Sierra Leone’s former Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh recently launched a diatribe against his former boss, ex-President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his party, the All People’s Congress (APC).
He went viral on social and traditional media charging his party, the All Peoples Congress is responsible for the political tension in the country because they refused to acknowledge that it is no longer Ernest and APC that are in power but Maada Bio and SLPP.
The controversial politician said he noticed that people are abusing the President every. “I asked what he has done wrong to deserve such treatment.” To cool down the tension in the country, Victor Foh recommended that ex-President Koroma should make a public statement to APC supporters that he is no longer the President but Maada and SLPP.
Calling himself a political graduate prisoner from the Pademba Road Correctional Centre in Freetown, Victor Foh gave a narrative of what he called the APC 2 that emerged after late Joseph Saidu Momoh was overthrown by the Army in 1992, for what he called cogent reasons including the APC government having failed the nation.
Victor Foh dates his narrative to the period between 1995 and 1996 when, he said, the APC was a battered political party with hardly anyone to put it back together. He recounted some of the brave men and women who risked lives and limbs to put the party together.
He named the likes of late SAT Koroma, LB Turay, Sorsor Conteh, Nancy Steele, Bangali Mansaray, SA Fofana, Madam Formeh Kamara, TY Gbondo, DF Shears, Miss Sima Dumbuya, ML Bangura, Dr. Jengo Stevens, William Smith, Dondondo, Mohamed Bangura, Isha Badamsie, Eddie Mohamed Turay, Serry Kamal and Osho Williams who he described as the strong pillars of the party.
At the time, he said, Eddie Turay was National Secretary General and he Victor Foh the Assistant Secretary General, adding that he put together the party’s 1995 Constitution in July that was amended in December in order to meet conditions for registration as a political party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Victor Foh claimed that selflessly, he donated his houses in Freetown, Bo and Kenema that were used as offices by the APC as one of the conditions for qualification for registration by INEC.
In the 1996 national elections, Victor Foh said Eddie Turay was the APC presidential candidate and he his running-mate, adding that five of them won seats that qualified APC to be a party in Parliament. They were Eddie Turay, himself, Dr. Jengo Stevens, Fillie Faboi and Serry Kamal.
At this crucial period in the history of APC, Victor Foh said all those shouting now calling themselves APC Forum were not there, including, he said, Ernest who was then in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP-Sorbeh).
“It was not easy,” he said. “I was very vocal in Parliament. I defended APC at the detriment of my life as we tried to put APC together.” Thus, he said: “I am not a stranger to APC. I love APC but I love Sierra Leone more than APC. I love Ernest very much but I believe I love Sierra Leone more than Ernest.”
Victor Foh accuses Ernest of not only shaking APC but also the country’s peace. “That is why I am talking,” he said. He therefore called on Ernest to stand on a platform and tell the nation that APC lost the presidential run-off election and that Bio won, and that Ernest is not the President but Bio,” emphasizing that, “Bio is President for all political parties.”
“I am still APC,” Victor Foh clarified. “I just wrote that I am retired, I didn’t say I resigned. What I am saying is not to please or hurt anybody but to ease the tension. Abusing the President is wrong. Let us give him his respect. I am still appealing to my former boss (Ernest) not to go into active politics as he is doing, he is inviting trouble for himself and every Sierra Leonean. “Only one person is above the law – the sitting President. Everybody is below the law, Ernest is under the law. I am only telling him the truth, he is not the President, Maada Bio is the President. What has Maada done that is bad?” he asked.
Victor Foh went on to give his opinion about the coming Commissions of Inquiry. He stated: “There are many people in other parties that served in the APC government. If you do not want to be held accountable, do not hold public office. I have no problem with accountability. President Koroma told the nation he would run the country as a business. The business belongs to the people of Sierra Leone who now call for account. The government is doing right to ask us to account. If you know you were given Le10 million and used only Le2 million and pocketed the rest you should be ready to give account.”
He cited that in 2009, former President Koroma gave his assent to the Public Financial Management Act that gave fiduciary control of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to Ministers. “I am ready to defend myself. If anybody says Victor Foh did anything wrong let them come forward with the proof. When called and you refuse to go, the Commissioners know what to do. Obey the law. Let us give chance to SLPP to rule the country,” he admonished.
On the tense political situation in the country, Victor said: “Wahala! Wahala! Wahala! I want peace, Sierra Leoneans want peace. We should be together; we are not enemies although we are political protagonists. I am a law abiding citizen, I don’t challenge the law. I am talking to bring peace.”
APC, he said, is not a “gbos-gbos party. That is not correct.” He therefore called on APC not to destroy democracy by being law abiding and using the courts to express their grievances. “Treason is fearful. I beg my people – let us respect the law,” he concluded.