By Sulaiman Juldeh Bah
After having gone through the nomination process to stand as presidential flag bearer and Member of Parliament for the National Grand Coalition (NGC) respectively, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is said to have escaped an ambush against him by the governing APC party.
Facts are that the NGC strongman Saturday 20th went through his nomination process as prescribed by law amidst hullabaloos surrounding his citizenship status.
Yumkella was among persons having dual citizenship status, but claimed he has renounced same in November 2017.
The issue of dual citizenship reared its ugly head recently just when the ruling APC decided to invoke section 76(1) of the constitution which debarsindividuals with dual citizenship from becoming members of parliament and/or ministers.
The aforementioned development led to the refusal by political parties to award symbols to people holding dual citizenship, which, no doubt, has caused hue and cry in many quarters.
Speaking prior to his nomination, Yumkella had said‘democracy in Sierra Leone has been mutilated, its constitution ransacked by the powers that be to achieve their political ambitions.’
He accused president Koroma and cohorts of using people from the Diaspora to gain power then later refused and dumped them on grounds of constitutionality.
“For two terms as president, he (Ernest Koroma) and the APC awarded symbols to people from the Diaspora to become members of parliament, also appointed good number of them as cabinet ministers,” which according to Yumkella is gross violation of the constitution.
The president, he said, cannot claim to have been ignorant about the conflict between the 2006 citizenship amendment and the constitution because the issue always keeps coming up for him to have asked for an amendment or go by the dictates of the constitution.
The erstwhile UNIDO boss among other things accused President Koroma and the APC of shifting the goal post in the middle of a game, using the dual citizenship law as a spring board to disqualifying him and others perceived as political opponents.
Yumlella recalled how the Peter Tucker Constitutional Review Committee and the Justice Cowan led Committee also highlighted the issue of dual citizenship with each recommending an amendment of it, but was turned down by a government White Paper.
Yumkella explained that before his nomination, he publicly displayed a certified document showing that he has renounced his US citizenship and called on other political leaders such as Samura Kamara, Hon. Chernor Maju Bah, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Mohamed Jalloh facing similar accusations to do likewise.
Having gone through the nomination to contest in the presidential and parliamentary elections under the banner of the NGC, Yumkella is now facing objection from his main challenger, Abu Bakarr Sankoh, the APC parliamentary candidate in constituency 062- Samu Chiefdom, Kambia district.
The APC candidate accused Yumkella of having dual citizenship; a thing the NGC Campaign Spokesman, Dr. Julius Spencer described as frivolous.