…Thousands pay homage
December 23, 2016
Like the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, thousands of supporters, sympathisers and well-wishers from across Sierra Leone welcomed Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, Ambassador Alimamy P. Koroma, as he returned to the country for the first time since his ambassadorial appointment to the Asian Giant nation.
A mammoth crowd gathered at Lungi International Airport to welcome Amb. Koroma, thus foretelling a good omen for the erstwhile chief executive of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone and doyen of ecumenical relations as he steps up his bid to lead the ruling All People’s Congress Party (APC) in the 2018 presidential election.
Thousands of supporters from across the country shunned commercial activities to welcome their presidential hopeful, who they believe is the right person to complete a hat trick of wins for the APC in the 2018 presidential election.
The tumultuous welcome for the envoy, who is fondly called ‘Pepito’ by his adoring supporters and well-wishers, has been felt all across Freetown with thousands of supporters putting on T-shirts adorning the affable and charming image of their messiah.
From Lungi to his residence in the west end of Freetown and east of Freetown, thousands have all week wore T-shirts bearing his face, indicative of a groundswell of support spanning years of public life as a local and international peace actor and grassroots politician.
As 2017 beacons, ahead of national delegates’ conference of the APC, if development this week is anything to go by, then it’s pretty clear that the former Works Minister, who speared the construction of massive roads construction and rehabilitation unprecedented in the country’s history, is the natural choice to continue from where President Ernest Koroma leaves.
The current Sierra Leone envoy to China is a consummate politician with years of experience in development, humanitarian assistance and politics. The Njala University alum also has a graduate degree in development from Germany. He became a household in the country and abroad during the civil war, while serving as Secretary-General of the Council Churches in Sierra Leone. He played a pivotal role in negotiations that led to the end of the conflict, and was one of the moral guarantors of the Lome Peace Accord, which brought eleven years of conflict to conclusion, through the Inter-Religious Council, which he helped form.
His hails from Mambolo, Kambia District, but his political base and influence transcend regions, including the southeast, where he has easy name and facial recognition, partly because of the arrow role he played during the war years in the area of humanitarian assistance to thousands of refugees and in negotiating a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
He played a key role in rebranding the APC and together with President Koroma gave a new face of the party in the period leading to the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections.
When the party won the election, he was rewarded with a ministerial position, despite having won a landslide to represent his Mambolo constituency. He first served as Trade Minister before he was moved to Works, where he was instrumental in spearheading unprecedented road construction projects throughout the country, for which he was given an award as ‘Best Minister’.
Although he surprisingly lost his job in late 2013, he remained politically active and loyal to his party, serving as chairman Kambia District, head of campaigns in the district and chair of the mega million project to construct a regional edifice for the ruling in Makeni, until his appointment as Ambassador to China this year.
He has been happily married to Rev. Mrs. Linda Koroma, Deputy Secretary-General of the Mano River Union, with whom he has three adoring children.