Erstwhile Vice President Chief Alhaji Sam-Sumana is reportedly facing a dilemma as his aspiration to become the 2023 presidential flagbearer of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) hit the rock following the recent approval of the new draft constitution of the party.

The newly approved APC Constitution, which has 8 Chapters and 87 Articles, replaced the 1995 Constitution, stating new criteria for party membership, especially for members that want to run for executive positions within the party structures, such as presidential flagbearer.

One of the notable party members that want to vie for the flagbearer position is former Vice President Sam-Sumana, who was expelled from the party in 2015 during the Ebola outbreak in the country.

The erstwhile Vice President however formed a political party ahead of the 2018 national elections called Coalition for Change (C4C). The party swept the preliminary polls in his home district of Kono with only one Constituency won by the APC.

In a twist of turn, Chief Sam-Sumana resigned from the party he had formed and replied for reinstatement in the APC.

With his pending membership issue yet to be resolved by the APC National Delegates Conference, which is the highest body of the party, it is likely that the erstwhile Vice President will not meet the eligibility criteria stipulated in the new APC Constitution.

In an interview with a local medium yesterday morning, the APC Acting National Publicity Secretary, Sidi Yayah Tunis said the new constitution stipulates that when someone is expelled from the party and that person applies to be accepted in the party again, he/she will only be accepted as a new member.

Clearly, if the new constitution is finally gazetted by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and approved after no objection, the former Vice President will only return to the APC as a new member and will therefore not be qualified to vie as presidential flagbearer for the 2023 national election, given that only those who have paid-up members for five consecutive years would be qualified to vie for national executive positions.

The one-million-dollar question on the lips of many concerned citizens is, will Chief Sam-Sumana accepted a new membership in the APC or withdraws his resignation letter from C4C and lead the party again into the next polls?

This is the dilemma the former Vice President is facing despite he has not yet reacted to the recent approval of the new APC Constitution.

Again, Sidi Yayah Tunis hinted that the new APC Constitution has clearly defined the issues of membership and expulsion, noting that on the issue of membership, the candidates must be fully paid-up members for an uninterrupted timeframe of five years.

He also noted that on the issue of expulsion, the new constitution stipulates that once expelled from the party, the person can only return as a new member in the party.