APC Members Snub Apha Kanu in Parliament
After honouring General (Rtd) K.E.S. Boyah with a cheerful standing ovation as former Member of Parliament, MPs from the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC), refused to do the same for Hon. Alhaji Alpha Khan who was also in the House waiting to be approved as Resident Minister, North-West Region.
Speaker of the House, Dr. Abass Bundu, made the request to grant erstwhile MPs among the presidential nominees a standing ovation as a way of honouring them when called upon. But the seeming united APC MPs remained seated and mute when Hon. Alpha Khan was called, thus registering disfavour against their senior comrade’s growing relationship with the current government.
Concord Times reports that APC MPs refused to honour him as he was in parliament together with nine other presidential appointees to be approved by the House.
Alpha Khan, as he is commonly known, is a senior member of the main opposition APC who represented the party as Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2007. He was appointed minister of Presidential and Public Affairs when the party came to power in 2007 and later served in various cabinet positions.
Emphasizing his loyalty to serve the party and the former President Koroma when they were in governance, Alpha Khan branded himself as the ‘apprentence.’ He made an unsuccessful bid to become APC flagbearer to contest against the ruling party in which he now serves as Resident Minister.
Since his party was voted out in 2018, the skilful opposition politician became very close to the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).
Alpha Khan’s perpetual intimacy with the SLPP government, recently decorated with his acceptance of the ministerial appointment, baffled the public as to whether he is still with his party in opposition or has crossed over to the ruling party.
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But Mr. Khan confirmed he remains member of the APC party in an interview with the Parliamentary Committee on Appointment.
In spite of the fact that he cleared the air, the MPs deliberate reluctance to honour him in parliament signals the feeling of resentment the APC still has against his move which has created diverse perception about him. Some see him as a man only offering national service in the government while others perceive him differently.
While debating, one of the opposition MPs, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara, labeled him as a man, who has portrayed the true attribute of an apprentice, describing the traits of an apprentice as a person without much integrity, one that could leave a vehicle if he no longer receives from his boss what he used to receive.
But another MP of the same party, Hon. Mohamed Bangura described Alpha Khan as a performer and a true, true APC, saying that he has only been called by the president to perform a national service. Hon Bangura advised Alpha Khan not mind those against him. He however called on him to dissolve his current cabinet position and return back to the party when time for elections draws near.
It is common to see politician moving from one party to another in Sierra Leone, especially among the two main political parties. Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara, strong SLPP figure, who came second in SLPP flagbearer election in 2011, was later appointed Minister of Trade and Industry in 2013 by President Koroma. Until 2012, Usu Boie Kamara was a member of SLPP which was by then in opposition. Chief Somano Kapen, Robin Fallay, Mohamed Kamara (Med K) made similar defections during the APC regime.