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Re-echoing Mr. President: ...”APC is a Family” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sayoh Kamara   
Thursday, 30 March 2017 22:09

When a Chairman and Leader of a grass root political party or any organisation has his or her wits about him or her, it helps that political party or organisation to blossom and continue to bury its roots deep down; for it is people who form and make these parties and organisations.

This was exactly what President Ernest Bai Koroma, Chairman and Leader of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party, the Fountain of Honour and Grand Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Sierra Leone, exemplified in his keynote and opening statement at the just concluded conference of the APC National Youth League in Port Loko Town. If there is any moment I would have to remember Mr. President, it would be what he said and how he said what he said at this all important assemblage of the party’s youths. He positioned himself as a unifier and one who upholds in very strong terms, the tradition of one of Africa’s oldest political parties.

Among several sensitive and very crucial statements made on several thematic issues that day, was his clarification on rumours, bickering and rhetoric about how old one should be in the APC to qualify to contest for any elected position within the party. He said the APC is a “a family” and as long as one is registered and is fully paid up, that individual has the right to contest for any position in the party regardless of whether the individual was registered yesterday or last year. This certainly has cleared what seemed to be an orchestration by certain people or group of people to eliminate some of their own by making them appear too new and too young in the party to contest for any elective/selective position in the party, least, the position of flag bearer.

But President Koroma showed his magnanimity once again, by stating that all are equal in the party of their fathers to run for or express interest for any position, for as long as one is a bonafide member and he or she is fully paid up. This proved him once again as a democrat and a liberal politician who believes in performance rather than sheer rhetoric and political manoeuvring and that in any case, the will of the people should prevail to determine what is right in the interest of the party.

The definitive description of the APC party as “a family” bares the hallmark of the Chairman and Leader’s inclusivity and attachment to the ideal of inclusiveness rather than the so-called exclusivity preached by certain segments of the party’s old school. By that description, Chairman Koroma has opened the gates widely for people from all over the country, regardless of their tribe, regardless of earlier political association, regardless of their place of origin, to come to the APC. I must state in categorical terms that the APC before this historical declaration, like its main opponent, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was considered especially by minority tribal groups as too ethnocentric; with one or two ethnic groups claiming total ownership of them. Chairman Ernest Bai Koroma has therefore demystified that myth and it is now left with party members, who have love and belief in the Chairman, to practicalize this declaration. My belief and the belief of many Sierra Leoneans from minority ethnic groups before now was that they have not been given space within the party’s national structure or opportunities in the top echelon of the party.

People have argued and debated in ghettos, ‘poyo’ bars, night clubs, restaurants, and in ‘poda-poda’ transports, about whether the APC is a Temne or Limba party. Many have argued against that notion and many have equally supported the notion. Before the advent of President Ernest Bai Koroma and his ideology of the ‘New APC’ which gave it clout to woo local and international support enough to grab power from the incumbent SLPP government, the APC was undoubtedly a Temne and Limba party.

Even though it still remains a mystery as to which tribe the late President Siaka Stevens truly belonged, the presence of the late Sorie Ibrahim Koroma (S.I. Koroma) and the late Christian Alusine Kamara-Taylor, who were longstanding First and Second Vice Presidents respectively since the country was turned into a one party state in 1977, the Temnes and the Limbas took claim of the party and asserted their political authority over it. National Executive positions at all levels were virtually shared amongst peoples of these two tribes. That is how the ‘Orgeh’ and ‘Mathorma’ societies became tools of identity to the APC. Between 1980 and 1985, almost every single individual in the APC was either a member of the ‘Orgeh’ or ‘Mathorma’ society and you are either associated with the Temne or the Limba ethnic group. This became the case because over time, it was an accepted norm that only peoples of these two ethnic groups were true-blooded and loyalists of the APC. It was against this background that the late Serry Kamal in about 2002, when Yours Truly had elicited from President Ernest Bai Koroma his desire to run for the flag bearer in the APC had reacted, “Only true-blooded APC will lead the APC”.

Chairman Koroma’s declaration therefore is no mistake. It is a deliberate move to open up the APC party as a national entity and not a secret society that is open only to a selected few. This example, I believe, should be applied by all political parties in this country, be it the SLPP, the PMDC, the PDP, the NDA, ADP, etc. This is also important to those political parties that are formed around individuals and or with tribal inclinations.

The APC National Youth League by all indications appears to understand the direction in which their leader is looking and they resoundingly reaffirmed their support for him by endorsing his continuity as Chairman and Leader of the party for life. The APC in this 21st  Century needs a leadership that collectively believes in inclusiveness and tolerance. That leadership must be equally firm in ensuring that inclusiveness is not cosmetic but a reality where every citizen, irrespective of ethnicity or region, can just become a member of the APC and he or she is not condemned to being an underdog just because he or she comes from a minority tribe or comes from a region that has been branded otherwise.

A political party historically based on marginalizing other ethnic groups or a political party in which sections of its members think that they own the party, as was true for the APC some decades ago, when one or two ethnic groups exerted dominance and ownership of the party, is doomed to die out. It will just be a matter of time. At least in the last nine years, we have seen a dramatic shift in that awful political paradigm. We now see members of minority groups like the Kissis, Konos, Krios, Kurankos, Sherbros, etc registering as members of the APC and are considered for very important positions in its government. This trend also needs to be replicated in the National Executive and the various organs of the party including the NAC, the Women’s Congress and the Youth League. This can be one of President Ernest Bai Koroma’s notable legacies. But if anyone finds it hard to accept that fact, then you are not Sierra Leonean at all because it shows you don’t know your country.

Mr. President actually needs to live on to entrench his philosophy of inclusiveness and to certainly make the APC, in the eyes of Sierra Leoneans, a family. In a family, all are bound to be equal-even the baby that is just born to the parents automatically becomes a bonafide member. To literarily paraphrase what Mr. President told his trusted, competent, proactive and vigilant youths at their recently concluded National Conference: The APC is a family.

Whether someone registers as a member today, or yesterday or last year, he or she is a member and as long as he or she is qualified according to the party’s constitution, that individual has the right to contest for any position within the party. Indeed Mr. President you are not mistaken. You are on the right trajectory of political inclusiveness. A political party, a national institution, should not be seen as under the stranglehold of any individual, or group of individuals whose interests might not be in the collective national interest. Members should feel they are part of the party at all levels. The APC is a family and that is what President Ernest Bai Koroma wants to be ingrained by all and sundry.



Press Release : IPRA 2016 Conference Successfully Concludes

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development ‘in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.  


Business News


The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.


Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.


View Point


Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.


News - Press Release

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.


Society -Local News

250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 



30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.



News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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