John Baimba Sesay
The undemocratic and forceful removal of the All People’s Congress from governance by some childish military boys in the 1990s made it difficult for the party to regain her past glory for years but for the leadership of President Ernest Bai Koroma who succeeded in repositioning the party and giving it a new face with a different image.
Since early 2000 to date, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has successfully and strategically positioned the APC to the point that with its apparent performance in governance, it now has the potential of wining the hearts and minds of the people. Politically, therefore, President Ernest Bai Koroma should be commended for taking the party to its present state of affairs, being in governance and defeating a ruling party and wining elections twice in a row.
But without party discipline, it will become a different ball game altogether. It is only when discipline is ensured from within, that unity can be achieved, thus better strategies worked on which will subsequently lead to continuity in governance.
VICE-PRESIDENT SAM SUMANA
Unlike other parties, the governing APC stands on high moral grounds, when it comes to maintaining internal discipline and this is one strong foundation upon which it is built. The recent decision by the National Advisory Council (NAC) in expelling a number of party members and reprimanding some could be seen as a display of strengthening the very foundation upon which the growth of the party is built- internal discipline.
A news release issued by the party’s chief of administration, Ambassador Osman Yansaneh, clearly indicates, the decisions were taken in tandem with the dictates of the 1995 party constitution, which should and must be respected.
According to Ambassador Yansaneh, for “over a period of three months, the Committee extensively interviewed and also received audio-visual evidence from complainants, accused and witnesses to back up the process…” In my view, the National Advisory Council only interpreted the party’s laws as prescribed in the 1995 constitution and implemented decisions taken. Loyalty is vital and for the APC, as one of its strength is loyalty of its membership. The things that bind the party together are greater than those that may be seen to bring people apart. And there is no way the party’s leadership can be undermined.
President Koroma, who is Leader and Chairman of the party, has wisely and prudently managed its affairs for years and he knows what is best for the party. If he had not had wanted the Vice President, there was no way he could have put him under his ticket for the presidential elections. What should be known also is that managing the affairs of state totally rests on the shoulders of the president and whatever decisions taken by the APC NAC should and must be respected for it knows best its internal challenges. This purely is an internal party matter. Those crying wolves from the opposition should not mourn more than the bereaved. The APC is an institution that has laid down rules and procedures.
From the president’s drive for a better Sierra Leone in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, in capacity building, amongst others, it is evident that there is much strength in the party, just as its unity in taking decisions for her very growth. The strength of the APC has always been its ability to handle internal challenges well and at the same time providing the required national leadership in moving the country to the apex of socio-economic development. And this is where the leadership of President Koroma should be applauded. Party discipline can help foster hope for the party’s current generation of leaders to come.