Charismatic politician, Mr. Alex Mansaray, one of the few men of guts who sacrificed everything under the most daunting odds to form the All People’s Congress (APC) North America Branch at a time when many people did not want to even hear about the party, arrived in the United States last weekend to spend some time with his family . Mr.Mansaray , who lives in Sierra Leone where he is a lucrative businessman, has also undergone his regular physical examination and has been given a clean bill of health by his doctors.
Mr. Mansaray ,who is also one of the administrators of your popular COCORIOKO newspaper, was in bouyant and excited mood when this newspaper caught up with him this afternoon, at Somerset, New Jersey. He was in very high spirits and said he was delighted that after he and a few veterans of the APC established the party’s North American Branch, other stalwarts had taken over the running of the branch and were doing well to concretize the party’s presence in the Continental United States. He said though he did not know many of the members now running the branch he was gratified to know that they were going on with the work of the branch. He advised the members to continue to pull together and eschew all forms of disunity . He said that the detractors of the party were outside the branch and members should concentrate their efforts in defeating them .”When we were there, our fight was with outsiders”, he went on. He commended officials dedicated to the ideals of promoting peace in the branch. He thanked the Minister Plenipotentiary to the United Nations, Hon. Leeroy Wilfred Kabs-Kanu, along with Messrs Ajibu Tejan-Jalloh and Bangalie Sesay for their weekend peace initiatives within the party . He said that was the spirit expected of the party members by the APC leadership and President Ernest Bai Koroma in Freetown.
Mr. Mansaray recalled the formative years of the APC-NA when he , Messrs Alimamy Kargbo , Raymond Kabia and few others decided to establish the branch in America. ”At that time, the coup had taken place in Sierra Leone in 1992 and the NPRC Military junta had muddied the name of the party. Because of the propaganda mounted against the APC by its enemies, including the SLPP, many people did not even want to hear the name APC. We had a very difficult time establishing the branch .People kept telling us that we were fighting a losing battle because we will not get members. Some of our people had left us and joined the SLPP. But we decided that nothing on this earth will force us to abandon the party and join the SLPP ” , he explained.
Alex Mansaray further stated that he and the others fought hard and were finally able to establish a branch of the APC in the United States. He spoke about dauntless efforts made by detractors of the APC to discourage them but they continued to work hard until they had a breakthrough. He stated that during their time they did not receive support here because nobody was certain that the APC will ever return to limelight. “However, despite all the problems we encountered we continued to hope for the best. We continued fighting hard and we respected authority and those holding responsible positions in society . The only way to succeed in politics is to listen to the advice of the wise men and wise women of the party .You can never succeed if you do not respect authority or listen to the wisdom of the wise ones “, he asserted.
Mr .Mansaray also advised that the first thing a member who wants to do well should do is to study the laws and the bylaws in the constitution of the party , which provide guidance about the way to conduct oneself and organize the branch and chapters efficiently and competently. Problems, he postulated , come when the laws and bylaws are not being respected.
PRESIDENT ERNEST KOROMA
About 2012, Mr. Mansaray predicted a landslide victory for President Ernest Bai Koroma. He said that the President has performed above expectation and the people of Sierra Leone will express their gratitude by giving President Koroma his deserved second term. “In fact, this year, President Koroma declared that this is not the year of intent but implementation. This is the year of implementation of the many projects undertaken by government since it came to power ” ,Mansaray continued .He outlined the government’s achievements in restoring electricity and water supply , agriculture , education and infrastructural developments, especially roads. “And the amazing thing is that these developments are not concentrated in one area but spread throughout the country, even the remote areas “, he affirmed. He lauded the President for his efforts to unite the country. “Recently, we went all over the country with President Koroma to present to the people in Pujehun, Kenema, Kono , Kailahun and Bo their sons and daughters who had been appointed as ministers in the government. ” President Koroma , he emphasized, is talking unity, not divisions. “We must all emulate him by promoting tolerance , understanding and unity. We are appealing to members of the branch to be patient with each other and to collaborate with Freetown and President Koroma .”‘
Hon. Alex Mansaray said he can recommend President Koroma to even be the first President of the United States of Africa because he had the ability to rule the whole continent.
About the 50th Independence Anniversary, Hon. Mansaray said he was inviting both Sierra Leoneans and foreign friends and well-wishers to travel to Sierra Leone and join them in the celebrations. “It will be one of the proudest moments of our country and I want to assure you that you will not regret it. The country is safe and we now have light, water , good roads and nice hotels.”
About the future of the country after 50 years of Independence, Mr. Mansaray said that he was confident that the future will be bright. “We have made mistakes during the first 50 years but I am confident that we have learnt our lessons and we will do our best to make the next 50 years more proftable. Though many of us will not be alive to celebrate the 100th Anniversary, our children and grandchildren who will be around will acknowledge that we did well for our country.” He called on all Sierra Leoneans not to underrate the potentials of their country. He said not everybody will receive government appointments and he advised members that they can still make a difference wherever they find themselves. “We must put the love of our party, government and country above our own ”
“We have a President who is ready to work hard and listen to people. We must cooperate with him and work hard and We will surely achieve our goals”, he concluded optimistically.