APC’s Running Mate Dilemma Continues

Sierra Leone’s main opposition party, the All People’s Congress (APC) party is in a serious dilemma to choose their vice presidential candidate for the 24 June multi-tier elections.

The party on the 21st of February elected, in a landslide, Dr. Samura Kamara to be the party’s presidential candidate for this year’s election. Dr. Kamara had campaigned to resuscitate the country’s “ailing economy” amidst the plummeting of the Leones against other foreign currencies.

The former Bank Governor promised to use his over three decades as a “technocrat” to project the nation on the right path.

While it is irrefutable to posit that the most popular person for the flagbearer candidate of the APC is Kamara, the same cannot be presumed for his deputy as the nation’s edge towards elections.

In the previous multi-tier elections, Kamara ran alongside Chernoh Maju Bah, a two-time member of parliament at the time. The duo lost in a runoff by a slim margin to the now-incumbent Julius Maada Bio.

While it was easier then than now to select a vice-presidential candidate, the same has proven to be a daunting task lately.

According to reports, the party has held several in-door meetings to deliberate on who to run alongside Kamara in June.

At first, there were only two main candidates for the job; Bah and the new man, Sheikh Mohamed Kamara popularly known as Jagaban. However, recently the mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr has been ticked for the job to the point that she even received celebrity endorsements. Perhaps, shockingly, the rebirth of former vice-president, Alhaji Samuel Sam-Sumana has been a topsy-turvy one. Sam-Sumana was suspended for days from the party’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) but had it reinstated again.

Political pundits and some media reports have ticked the former vice president because he hails from the swing district of Kono.

Party insiders were saying the APC was not happy that they lost Kono in the 2018 elections. It was believed that the loss was one of the reasons the party lost the 2018 elections because the Coalition for Change (C4C) party was formed by Sam-Sumana to destabilize APC’s foothold in Kono. Analysts are presuming that the selection of Sam-Sumana will leave the district on a silver platter for the APC.

This presumption has proven more irrefutable now than ever since High Court Judge, Justice Adrian Fisher was reported to have dismantled the C4C party.

Despite these glaring realities, some traditional supporters within the party think that Bah could be the right man for the job. They argue that the man is from the third largest ethnic group in the country (Fula/Fulani) and the incumbent already has one as their vice president and running mate for the June elections.

Bah commonly known as ‘Chericoco’ without a doubt is more of a politician than all the other three candidates. The reason for this is based on the fact the man has served three terms as a parliamentarian and there are indications that he could win his fourth term -becoming the few to have achieved such a feat.

Another surprising candidate is Kamara (Jagaban). A year or two ago, many outside and within the party had no idea that the man could vie for the job. Many of his supporters are believed to be youths of the party. The man is well-known for splashing money around. Some of his supporters have affirmed that the man is worth a whopping 50 million US Dollars. Some locals have attested that the man has provided charity to many young Sierra Leoneans in and outside the country.

However, some of his critics have called out his intentions to being hinged on his political ambition. They are saying that the man could have come earlier with developmental projects than now.

Another candidate and the only woman perhaps in contention for the position is the mayor of Freetown, Aki-Sawyerr. The woman is believed to have the charm to woe women voters in the June elections since they form the majority of registered voters in this year’s election. The Freetown mayor, however, has been blackballed by some because she has a legal battle currently. Some are also saying that her principal project as mayor of Transform Freetown was a sham.

While it is certain that Dr. Kamara would run as the party’s candidate, the same, as mentioned earlier cannot be said for the party’s vice-presidential candidate.

One notable mention to have surfaced recently is former minister, Madina Rahman. Some supporters of the party have told Sierraloaded that whoever the party chooses, they will throw support for him or her.

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Whoever they choose would affect the party moving to checkmate the incumbent but the situation at present could best be described as a stalemate.


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