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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.



26th IPRA Conference in Sierra Leone Ends on a High Note

The International Peace Research Association (IPRA) successfully held its 26th General Conference on ‘Agenda for Peace and Development: Conflict Prevention, Post-Conflict Transformation, and the Conflict, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Development Debate’ in collaboration with the 10TH Dealing With Disasters Series, Northumbria University (UK)and Sakarya University (Turkey) and  the University of  Sierra Leone at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone from November 27 to 1st December 2016.


Business News


The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Monday 04th December 2017 debated and ratified two additional agreements aimed at improving and expanding Ports facilities in Sierra Leone to be at par with international best practices.

Presenting both Agreements prior to ratification, the Minister of Transport and Aviation, Balogun Koroma said that the additional Agreements are geared towards addressing some of the concerns raised by MPs, in respect of expanding our Ports facilities to accommodate larger vessels, and the issuance of license with the view of combating money laundering, contra-band goods, and attracting more funds for Government.

Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai, Minority Leader of the House, also supported the ratification of the two Agreements, saying if our Ports are not developed, we would not be able to attract huge vessels; thus the need for the continuous improvement of our Ports facilities.


Media News

Two veteran Journalists, now in the United States have paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador

Two very respected and veteran Journalists who are in the United States of America for various reasons have called on Sierra Leone’s Amr. Bockari Kortu Stevens not only to appreciate the work of the Embassy, but also to pay courtesy as protocol demands.

Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson, former Lecturer Fourah Bay College, former Director of Information Ministry of Information and Communications, Former Director Sierra Leone News Agency (SLENA), Former Chairman Independent Media Commission (IMC) and stringer French News Agency  etc. is on vacation and Mr. Cyril Juxon Smith Director Information and Communications House of Parliament, former Acting Director General Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) and former UNESCO Media Consultant  is in the United States of America to attend the funeral of his father.

Speaking at the Ambassador’s residence on 4821 Colorado Avenue, Washington DC  Mr. Rod Mac-Johnson said “Thank  you Amr. Stevens for accommodating us in the middle of your tight schedule, and also to discuss with us in a homely spirit.




Your Excellency Sir,

For over a month now, since the ECOWAS Regional Court in Abuja, Nigeria handed down their landmark opinion on the Vice President, Samuel Sam-Sumana’s appeal law suit against his “unconstitutional removal” from power by your APC government, having been legally sanctioned by the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone, I have been taken, both by extreme trepidation and satisfaction, as I continue my reflection. In their ruling, (in resume,) the ECOWAS Courtoverturned” the Sierra Leone Supreme Court’s seemingly “compromised” opinion that saw Mr. Sam Sumana arbitrarily or constitutionally deposed from his position as the duly elected Vice President of Sierra Leone (alongside you,) midway your second presidential tenure in 2015; just after the infamous Ebola viral epidemic devastating scourge on Sierra Leone. The ECOWAS Court ruling therefore “ordered” the immediate reinstatement of the vice president, furthering that all backlog of his remunerations and emoluments be accorded him, from the time he was sacked, to date; along with his claim for damages of U. S. $ 250 million.

Upon the ruling by this higher regional court, I have had to do some very sober reflections and musing over the “political manoeuvres” and intrigues that originally erupted from an internal APC party wrangling that proceeded to the Sierra Leone parliament, and had to eventually culminate into what most objective and independent legal minds considered a “blatant travesty of justice and breach of our constitution.” This ruling also brought a legal embarrassment to the Sierra Leone justice system in the sub region, continent and world over. And whereas I would not want to meddle with the political ramifications and implications of that higher regional court’s “legal opinion,” I would like to briefly examine the moral and economic considerations, as I objectively see them. This then obviously takes me back to my caption question that I would summarize as “Who Pays the ECOWAS Court’s Ruling Charges??”


View Point


Dear Mr. President, events leading to, including the horrible aftermath of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, the twin disasters of mudslide and flooding convey unarguably a fatalistic dose of stress. Worsening is the inflation of basic food stuff and the devaluation of our Leones which has made life very difficult for the average citizens.

Mr. President,stress is increasingly becoming visible in the conduct of most Sierra Leoneans; hence stress is a pressure or worry caused by the problems in somebody's life.

Before 2007 elections, protestation songs by Emmerson Bockarie, Innocent and "Dry yai crew" assumed the role of the opposition parties against the Tejan Kabbah-led SLPP government. Today, public transport cabs/buses, ghettos and the ‘Ataya base’ have now assumed that position in venting out frustrations against your APC led government.


News - Press Release

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation presents AWOL Awards to outgone Minister

(MFAIC Press Office, 4th January, 2018). The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Dr. Kaifala Marah has presented the All Walks Of Life (AWOL) prestigious award of ‘Best Ministry of the Year 2017’  to the outgone Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara at a press conference held at the Ministry’s conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.

In his brief statement before officially handing over the award to the outgone Minister, Dr. Marah gave a brief overview of the introduction of performance contracts in 2014 by His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma that set in motion the process of enhancing and operational mandates in various MDAs. It is against this background that the Ministry was among the five best performing Ministries based on the outcome of the Ministry’s Performance Contract Assessment Report for 2016/17 (Performance Tracking Table – PTT) in the country.

Dr. Kaifala Marah lauded the relentless efforts of Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara, during whose tenure the Ministrydeveloped and articulated, for the first time ever, a comprehensive strategy to guide and re-invigorate the national approach to foreign policy and international cooperation in a rapidly changing global environment.


Society -Local News

Deputy Health Minister leads Seven-man delegation to the Fourth Conference of African Ministers responsible for Civil Registration in Mauritania

A Seven-man delegation led by the Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation 1, Madam Madina Rahman have returned home after attending the Meeting of Experts of the Fourth Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Civil Registration from 4-8 December 2017 in Nouakchott, Mauritania. The theme for the meeting was “Accelerating a coordinated improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for implementation and monitoring of the development agenda in Africa: Review of progress and the way forward”.

The Meeting was attended by representatives from Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Congo, Cote d’ Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Niger, Nigeria, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, the Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.




The Ambassador of the State of Israel to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Chaim Choshen today 4th January 2018 paid a courtesy call on Sierra Leone's Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, His Excellency Ambassador Omrie Michael Golley, at the Sierra Leone Mission in Seoul, the South Korean Capital. 

Ambassador Choshen, who was appointed as Ambassador of Israel to South Korea in August 2016, expressed his appreciation for being warmly received by his Sierra Leonean host and counterpart, and stated that his Government was very keen to expand its relations with Africa, citing the examples of Official Visits in recent months by the Israeli Prime Minister Mr Benjamin Netanyahu to various countries in Africa.

Recounting the recent Official Visit of His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma to Israel, Ambassador Omrie Golley stated that the recent visit of President Koroma underscored the importance that his Government was attaching to expanding Sierra Leone's ties with Israel, particularly in the economic sphere.



It will not be business as usual – Bio assures diaspora

He was passionate, confident and assuring as he addressed hundreds of Sierra Leoneans at the prestigious Royal Regency Hall in London on Saturday 9th December 2017 with a very simple message that as the next President it will not be business as usual.

For a man who has a solid track record as a disciplinarian, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio continues to attract many voters who feel the country needs a strong and disciplined leadership.

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