Calabash_Issue 9 Apr. 2014 - Page 23

culture NRC and restored Stevens to power. One cannot help pointing out here that he was convicted and hanged for plotting against the State in March, 1970 by the man he had restored to power - a victim of his own popularity. 50 Dr Siaka Stevens former president of Sierra Leone 1977 The APC won the general Elections with an overwhelming Majority(APC:74; SLPP:15) and, a year later ,the government adopted a new constitution transforming the country into a One-Party State. All political parties with the exception of the APC were banned. This period is what one Sierra Leonean writer termed ’...the seventeen year plague of locusts’. 1985 Siaka Stevens retired handing over the reins of government to his hand-picked successor, Major General Joseph Saidu Momoh who again amended the Constitution to return the country to a multi-party democracy. 1991 A rag-tag group of fighters with no coherent policy, and calling itself the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)under the leadership of a former army corporal named Foday Sankoh, started attacking and pillaging villages along the S/Leone-Liberian border. Former president Alhaji Ahmed Tejan- Kabba and ex president Maada Bio 1992 Young military officers calling themselves the National Provisional Ruling Council(NPRC) under the leadership of Captain Valentine Strasser staged a coup which drove Momoh into exile in neighbouring Guinea. This group was no more successful than the Momoh regime in halting the rebel incursions or the country’s descent into a failed State. 1996 Jan: president Ahmed Tejan Kabbah declared the rebel war over. In May, he won a five year term in office as an SLPP candidate. 2007 : The Presidential elections held on August 11 saw the candidate of the APC, Ernest Bai Koroma top the polls with 44.3% of the total votes cast ; followed by Solomon Berewa of the SLPP with 38.9% and Charles Margai Following Parliamentary elections in April, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, a Diplomat of 20 years standing ,was elected to head a civilian administration. 1997 The short- lived Kabbah regime was overthrown by Major Johnny Paul Koroma who later invited Foday Sankoh’s RUF to join the Government. 1998 In March, ECOMOG forces ousted the AFRC cabal and reinstated President Kabbah. 1999 The Lome Peace Agreement (in effect a sellout to the RUF) was signed. Sankoh thus became Vice President of a country he’d been doing his utmost to destroy. 2000 Captain Valentine Strasser former president 2002 May: Demonstrations against RUF was met by force and about 20 people lost their lives Consequently, Sankoh and other senior RUF members were arrested and relieved of their positions in the government. In November of that same year, the Abuja Accord was signed to facilitate the process of Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR). President of Sierra Leone Dr Ernest Bai Koroma of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change ( PMDC with13.9%). As this was below the 55% required to carry the first round, a run- off poll was conducted on 17th September which saw Ernest Bai Korma going through with a score of 54.6%. 2012 : Parliamentary and Presidential elections are scheduled for November. Calabash hopes, better still, has no doubt these elections will be free and fair. It is not for nothing that a political analyst and writer referred to Sierra Leoneans as ‘...the world’s most resilient people ‘ you know! Pdc. issue nine | Calabash Magazine | 21