By KABS KANU :
Another week ended in Sierra Leone today with the country and the diaspora still enveloped in tense suspense over the best kept secret in the nation-the identity of President Ernest Koroma’s likely successor and the presidential flag bearer of the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) for the March 7, 2018 elections.
With the presidential hopefuls consulting among themselves about whom they consider the most qualified candidate among them in accordance with APC method of electing or selecting candidates and the National Advisory Council ( NAC ) busy holding meetings with them and President Koroma while the party’s district elections are going on, it was expected that by now at least the secret about whom the APC has in mind would have leaked out in a nation where the only secret is the one that has not been told. But going into the last weekend before the party’s all-delegates Convention next week , nobody has any idea who will be the APC Presidential candidate for next year’s elections.
The APC has been a bee- hive of hectic activities during the past three weeks as it held its constituency conventions on Friday August 25-Sunday August 27; district conventions from Saturday September 2-Sunday September 3; and regional conventions this week. The National Women’s Congress , National Youth League and Veteran’s Welfare conventions are being held today and tomorrow.
Tension has been high within APC circles with some fence-sitting stalwarts appealing to the NAC on social media that they continue to count on its expertise and honest recommendations . “Please , una nor pwell we party, do ya we baig”, one of them appealed .
This week also, the aspirants for the presidential flagbeareship have been meeting.
What has been most impressive so far is the spirit of fine fellowship and solidarity among the flagbearers.
Apart from being hosted to dinner by President Koroma , as Chairman of the party , at State Lodge On Thursday 14 September 2017, Madam Diana Konomanyi, the Minister of Lands , who is rumoured to be a favourite for the running mate position, staged another dinner for the aspirants.
But despite all the hobnobbing and fellowship as well as the consultations among them and rumoured NAC meetings, the mystery remains about who will be the flagbearer. Everybody is tight-lipped. Nobody seems to know anything and political observers and supporters can only guess now. Nothing has leaked out. People want to know whom the the mantle of the destiny of our nation could be passed on to next year, assuming that the APC would win. But nobody knows.
The reason the word secrecy being used and it is a factor is the fact that according to the APC constitution, determination of officials or candidates is usually either by elections or selection (After consultations among opponents ). Given this method, the public would think that the aspirants should have by now decided among themselves whom they consider the fittest to lead them to the presidential elections. But either they have still not decided among themselves or Sierra Leone is presiding over the best ever kept secret in the nation.
It looks like the contest may go into elections during the party’s national convention next week. But one of the aspirants, Mr. Alpha Kanu, the former cabinet minister, said publicly last week that the flagbearer may be unveiled before the convention. Will the consultations yield the flagbearer this coming week ? People can only speculate. And so the tension and anxiety continue.
In reality , it is not supposed to be because the party still has a week to go for its national convention where logically the flagbearer would be elected or selected. So for Sierra Leoneans, it looks like they have another whole week to speculate .