When it seems as if all is well and good with the APC party there comes another new major crisis. From one crisis to another, like seriously?
In 2002, with the coming of the new kid on the block, or simply put another Moses, Former President Ernest Bai Koroma’s popularity was at the sky level. You can hardly take your eyes off his charismatic personality.
The APC ship was rocking steadily on the high seas driven by ‘the captain, Ernest Koroma until when he made his first political miscalculations as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
The Holding of the bye-election
Many political Commentators described this move as a demonstration of weakness by the president.
It could be recalled that, during his campaign for the presidency, he made it categorically clear to his party supporters that anyone who put up their name for Parliament wouldn’t be appointed as a Cabinet Minister in his government.
Under the circumstances, the president failed to keep up to his promise and went on to remove some of his members from parliament and appointed them to profile cabinet positions, including Kemoh Sesay, Lawyers Serry Kamal, Edward Turay, Alimamy Petito Koroma, and Minkailu Mansaray.
However, the appointment of these members of Parliament as cabinet ministers didn’t add any value to the overall performance of the Koroma administration. It wasn’t surprising therefore that Kemoh Sesay, Serry Kamal, and Alimamy Petito Koroma were all fired from their respective positions as cabinet ministers in a couple of months.
Sacking of Vice President Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana
It all started well between the Vice President, Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana, and his ‘Komaneh/ Birankeh”, former President Ernest Bai Koroma, until only God Knows what happened between the two gentlemen that cost Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana his job as the No. 2, gentleman in the country.
The Constitutional legality of the sacking of former Vice President, Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana, is still being debated, and I can’t imagine it will go away any time soon.
No doubt the APC party is still leaking its wounds from the sacking of the former Vice President, Chief Alhaji Sam Sumana.
Appointment of Dr. Samura Kamara as Flag Bearer (2018)
The sacking of former Vice President Sam Sumana created a vacuum in the succession trajectory within the party. Many saw the former Vice President as the heir apparent to former President Ernest Koroma. If that plan should have been maintained there is no reason why the APC party shouldn’t have been in power today. But those who created that bad blood between the two leaders did so to their own detriment because the greatest loser was the party.
Taking an unprecedented move, former President Ernest Koroma singlehandedly appointed Dr. Samura Kamara as the flag bearer of the party at the National Delegate Conference in Makeni in 2018. The former President also went further to appoint little-know Hon. Chernor Maju Bah aka Chericoco as running mate to Dr. Samura Kamara.
The party lost in that election and former President Ernest Koroma apologetically accepted the blame for the party’s loss.
Dr Samura Kamara as Flag Bearer again (2023)
Described by many as the second coming of ‘Moses our Savior’. Both Dr. Samura Kamara and Hon. Chernor Bah manipulated their way to become the flag bearer and running mate of the party, again in Makeni during another ill-fated National Delegate Conference. They lost again period! The rest is all history now.
Constitutional Crisis of 6 months resignation period
According to the party’s amended constitution that was adopted at the party’s National Delegate Conference in Makeni, it was resolved that the flag bearer and leader of the party should resign his position after six months if he lost in that election.
The party is now caught up in a constitutional quagmire over the resignation of Dr. Samura Kamara after six months of the election. While some schools of thought say he should resign others say he shouldn’t because the party is still held in deep peace negotiations with the SLPP-led government over the 2023 election results. Some party members are still optimistic that there’s going to be a rerun of the election and in that case, Dr. Samura Kamara and Hon. Chernor Bah shall automatically fill in as continuity candidates.
So far the peace negotiations are standing on mosquitoes’ legs and going at a snail’s pace with no end insight.
What next for the party?
Currently, no party activities are going on across the country due to the uncertainty surrounding the leadership dispute between Dr. Samura Kamara and the National Party Chairman, Hon. Minkailu Mansaray.
According to the amended constitution; the National Chairman should step in as both Chairman and Leader of the party after the registration of the Leader and flag bearer.
In this case, it’s Hon. Minkailu Mansaray who should have stepped in as the new leader and Chairman of the party.
Another very important factor that seems to have engulfed the party, is the ongoing treason trial in which the former President who was also their party’s Leader and Chairman has been indicated. This indictment has a serious moral and psychological consequence for the party.
Moving forward, it’s time for the party to call a national consultative conference by bringing together the entire membership and map out the way forward for the party as we approach the 2028 Multi-tier elections.
As they say; Time and tide wait for no man.