By Sanpha Sesay
The Texas Chief
Atlanta, USA; March 20, 2017. Seven months since the elections in New Jersey on August 13, 2016, the APC-USA branch has finally inaugurated the Chairman, Mr. Unisa Ibrahim Bakar Kanu for a two year term of office at Ramada Plaza hotel in Atlanta Georgia.
At midnight on March 18, Mr. Unisa Kanu and his Executive raises their right hands, and made one of the most important promises of their lives to uphold the constitution of the All People’s Congress APC party branch in the United States of America.
THE APC-USA EXECUTIVE IS INDUCTED INTO OFFICE
The outgoing Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Sanpha Kamara conducted the swearing in ceremony at a very diverse party tribal crowd. “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the Chairman in APC-US, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the APC party” Chairman Unisa Kanu and the Executive took oath before the outgoing Chairman.
THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER HON. NANNETTE THOMAS
With those words, the new Executive will officially begin their term of office in the 5th Branch of the APC-USA, formerly known as APC-North America. Then the new Chairman will follow in the footsteps of past Chairmen and executive his duty as solemnly promised. Fifteen chapter presidents and their delegations witness the inaugural ceremony.
The inaugural event has a wide-ranging and rich array of speeches. The guest speaker, the Minister of Political and Public Affairs (MPPA), Honorable Nanette Thomas spoke about the “power of women in political transformation”.
THE APC-USA EXECUTIVE
As party members eagerly waited for the guest speaker MPPA to make her grand entrance in the Jazzy’s Jay Banquette hall in Atlanta, Ms. Nanette Thomas proudly marched straight to the hallway dancing in favorite melody feeling high distinction with a mixed emotion of excitement and profound gratitude for the honor. It was one of her happy-ever-after moment Nanette Thomas saw hundreds of guests waiting for her to deliver her speech.
THE APC DALLAS CHAPTER
After chanting the APC slogan, Ms. Thomas started her speech by stating that the universal declaration of Human Rights provides that equal access of men and women to power, decision making, and leadership at all levels is a necessary precondition for the proper functioning of democracy. She proudly asserted that Sierra Leone is doing immensely well in the areas of women in political transformation.
Honorary Consul General of Texas Mr. Patrick Jackson
Despite that Sierra Leone was not excluded in the myth of women been marginalized in the past decades, but for the past nine years under the leadership of President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, “we have witnessed a rapid escalation in female representation”. The increase in number of women to participate in the legislative organ of government, cabinet, and many other important institutions has been realized in president Koroma’s tenure, she said. “Today, women in Sierra Leone have been able to run for public office in growing numbers and have reached an average of 20% of seats in the House of Parliament.
The Minister further stated that the government has enhanced educational opportunities for girls and women. Hence, the improvement in women’s education in most parts of Sierra Leone has led to the emergence of a larger group of proficient women who are in position to compete with men for political power in various level of governance.
Mrs. Thomas recalled and shares her experience to her audience when she used to live in the United States for several years and advised women move forward in acquiring knowledge, adding that a nation’s brilliance and ability to prosper is directly dependent upon its people’s education. By the lesson she learned, the MPPA added that in spite of whatever position you hold you have an obligation to help others to rise, and as put it, “all of us in positions of power have the obligation to pull up others”, she advised.
In his inaugural address, the new Chairman of APC-USA branch, Mr. Unisa Kanu solemnly promised that his administration will set a framework to move forward with the branch on the path of peace and unity. Some of the highlights of 2016 including the successful change in leadership which was peacefully conducted through elections, reviewing the by-laws, and fundraising drive are strides we will continue to uphold, he said.
The Chairman reflected on the keynote speaker’s speech about women empowerment and said that president Koroma has been a role model in highlighting the role of women in governance. He therefore asked the APC women to be steadfast in their responsibilities to build a strong union and improve their capacities. He noted that there is no more time to wait in improving the women community here and at home.
Chairman Unisa appealed to the branch membership to work with him in a consensus and collaboration way to achieve the branch cohesive goals. The responsibilities of the chapter presidents cannot be overstated and it is only the chapters in the various cities across the states that can break the branch’s efficiency to uphold the APC party values, he went on.
One of our priorities is to identify and understand fundamental shared mechanisms and a common pathway that will lead our party back to power in 2018, Chairman continued. He paid homage to especially members who are actively involved in fundraising activities which he believe is the main goal for the branch.
The new APC-USA Chairma holds a Master’s of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Cyber engineering and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He is currently working as a cyber-security engineer at Ricoh Technologies in Atlanta Georgia.
Other dignitaries attended the inauguration were the APC party flag bear contender, Mr. John Bono Sesay, and the Honorary Consul General of the state of Texas and the surrounding states, Mr. Patrick Jackson.
Reframing from campaigning in his political ambition, the special guest of the occasion, Mr. John Bono Sesay made a brief statement focusing on advising people to register for voting. He said that he came to the inauguration based on invitation made by the branch and as a member of the All People’s Congress party.
The aspirant warned of consequence of not registering to vote cited the United States when most of immigrants will not realize their ambitions for losing the elections to a party that they were not opted for. “We want 70% victory in all the branches of the party in the 2018 elections” to ascertain overwhelming victory.
Mr. John Sesay is a political legend aspiring to become the next president of Sierra Leone was warmly welcomed when his name was announced for his presence. His arrival in the hall gave pleasure to so many of his supporters. He sat quietly on his Grand-Chief-Patron and attentively listening to the speeches and observing the inaugural ceremony.
The many visiting dignitaries in the event brought about many questions regarding protocol and procedure of inviting party stake holders. In an interview with the Chairman Unisa Kaqnu, he confirmed to me that all aspirants were invited, but only two, Mr. John B. Sesay and Mr. Joseph F. Kamara responded. Mr. Joseph Kamara could not attend because of his busy schedule as the Attorney General of the country. Mr. John Sesay, despite his busy schedule prioritizes the inauguration to be there and hook-up with members of the party.
All along it has really been a herculean task for the election management body of APC-USA in America as it navigates its way to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections which outcome will be accepted by the majority of the branch membership. The party Headquarters sent powerful delegates to conduct the elections and sealed it with no outcry.
Stay tuned for an interview with Mr. John Bono Sesay