By Hassan Bruz
Northern Bureau Chief
I wonder whether there could be a better way of dispelling the aspersions often entertained by dissenters that, there is a pending disaster for the All Peoples Congress [APC] Party in the forthcoming General Elections than what has so far been demonstrated by the Oversight Committee deployed to conduct the Party’s Constituency Conventions in the Northern District of Port Loko. The Team which is being headed by Hon. Leonard Balongun Koroma, immensely demonstrated the capability to resolve rancour amongst Party Members and cordially forge ahead for the common good of the Party.
The Team comprised Comrade Alusine Sesay of the Youth wing, Comrade Ibrahim Sobonekeh Sesay representing the Veterans, Hon. Akhmed Femi Sesay – Deputy Political Affairs Minister, Madam Yabom Sesay of the Women’s wing, Comrade Mohamed Sheku Deen –Rogers and Madam Alice Koroma Esq. who is serving as the Legal Adviser. It has Co-opted the Regional Chairman of the Party- Hon Alhajie Buya Kamara, the APC District Chairman in Port Loko-Hon. Benneh Bangura and Comrade Ahmid Munirr Fofana- the Port Loko District Council Chairman. The Mandate of this Committee as in the case of all the other Teams deployed in the various Districts and Regions, is charged with the responsibility to dissolve the former Executive Bodies of the Party at the respective Constituencies and establish new ones as prescribed by the Constitution of the All Peoples Congress Party.
Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma’s Team is to conduct the formation of Executive Bodies in a total of 10 Constituencies including the newly established ones such as Constituency 069 at Gberay Junction and 072 at Songo. The process is slated for 3 days starting Friday 22nd. September 2017. There has been a massive turnout of Party Members, Supporters, onlookers and Aspirants with all sorts of traditional and cultural dances. But the address of the Team Leader and the respective speakers is almost the same in all the places so far visited apart from Constituency 071, where the conduct of the process has been shifted to Sunday 24th. September 2017. This is as a result of the clumsiness of the organisers who wanted the venue to be relocated to Kontha- Line instead of Masimera Town.
As outlined by Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma, the Team is mandated to conduct this Process in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the APC Party which provides the option for Election or Selection. He underscored the importance of the pending general elections which he said is transitional. The Team Leader further stressed the need for them to continue to unite which he noted is the sure way through for the Party to continue in governance. Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma explained the mandate of his Team to either elect or select executive bodies but that there should be consultation in the case of Selection. He said even though the Majority is bound to carry the vote, the views of the minority also counts a lot.
Several other speakers including Hon. Alhaji Buya Kamara, Hon. Benneh Bangura and Governor Ahmid Munirr Fofana catalogued some of the successes of the Leader and Chairman of the APC Party – President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. They made a particular mention of their desire for them to continue to have him as President of this Country if it were not for the dictates of the Law. While praying for his successor to emulate his good examples and have the interest of the people of this country at heart, they noted that some people might have been displeased in one way or the other by Party. The Speakers in their separate contributions therefore apologised for any form of mistreatment they might have undergone in the Party and prevailed on all to remain united.
At Gberay Junction where the process started in earnest, all those aspiring to become Members of Parliament for Constituency 069 were granted the opportunity to confer and come up with a list of names of people they would like to serve in their executive body. Even though there were a few grumblings here and there, they were able to come up with a list that reflects the wish of the majority of members.The situation was much tenser at Songo where the Aspirants emerged with uncontrollable groups of followers. The Local Court Barray which was used as venue for the meeting was jam-packed. It took the Oversight Committee a couple of hours before the meeting could commence. The Organisers were not able to provide any reliable form of public address system in spite the money the Committee had disbursed. The situation was comparatively better at Masiaka where a prepared list of names was simply submitted to the Team. But the Team was so careful that it demanded an explanation on how it was developed.
According to Mr. Chernor Ojuku Sesay who doubled as one of the Aspirants for that Constituency, it was developed after thorough consultations. Mustapha Sankoh and Abu Bakarr Kamara were members of the former executive of the APC Party in Masiaka. They expressed dissatisfaction and claimed to have been marginalised. Each was allowed to press home his feeling after which the Leader of the Oversight Committee appeased them by asking that they be absorbed as Advisers to the new Executive. One of the issues that have clearly surfaced in all the places so far visited is that this is a no nonsense Team. The fact that it postponed the conduct of the elections at Masimera is an indication that it cannot be cheaply influenced by the incumbent members of Parliament who are rumoured to have prepared a handpicked names of members perceived to be loyal to them.
Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma and Team will this morning proceed to Constituencies 074 in Petifu Lokomasama, 076 and 077 both in Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom. Below are photos obtained at the various locations of Gberay Junction, Songo and Maiaka to help you visualise the process…..