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“Why We Lost 2018 Elections To SLPP” – APC Committee Releases Report

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After the 2018 multi-tier elections in Sierra Leone that saw the All People’s Congress Party (APC) lose the presidential election to the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), some APC members formed the National Reformation Movement (NRM), to look into the reasons why APC lost the election.

On Saturday 15th September 2018, the NRM released their findings at the SLAJ Headquarters on Campbell Street in Freetown. Key amongst their findings was that “arrogance, greed and selfishness of their party leaders” caused their defeat.

The report states that all of the districts criticised their Party leaders for being arrogant, greedy and selfish.

The report also highlighted the poor campaign coordination from national to zone levels. The APC originally set up a 9-man committee to examine the election results, campaign and approach to the 2018 election. That Committee failed to submit a report by the promised deadline.

According to the Chair of the launching event, Osman Bilal Kamara, “As young people in the Party we have the right to look back and figure out the reasons why we lost to the SLPP.” He noted that as young people they are pushing for constitutional amendments in the party, especially the clauses that have to do with selection and terms of service in the party.

He said “The APC is everybody’s Party and no one individual or set of people must be allowed to hold the Party to ransom. The selection clause in the APC 1995 Constitution has been abused by the Party hierarchy. The youth league and the women’s wing were not doing anything to push the Party forward.” Kamara said the APC Constitution has no term limits much like a dictatorship party.

“As a result of that we are challenging the Party leadership for the right thing to be done and also for them to separate the position of the Party Chair and that of the flag-bearer. We are calling for fair play. The youth and grassroots of the Party have been side-lined for years by a selected few and they are the ones doing the dirty jobs.”

The former Minister of Sport, Paul Kamara, said both the youth and grassroots members did not benefit from the Party.

“The APC is not tolerant to opposition and we have never practiced democracy,” he said. He said the Party failed to create consciousness among the youth and the grassroots of the Party. He stressed that the history of the Party needs to be rewritten in order to tell the truth. “Within our selves we are creating a division. There is no wrong to question the party leadership.”

Kamara said it is impossible for the party to return into governance in 2023 with such a division. According to the Communication Officer of NRM, Alfred Payamba Koroma, democracy is a process of participation. He added that everybody’s voice must be heard in the Party whenever they want to take decisions. He said the report is based on feedback from APC supporters around the globe and across the country.

The information was gathered through observation and questionnaires. But, Koroma did not disclose how many interviews or surveys were completed. Koroma said no proper campaign message was designed. There was no respect for the office of other executive members at district level, empowering SLPP people instead of the true APC supporters. The dual citizenship saga; mismanagement of campaign funds and negligence in handling NEC were among the many findings. He said the NRM will not make public the numerous recommendations based on their findings. But, he said, they will submit their recommendations to appropriate Party authorities. He hopes actions will be taken.

The editor of the APC newspaper, “We Yone Newspaper”, Winston Ojukutu Macauley, said the paper has not been published for the past four months due to funding. He said that it is disgraceful that after only six months out of power they can’t afford to publish their Party newspaper, especially after 10-years in power.

In the 2018 elections, former President Ernest Koroma was the Party Leader and Chair. Samura Kamara was the APC Presidential candidate with Chernor Bah, now Deputy Speaker of Parliament, as his running mate. Osman Foday Yansaneh is the Secretary General of APC. Balogun Koroma was the campaign coordinator. John Sesay helped organize the APC campaign.

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