By Melvin Tejan-Mansaray
Although the views of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) or non state actors is divided, one activist has called on the President not to deviate from his promise of not going for any more time after his tenure.
Charles Keif Kobai, Governance Director Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI) has called on President Ernest Bai Koroma to keep to his promise of upholding the constitution and not extending his tenure in office as has been widely discussed.
This comes amid rumors that supporters of the ‘more time’ for lost time campaign are on clandestine plans to stage a one million man match in favor of an extra time for President Koroma who they say was disrupted by the Ebola outbreak.
The opposition to more time has been elephantine, with more and more people expressing their disfavor to the notion anchoring their argument on the fact that no one is above the law and President Koroma must play by the rules like his successor did.
However, it should be stated that the President and his officials have stated that the president is not in for any more time contrary to what the APC as a party and its youth wing has been propelling.
According to the governance expert Kobai he has been making calls to other CSO’s to take very seriously the issue and highlighted that he saw this coming since the unconstitutional sacking of the vice president.
“I strongly condemn more time or third term and I want to see HE comes out very strongly to say; I’m not interested in any extension or a third term. I want President to come out very strongly, he has failed in doing so when he went for State Opening in a divided Parliament,” Charles highlighted.
He went on to say that the more time notion is not good or healthy for our democracy adding that a more time political decision has a bearing on the peace of the nation that has fought wars.
“We don’t want to fight or lose lives anymore simply because somebody somewhere wants to maintain power. For me more time is unconstitutional and violates the two term stipulation in the constitution,” he said noting that he would not want to see President Koroma leave power in disgrace like other Presidents who fail to transfer power peacefully.
“I will want to see President Korma leave power gracefully,” Charles Keif Kobai underpinned.
Section 46 sub section 1(tenure of office for president, etc) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991 states: ‘No person shall hold office as President for more than two terms of five years each whether or not the terms are consecutive'”
A state house statement reechoed the president commitment to no more time but observers say there is a catch situation on the grounds that the people can be used as a caveat for the more time execution.