Barely seven months to the general Elections scheduled for June 2023, the main opposition party, APC is yet to put its house in order, instead, the Interim Transitional Governing Council established by the Court Order of the learned Judge, Justice Fisher, is busy fighting itself, much to the disdain of the public. There has been accusations and counter-accusations levied by the various factions in the ITGC against each other for the slow progress.

However, revelation by a member of the ITGC on Radio Democracy last week suggest that the infighting may have been orchestrated by the former Vice President, Chief Samuel Samsumana, who, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara alleged donated Le100million to the Peter Conteh faction in the ITGC. This allegation brings to question the involvement of Samsumana in the on-going acrimony in the ITGC. Why did Samsumana not openly donate the said amount to the whole team in the presence of all the members? Was the said donation calculated to solicit favour from the faction, or is the bigger picture that of the former VP sponsoring that faction against the Chericoco faction in the ITGC to become the flagbearer of the party?

It could be recalled that the APC was taken to court by a group of young activists in the party (NRM), so as to expunge the clause in the party’s constitution that favored the use of selection instead of election. This prolonged battle saw the review of the party’s constitution with the view to have a democratic outlook, and its subsequent adoption. Shortly after it adoption, when everyone was thinking the state was set for a national convention to hold to elect their flagbearer, Alfred Peter Conteh surfaced with his own challenge in court.

The said court matter resulted in a ruling that created a 21-man Interim Transitional Governing Council (ITGC) to oversee the election of Executive members and resolution of all membership matters. Since the establishment of the ITGC, there has been regular disagreement over a lot of matters, and each faction not ready to compromise for the development of the party.

This situation saw the Chairman, Peter Conteh, designated by the court Order to serve in that capacity, and the chosen representative of Hon. Chericoco and the other members of the MPs in the said Council, appointed to serve as Secretary, both often issuing conflicting press releases, thereby confusing even the Political Parties Registration Committee (PPRC) to the extent that recently the said concern was raised by the head of the PPRC in a press conference held that the PPRC over the APC sending conflicting messages to them and the need for the party to put its house in order or risk not taking part in the coming election.

During the program aired on Radio Democracy last week, in which both the Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara, a member of the ITGC, and Lawyer Abdul Karim Kamara, representing the media relations department of the ITGC, exchanging conflicting views over the directives of the learned Judge in respect of the admission of membership. Hon. AKK maintained that the admission of Samsumana into the party should wait for the convention and is not part of the directive of the Judge to be included in the normal cases of those members who had stayed back and had not left the party to join any other party.

He stressed that the case of Samsumana is a serous one, as he was expelled from the party, and had gone to form his own party, contested for Presidency and lost. Now that he wants to return to the party, the directive of the court demands that his name be included in the agenda for the convention, which will admit him.

It was gleaned from the discussion of both men that the infighting in the ITGC is over two candidates, Samura Kamara, believed to be the preferred choice of the Chericoco group, and Samsumana, alleged to be sponsoring the Peter Conteh group. According to Hon. AKK, their concern about following the dictates of the court order is to forestall any other litigation that may arise from not following the Judge’s order. Anyone, he stressed, could take the party to court if they fail to adhere to the directives of the Judge, and admitting Samsumana before a convention is held is one of such violation.

However, party supporters says that this action by the Peter Conteh faction is a calculated ploy to ensure that either Samsumana becomes the flagbearer or the party will remain in disarray. Many accused Samsumana and Peter Conteh as being instruments of the ruling party to create discord in the APC. Grassroot supporters questions the reliability and commitment of Samsumana to the APC, after he had been very instrumental in bringing about its defeat in 2018.

Some political analysts in the party say that what Sierra Leone needs now is a very good Economist to transform the current economic state of the country, and they don not see Samsumana doing that, as he lacks the requisite skills and experience to do so, whereas, Samura Kamara has the experience and the requisite qualification to do so.