The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi has in a new year’s message sent a strong but veiled message to political miscreants like former President Ernest Bai Koroma to put the country first and rise above mundane political stunts.

In his well worded message titled A YEAR TO PUT SIERRA LEONE FIRST, the UN Resident Coordinator said “we saw an unmistakable rise in political tensions in the land and louder expressions of anxieties about the democratic health of the country.”

Although he fell short of calling names and naming and shaming political miscreants who are heightening tension in the country, it is obvious that the well read and savvy diplomat was making reference to the former President Ernest Bai Koroma and his ilk, who instead of supporting national programs like the Midterm Population and Housing Census, was busy calling on his supporters not to cooperate with the process and to boycott it.

This defiant posture of former president Ernest Bai Koroma went a long way to undermine the midterm census and raise political tension in the country, which the UN Resident Coordinator hinted. Ernest Bai Koroma and his lawyers are on record as well in 2021 to attempt to refuse an investigation by the Anti Corruption Commission, giving it a political slant and igniting unwarranted tension in the country.

The situation reached a crescendo when on the day the ACC team went to Makeni to obtain statement from the former head of state, all manner of masquerades and youth descended the streets of Makeni and prevented the investigators from doing their work, all the behest of the former president. Instead of comporting himself in a manner bespeaking of the office he has held in the country, Ernest Bai Koroma has reduced himself to an ordinary politician and is begging to be treated as one. It has taken the magnanimity and gentility of President Julius Maada Bio not to rob him of his statesman status, treat him like a common criminal and give him what he is seeking for.

The latest of the tantrums of Ernest Bai Koroma on the West Africa Power Pool, after commissioning by President Julius Maada Bio, goes to show the extent to which he is ready to undermine the peace and serenity of the country. As shameless as the liar that he is, Ernest Bai Koroma had the brazen boldness to claim initiation of the TRANSCO CLSG project when on the eve of Christmas 2021, President Julius Maada Bio switched on the lights to connect Kenema and Bo districts.

Instead of licking his wounds and muse over a missed chance to better the lives of the people of this country which he ruled for 11 years, he convened a hastily arranged press conference and vainly tried to pull the rug from under President Julius Maada Bio by saying the latter commissioned a project they started. Perhaps the UN Resident Coordinator had had enough of the political tantrums and gimmicks of this spent force and chose to diplomatically take a swipe at him whilst not mentioning him directly.

To add to the catalogue of political woes, Ernest Bai Koroma continues to illegally hold on to the Chairmanship of his party and has refused to relinquish the post even when he has come under severe criticism and litigation by a group of reformists within his party. His knack for demagoguery must have irked sections of the international community who are finding subtly ways of telling him, it’s high time he left the political stage.

Overall, Dr. Ahonsi’s message was appealing, subtly critical of political tensions and warning against the adverse effects of Covid-19 on developing countries like Sierra Leone and how to manage expectations in the coming years. He also shed light on how we can deepen the democratic credentials of the country and asked for inclusion and embrace of all sectors including women and the disadvantaged people of the country – something the government of President Julius Maada Bio is already doing.