Former Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana is showing visible signs that he must never be underestimated when it comes to grassroots mobilisation and politics.
Within a short spate of time that he has entered the race to the State House, Sam-Sumana and his Coalition For Change (C4C) appear to have more grassroots support than other contenders.
Monitoring reports confirmed by your authoritative news portal, Salone Today, reveal that earlier contenders Samura Kamara of the All Peoples Congress (APC), Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) are all lagging behind the Former Vice President.
In a cat-walk around the country last week, the campaign team of Sam-Sumana attracted hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans in Bo, Kenema, Kono, Bombali, Falaba, Bonthe, Tonkolili, Port Loko, Kambia and Pujehun. Residents of the component villages of the towns and districts were seen in huge numbers coming out of their homes to listen to Sam-Sumana and his agenda for message.
Journalists from other media houses who were providing coverage expressed shock over the huge numbers.
In one of the instances, a group of Kono patriots numbering over 300 trekked on foot for over 20 kilometres to meet up the convoy of the former vice president half-way before he could enter the town itself.
Salone Today can state without any fear of contradiction that the wind of change blowing in Sierra Leone today has caught up with everybody that young and old from all walks of life are jostling to be part of the political process.
Sources close to Sam-Sumana have discounted claims that their huge supporting base is as a result of the qualification difficulties that Kandeh Yumkella finds himself as well as the unpopularity of President Koroma sidekick, Samura Kamara.
“C4C has roots way back. The group, Friends of Sam-Sumana has been working around the country for a long time. We have been doing door to door approaches to drive home the capabilities and competencies of our leader. You know he is a man of peace. Sam-Sumana will not hurt a fly,” Alusine Macfoy, Publicity Secretary of the C4C has observed.
He told Salone Today that the vehicle of C4C is the only credible bandwagon now among a plethora of political groupings to turn the economy of Sierra Leone around.
He added, “The vision of Sam-Sumana is to overhaul our health system, provide jobs through value addition to the immense natural resources around and maintain the peace of Sierra Leone through good governance.”
Political pundits are of the same wavelength that the decision of the former Vice President to challenge his removal from office through the courts is the magnet endearing him to the people today.
In a landmark judgment delivered by the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice on 27th November last year, the decision of President Koroma to remove his vice was declared as “illegal, null and void.”
The court also ordered the government of Sierra Leone to pay Mr. Sam-Sumana all his entitlements, salary and legal costs.
Since that ruling, the international stature of Sam-Sumana has grown in leaps and bounds.
Die hard supporters of the former Vice President also cite the prestigious “PERSON OF THE YEAR-WEST AFRICA CATEGORY” award given their leader in the United States last year by iCHANGENATIONS group as one of his strong trump cards.
The illegal removal of a vice president in South Sudan plunged that country into chaos as the military has seen sharp divisions, a situation that has affected the economy badly. In Zimbabwe, the military intervened and brought back the vice president.
As Sierra Leone prepares to go to the polls to elect a new president, parliament and local government officials on March 7, a lot of political activity is expected to vibrate every core of the country’s fabric.
This is the first time in the political history of Sierra Leone that a third force is giving the two traditional political parties a run for their money.
And C4C leaders say they are the party of the moment “…to bring transformational change to the country.”