John Baimba Sesay
The APC as a political family is set to elect/select a flag bearer, who eventually would lead the Party to victory, come March, 2018. This is a national task, given what the Party’s leadership has done in the last decade or so of state governance. Explicitly, as seen from the turnout of flag bearer aspirants, the Party has got the human resource to manage the country’s state of affairs. All those showing interest in the flagship of the Party have one thing in common; the growth of country firstly, and secondly, a major political interest- wanting the APC to remain in governance.
Time there was, when people would see the APC as no better alternative during partisan politics and national development. Thanks to the incisive leadership of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, all that changed. Not only has the Party been strategically positioned in the country’s political makeup, it has continued to play a major role in the country’s socio-economic development.
Given all these outstanding indictors of a well positioned Party, it should not come as a surprise therefore, that many people have shown interest in wanting to lead it to the next polls. However, one person SHALL emerge as the CHOICE. Others must work closely with whoever emerges as candidate in pursuing the common goal of winning to form the next government.
Ambassador Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh, APC Secretary-General, is a veteran of the Party, one that has played a resounding role in the political survival of the APC.
In a 2016 interview, he told me, “it would be suicidal to give the leadership of our Party to a new member; somebody who just comes to school today, tomorrow he wants to be a Senior Prefect of the school…” For him, such an individual “has to go through some learning process. That is why we are saying only a blue-blooded APC could lead the party to elections.” Dr. Yansaneh further clarified, that a blue-blooded APC should be “somebody who has gone through the rigors of the Party, held responsible positions within the Party structure, and has served the Party diligently.”
Hear him further: “We also mean somebody who is loyal to the party and has deep institutional knowledge of the party and its people. We cannot afford to choose a weak and untested individual. The person has to be battle tested. We in the APC know people who were on the margins when we most needed their support in the trying days of the struggle to salvage our party from the morass in which it had sunk after the NPRC coup.”
President Ernest Bai Koroma, no doubt is still a popular leader. He still enjoys a huge national support. He has a likable character. And he surely will be missed by many. Whoever is elected or selected shall enjoy such support from the President. This is one good advantage the Party and candidate stand to enjoy. Succeeding him therefore should be seen from the viewpoint of believing in his legacy and be ready to continue with it. Not only the need for Party and national appeal, one must also be seen to have institutional memories of the Party and must have sacrificed for the growth and survival of the Party.
The APC has an effective leadership, with robust internal discipline. Discipline is vital to the survival of a political party. Where that is lacking, then the chance of such a political institution to continue to rise are very limited. And unlike other political parties, the APC has always had a unique way of handling internal challenges, thanks to the smart leadership of Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma. Under his watchful eyes as Chairman and Leader, the Party has been strategically positioned, looking at where it was, to where it is today. This effective leadership has today ensured a tranquil and peaceful conduct of the Party’s lower level election/selection processes across the country.
The need for sustained Party unity ahead of the Makeni family meeting and the pending elections cannot be overemphasized more so given what the Party has done over the years and the need to continue with such achievements. In ten years, there has been tremendous progress that the country has witnessed.
In areas of infrastructural growth, International Relations (especially our global role in peace building and in pursuing the Common African Position), sustaining our post war gains and in ensuring national cohesion, a long way we have come. Sustaining those gains would require the APC as a Political institution to work collectively so as to win the pending elections. There is no better way the party’s leadership could be thanked than winning the 2018 elections.
The common good should override the individual interests. This is time to rise above those things that would tend to weaken the very foundation on which the party has been built and nourished over the years. The APC is a national Party that cuts across tribe and region. We should not ignore the outstanding role some people have played in ensuring the Party reaches where it is today.
Forget tribe, forget region, the APC is the overriding force to be pursued. The legacy of the President must be protected, cherished and continued with. The Makeni APC Family meeting is all for the common goal/good!