The nine man committee set up by the All Peoples Congress has had its inaugural meeting and has already set its course on a series of engagements and fact finding activities to map out its mandate but it seems that they would have their work cut out by the emerging situation within the Party, the increasing level of disenchantment within Party ranks and the need to consolidate the Party’s support base to defend its activists from intimidation and unwarranted oppression from the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party led government.
Although this committee, chaired by Dr Abdulai O Conteh is required to look at some of the issues raised by the failure of the Party at the last Presidential elections in addition to examining some of the tactical issues faced by the Party with respect to its internal structures and its constitution, the level of external factors that are now restraining the Party from performing as cohesively as it must be doing could also well come into play as rationale for a more widespread review of the state of the Party going forwards.
DR. ABDULAI CONTEH
The Nine man committee shows some innovative thinking from the Party hierarchy and most observers believe that its set up has come about due to the rumblings that are coming from various quarters that unless the Party is seen to be doing something practical about this unfortunate loss in a general elections then a wholesale implosion was conceivable. In the event, the National Secretary General Ambassador Alhaji Osman Yansanneh took the bold decision to push for this committee to be approved by the NAC to look into some of the intractable issues that have come out of the Party’s performance at the last elections.
There is no doubt that while an increasing number of young political activists within the Party are pushing for a complete capitulation of the entire hierarchy on the grounds that they have served their time and are now seeming to act as if they are too old to be innovative, the moderates in the Party are heeding caution on the grounds that it would be nonsensical to throw the baby away with the bath water. In the event, the composition of the Nine man committee is assured to provide a balanced report of the findings with the inclusion of firebrands such as Dr Abdulai Conteh, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a well-respected member of the Party over the period and Winstanley Johnson, a former Mayor of Freetown who has always been one to stand out from the crowd in airing his views.
What many want to see from this committee is for them to reach a wide spectrum of the Party to ascertain the reasons for the dismal performance in the elections including the Presidential elections which saw power being transferred to Julius Maada Bio, Brig, Rtd, even though the APC won majority of the Parliamentary and Council seats including Mayors and Chairmen of Councils. It is not expected that the Committee would account for the actions of others but it is hoped that the Committee would comment on the level of preparedness that saw the APC lose ground so swiftly in an election that clearly was on the Party’s side to win.
The report of the Nine-man committee is expected to feed into the NACs decisions on ways forward in restructuring the Party and getting it prepared to fight .the next elections in 2023. No doubt at a national convention of the Party to be called, this report will also feature significantly in the way the next Chairman and Party Leader is deliberated upon and chosen. In this regard, it is significant that all stakeholder, interest groups and reform orientated groups submit their own position statements of policy recommendations to this committee so that it could take on board all of such submissions in its final report.
The Committee meets regularly and can be contacted via the National Secretary General’s office at the APC Party Headquarters in Freetown.