THE HEART OF THE MATTER
No Third Term
By Idrissa Balogun Tejan
Youths of the All Peoples Congress have called for more time to be given to President Koroma. This call has been misunderstood by critics of the party and some sections of the media who are again at their usual shenanigans to blindfold the wider public to believe President Koroma and the All Peoples Congress are nursing an ambition to extend the current tenure of his presidency beyond 2018.
Let it be made very clear at this onset that this call for more time is not about wanting an extension or extra time or a third term. The issue of a third term or an extra time had long been laid to rest despite several attempts by critics and sections of the media to reawaken the discussion on uncountable number of instances. It had long been laid to rest that President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma will not be seeking a single day beyond his current constitutional mandate and what has been made very clear is that the APC wishes to continue in service to the people by winning future local council, parliamentary and presidential elections in the country.
It has often been said that the APC has no reason to engage in unconventional and unconstitutional methods to continue to stay in governance. Therefore, to paint such a negative picture about a political party proving itself as a political institution that is relevant to the overall wellbeing of the nation and the people and acting in accordance with section 35 of the 1991 constitution is most unfair, to say the least.
This call for more time is not about a third term or an extension of the current tenure. It is an intraparty call for action which borders on how the youths of the party think the party can best manage its transition process taking from lessons learnt from the past to sustain the party in governance.
Managing transition processes in political parties is fundamental. From lessons of the past, the inability of political parties to efficiently manage transition processes has often led to a political party’s failure to win elections, lacking a national character and disintegration. Sierra Leone’s political history is stained with incidents of inefficient management of transition processes in political parties from which a party like the APC will draw experiences to avoid mistakes of the past.
The Peoples Democratic party (PDP), the United National People’s Party (UNPP), and even the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have testimonies of how not to best manage a transition process from which the APC, bearing in mind the experience of the transition process from Siaka Stevens to Joseph Saidu Momoh and the consequences on the party, can draw best practices for an efficient transition process.
The APC has been prudent in managing President Koroma’s transition and the youths of the party are of the conviction the party can continue to best manage the transition process if President Koroma is given more time to continue as the National Chairman and Leader of the party especially so that the 5th December 1995 constitution of the APC does not place a limit on the number of times a member can serve as an elected officer of the party.
This is a call that has been gathering momentum from amongst card carrying members, sympathizers and well wishers of the party.
It has now officially been presented to the rank and file of the party with appeals for consideration from the Women’s Congress, the Veterans, disable wing and all other structures of the party including the National Advisory Committee which is the second highest decision making body of the party. The call will now form part of an agenda for any future meeting of the National Advisory Committee and the upcoming national delegates’ conference in 2016.
This APC style of doing things is what stamps out the party as a battle tested and proven political party which owes its existence in the strength of its structures and is procedural to the letter in the conduct of its activities.
There can be no denial of the fact that the APC is at the crossroad and that any mistake will incur disastrous consequences for the party. The party is indeed at a critical junction in moving forward.
The youth of the party are combining the past and the present for the future of the party. Unlike other political party youths who are being used as instruments of violence, the APC youths are proving themselves as the custodians of the party’s future. And by calling for more time for President Koroma as National Chairman and Leader of the party they are expressing their conviction and faith in the leadership of the man that has committed his government and his continued stay in politics to the service of the youths and young people of this country.
This, unarguably, is the most positive intervention of the National Youth League in shaping the future direction of the party.
This call has now gain the attention of the rank and file of the party and will in the not distance future be discussed by NAC for the ratification and possible adoption at the next national delegates conference.