Unlike those seeking unnecessary relevance by taking cheap shots at Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, like the failed attempt by a scrawled, so-called epitaph that tried to argue that KKY’s political value is now unimportant, Hon. Yumkella’s political significance is still very much alive and prominent. As a matter of fact, Dr. Yumkella is by far the most relevant and popular politician within the Sierra Leone political opposition. Given his determination and political clout, no misinformation of any kind will deter Dr. Yumkella from pursuing and achieving his vision of Salon Fos and Compassionate Inclusive Governance (CIG) for national unity.
Although Dr. Yumkella had always had the interest and passion to serve his country with diligence, his decision to vie for the presidency of Sierra Leone was influenced by Sierra Leoneans from all walks of life and ethnicity. The citizens who campaigned for the drafting of his candidacy were motivated by his leadership track records and love for country. His supporters increased significantly soon after he accepted the call to serve his people. History has on record how KKY garnered support and won hearts across Sierra Leone and the Diaspora from 2015 throughout the 2018 elections period. He still has the support of multitudinous loyal supporters and those across the political aisles who support his proposed political alliance. Thus, his support in 2023 will increase favorably.
The formation of his NGC Party in 2017 was a collaborative effort of progressives who saw the need to provide Sierra Leoneans an alternative to the political options that were available then. After helping the NGC gain eminence, finishing third in the presidential elections, and electing four MPs, including himself, KKY led in Parliament a united team and served his constituents with sincerity. To keep the new, third party afloat and pertinent in opposition, KKY shouldered the weight of the party’s many needs with other leaders. His consistency of leadership and support to his party has afforded him the respect and lifetime friendship with leaders like Dr. Dennis Bright, Amb. Alie Bangura, and the NGC North America Chairman—Alpha Omar Jabbie, among many others. Time will reveal the truth of the abovementioned facts.
Dr. Yumkella’s timing to form a political alliance is impeccable, because Sierra Leone needs an inclusive government now than ever before and of the opportunities presented to him by President Julius Maada Bio and other leaders. President Bio’s decision to encourage Dr. Yumkella to work with him was a noble act, patriotic, and timely. That memorable event in Kychom was a symbol of renewed hope for the nation; it taught us the importance of honoring each other with respect no matter our indifferences. President Bio further demonstrated his brotherly love for & genuine outreach to Dr. Yumkella by standing with him as Chief Mourner to grief for & celebrate the well-lived life of his late wife, Philomena (Aunty Philo).
Before the President’s “country first” gesture, Dr. Yumkella encouraged and supported the collaboration of opposition parties, which led CoPPP leaders to acknowledge him as a formidable trailblazer. Dr. Yumkella’s recognition of CoPPP gave more hope to supporters of the largest political party in that group than its own leadership could provide them since April 2018. It is a known fact that the said party would have been jubilating if KKY had decided to form an alliance with it. So, Sierra Leone understands the cause of frustration that is affecting the scrawled writer.
Dr. Yumkella was correct when he pointed out that ethno-regional politics have influence over the outcome of Sierra Leone elections. He also spoke truth by saying that APC leaders in the past had failed Sierra Leone, and SLPP could have done more for the citizens. But even then, Yumkella recognized that no one party or individual can fix Sierra Leone, hence his consistent call for an inclusive government. Besides, we cannot achieve diversity by alienating those who uphold ethno-regionalism, but rather by challenging the status quo and leading an inclusive change. Dr. Yumkella’s call for Sierra Leoneans to forgive each other for endured political injuries is not only a demonstration of exemplary leadership, it is what our country needs at this time and aligns with Alhaji Yumkella’s religious and political beliefs.
Finally, political maturity is having the understanding that no one was born green or red; we are all Sierra Leoneans who are challenged with the enemies of poverty, ethno-regional politics, illiteracy, and underdevelopment. As a youthful and independent thinker, Dr. Yumkella will continue to make decisions that benefit Sierra Leone first and foremost and promote his Salon Fos ideology.