Alan Luke: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 February 2018:
Yesterday, 27th February 2018 was the final NGC campaign rally in Freetown. It was declared a Freedom March. But there was none of the Paopa grandstanding about one million people, being asked to flood the streets of Freetown. It was simply the coming together of over one hundred thousand young and first-time voters in the capital Freetown, showing their support for Kandeh Yumkella and the NGC.
There was no bussed in crowd or rent-a-crowd, being offered Le30,000 to attend the rally. These were genuine NGC supporters from the Western Area.
The NGC presidential nominee – Alhaji Dr Kandeh Yumkella, who had been campaigning in Tonkolili, Bonthe, Pujehun and other parts of the country ahead of the Western Area rally, led the charge from the East. Andrew Keili, his Running Mate was equally fired up and led the charge from the West.
Both processions started at 10am and slowly made their way to the National Stadium, with crowds joining on route. The rally was well planned and organised, with marshals directing the crowds and managing the flow of traffic.
NGC rallies are well known to be free of violence that usually mar those of the APC and SLPP. Yesterday’s rally was no different. It was fun. It was loud. And it promises a brighter future for the youths of the country, who are now more than ever, determined to ensure that there is political change at the polls next week – 7th of March.
Among those supporting the rally were popular artists – including Steady Bongo, Kao Denero and Menace De General.
Popular musician – Emerson Bockarie’s timely new release – “Good Do”, which lampoons Samura Kamara’s admission of the failure of the APC Government at the Presidential Debate and lambasts the Koroma administration for its endemic corruption and graft, was on power play.
Take a listen Here:
The rally finally arrived at the stadium around 9pm where they were treated to performances by musicians and inspiring messages of “hope, opportunity and transformation – HOT HOT HOT”, from Andrew Keili and Kandeh Yumkella.
With only eight days to elections, NGC supporters believe their party has the momentum and they are fired up.
NGC activist, Cyril Jengo, from Leicester had this to say – “We in the NGC proved yesterday that our rally was genuine, with no bussed in supporters. We are in full control of our people as demonstrated by our ability to go about our rally without any reported incidence of violence or intimidation.
“We have the youth base in our hands; those young people are tired of the poverty their parents are in and wanting change. 70% of those attending the rally yesterday were young people. NGC does not bribe people to join rallies. We give them hope for true reform and change.”
Another NGC supporter, Memuna Koroma from Brookfields said: “Well I learnt that KKY stands for Kabba, Koroma, Yumkella. This is now a three horse race. The passion from our supporters was amazing. Literate or illiterate, they have a clarity of purpose. They know what is possible and they want it. Young adults, matured adults, male, female – all were chanting for change.”
Samira During, said: “Having witnessed several election rallies, I was struck by the very happy and determined crowd that I saw at the NGC rally yesterday. Not making a noise for the sake of it but being happy to be out there. They were intent on making their voices heard.
“I have never seen a more joyous rally crowd. Good music, happy, fun – but a strong belief in the candidate and faith in their ability to address the tasks ahead. The crowd was very strong, mostly young people but also older people. The NGC message has got through and it is a force to be reckoned with.”
Mr Abdul Joaque from Kissy, said: “The NGC have demonstrated that it has what it takes to win the elections. Our crowds could match up with that of the APC and SLPP. Yesterday was a momentous day.
“I went to the stadium through intense traffic with my three children, because I wanted them to have a better future and not to have their dreams unfulfilled because of the corruption of our leaders.”
NGC scored a massive political victory yesterday and is now in a prime position to take Western Area from the discredited APC, who have failed the country miserably in the past ten years.
Today, NGC will also score another victory in the Supreme Court, where people across the country expect the APC petition challenging the candidacy of Dr Yumkella to be dismissed.
Alan Luke, NGC UKI, London