The protected conflict among aspirants vying for the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) 2023 presidential flagbearer position has simmered down following reports that Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara, who has declared his intetion to become the presidential flagbearer, has joined the ‘Big Six’ who also harbour ambition of leading the party into the 2023 national elections.

The Big Six, who all unsuccessfully contested the APC’s 2018 presidential flagbearer position, including Dr. Kelfala Kamara, Dr. Richard Konteh, Lawyer Hadiru Kalokoh, Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay, John Bono Sisay and Alimamy Petito Koroma.

Speaking on behalf of the formation of the group about three months ago, spokesperson, Dr. Richard Konteh said: “We believe when we continue to work together like this, at the end of the day, APC will go into the elections as one big family with unity and focus to win the elections.”

He further stated: “We are not fighting anybody and we have no intention to go against anybody within the party; we believe and respect the leadership of APC, especially for the sacrifices made so far.”

However, Dr. Konteh noted that in democracy, someone has the right to contest for any position they desire. This, he said, does not mean that a person us going against anything but merely expressing his democratic right. He therefore called for unity within the APC and focused attention for successful elections in 2023.

It is against this backdrop that over the past months, several meetings had taken place between Dr. Samura Kamara and the Big Six at different venues as part of the ongoing peace and reconciliation process in the party.

It could be recalled that a meeting in Makeni city earlier this year, the APC National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, whose patience had almost run out, called on all the intending flagbearer contenders present at the meeting to put an end to all animosities or acrimonies amongst them.

The erstwhile President did not mince matters when charged that he was tired of receiving information about their wrangling which he said was affecting the smooth running of the party. He therefore implored them to come together and chart the way forward for a peaceful convention before he could hand over the leadership of the party to a new National Advisory Committee (NAC).

At that Makeni meeting, Dr. Konteh referred to their group as the ‘Big Six’ because, according to him, they came together to ensure that they keep the party alive and to also help the Secretariat to ensure that the right things are done for the party to emerge victorious in the 2023 national elections.

He maintained that all what they want is to ensure that the party runs on democratic principles and follows all processes required to elect a new presidential candidate so that the entire party will speak with one voice and support the winner with robust campaigns.

“Time is of essence,” Dr. Konteh stressed. “We all have agreed on that and we all will work together for the good of the party; not for our individual interests.”

Meanwhile, now that Dr. Samura Kamara has joined the Big Six, it is expected that the Big Six will eventually become the Big Seven.