wild living and after found himself destitute in the midst of severe famine, he returned to his father begging to serve as an employed servant on his father’s estate of which his father accepted him again with open arms and rejoiced with him except for his senior brother who was not happy about his fathers’ reunion with his junior brother. In the same Luke 15:1-7, tax collectors and sinners were gathered around to hear Jesus, but the Pharisees and the teachers of the law murmured, ‘’ this man (Jesus) welcomes sinners and eats with them’’. Then Jesus told them this parable upon hearing them murmuring ‘’ ‘’suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep and rejoice with the lost sheep after finding it’’? The applicability of this scenario about the prodigal son and the lost sheep could literally mean Sam will be faced with many opposing forces within the APC party amidst the mounting superiority contest for the party leadership and flag bearer-ship ahead of the 2023 general election, just like how the senior brother frowned at the reunion of the prodigal son with his father. Many ‘’Apciers’’ will not forgive Sams’ sins irrespective of the fact that he has politically repented. The party constitution itself frowns at giving key party position to a breakaway political sinners just like Sam.

Let me also historicize the genesis of what made things started fallen apart between Sam the prodigal son, and his political godfather (Ernest Bai Koroma). Between the periods of 2012 onto 2015 when Sam was unconstitutionally sacked, the functionality of the Office of the Vice President during those years became as useless as a dead man awaiting burial because most of the constitutionally mandated functions of any hale and hearty Vice president were usurped by his junior colleagues (Ministers) on the directives of President Koroma. Sometimes around 2013 when President Koroma travelled out of the country, an important event came up which was staged at Miatta Conference Hall that was ideally supposed to be attended by the Vice President. It will interest you to know that President Koroma chose former Minister of Land Musa Tarawalie to represent him unknown to Sam. Sam took upon himself align with the dictates of the constitution and went to Miatta Conference Hall in a view of representing the president. To the dismay of many, Sam’s motor-cade was returned by Musa Tarawalie preventing him from gracing the occasion. During all those years, Sam was just like a Vice President in principle but most of his functions were performed by ministers.

The ‘’frenemity’’ relationship continued, Sam was finally expelled from the All People’s Party accusing him of anti-party activities coupled with the falsification of his religious belief, and fake possession of his master’s Degree. The expulsion of Chief Sam Sumana from the APC Party precipitated former President Koroma to issue a press release dated the 17th September 2015, relieving Sam of his duties as Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone on the grounds that he (Sam), abandoned his office and sought asylum in the United States Embassy in Freetown, and also not belonging to a political party citing sections 40 and 41 of the 1991 constitution.

The political quagmire became more intensified between Sam and his political godfather Bai Koroma. Sam, the prodigal son/lost sheep took his political godfather to the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Court contesting the legality of his removal as Vice president, and also demanding his godfather to pay his full salary for all the months he was sacked for, and emoluments he lost since his dismissal in 2015. In November 2017, the ECOWAS Court ruled against former President koroma’s unlawful decision and asked for the reinstatement of Sam. The Legal team for Sam led by Charles Francis Margai also requested ECOWAS Court to subject President Koroma’s led government to pay their client (Sam) in the sum of two hundred and fifty million ($250 million) United States Dollars in damage as a result of the illegal removal of Sam. However, a counter release was issued by the Office of Sierra Leone’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice dated 27th November 2017, which argued that ECOWAS Court lacks the competence and jurisdiction of the aforementioned matter. ‘’ Na so d case lef buff pa Sam’’, which caused Sam the prodigal son to form his own breakaway political party dubbed as Coalition for Change (C4C).

Therefore, the reunion drive taken by Sam in joining his political godfather after series of humiliations and accusations particularly the one on the timber gate, has been considered by many as lack of morals and self-respect for oneself. Most party supporters say Sam is day dreaming thinking that his reunion to the party would grant him the opportunity to be the flag-bearer of the party. With reference to David Tambayo, I could still remember his statement at the Department of Mass Communications, Fourah Bay College, during a public lecture where he said he had intention to go into politics but will never join the two traditional parties (APC and SLPP). But weeks after David made that policy statement, we heard David declaring his membership for the APC party during a session of one of his boisterous and vociferous Monologue Programme, hoping that he would be given top ranking position within the party. David, a fine personality and the country’s most raucous and popular journalist by then, has been subjected to a position in the APC party which even my village town-crier is far preferable to the APC publicity secretary which David occupies for Kono. I will end here by advising Sam to learn from David’s experience and withhold his reunion drive with APC, if he doesn’t want his political career to be in a doldrums. Quitting the Coalition for Change (C4C) party for APC will definitely end Sam’s political career as there are many ‘anti-Sam Sumanas’ who will never celebrate or rejoice his (Sam’s) return to the party. Sam will definitely not be that forgiven prodigal son or the rejoiced lost sheep in the bible.

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