Putting aside his middle name Bai which means chief
in the Temne language, if only supporters of President E. B. Koroma knew the
his first name, they will say it is proof that God wants him to stay
in office for more than his constitutionally mandated two terms.
According to the Dictionary
of First Names by Kate Hanks, Patricia Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges, the
name Ernest comes from eornost, an
Old High German word which means, "serious business, battle to death." George I
of England, a monarch of German origin is credited with introducing the name to
the British Isles in the 18th century. The name has been associated
with the adjective earnest which
means "showing determination, sincerity and seriousness." Sheknows.com writes
that people named Ernest tend to be "compassionate, passionate, intuitive,
romantic.... and chose professions where they can serve humanity."
The most famous bearer of the name is Ernest
Hemingway, the American writer. But Oscar Wilde, the Irish novelist, playwright
and poet also wrote, "The Importance of
Being Earnest" a play based on the name in which a character says, "There
is something in that name that seems to inspire absolute confidence. I pity any
poor woman whose husband is not called Ernest."
Will he or won't he? With a first and middle name that
imply a man in charge, jittery civil society organizations have called upon President
Koroma to repudiate a plea from his party's youth wing to run for a third term.
The president's silence has pushed Social Media into overdrive and prompted suspicious
Sierra Leoneans to brush aside his last pronouncements on the issue.
But President Koroma is on record thanking Sierra
Leoneans for giving him the opportunity to serve a second term and renouncing
any third term ambitions. In 2010-11 when indicted former Ivorian President
Laurent Gbagbo refused to relinquish power, President Koroma was among the African
leaders then believed to have the democratic bona fides to negotiate a way out
of the political crisis. Finally, his September 29 speech at the UN General
Assembly included the words "accountable and democratic governance."
Will he or won't he? The man has said he won't, take
his word for it. Now go worry about food, healthcare and education for Sierra