Sierra Leone’s ruling APC deeply divided as emergency meeting is called

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 April 2015

Zhao Yanbo, Ernest Bai Koroma, Samuel Sam-SumanaSince his unilateral and dictatorial sacking of the country’s Constitution and the appointment of his handpicked new vice president Foh, president Koroma himself is believed to have enjoyed very little inner peace.

The Sierra Leone Telegraph has been reliably informed by a State House source that, some of the closest political allies and senior ministers of the president, have withdrawn their support for the beleaguered president.

This rift has now prompted an emergency APC party meeting, which will take place on Thursday, 30th April 2015, at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown.

It is understood that the country’s information minister – Alpha Kanu, who has always been one of the most loyal friends, and perhaps one of the strongest political allies of president Koroma, is now leading a mutinous faction against the president’s decision to appoint Victor Bockarie Foh as vice president.

The president is accused by key senior ministers and the mutinous faction within the party – especially the group known as the Temne tribal faction – led by Kanu, of failing to consult the rank and file members of the party before appointing Victor Foh as vice president.

Last week, Victor Foh visited the Temne heartlands of the party to drum up continuing support for the president, against the rising call within the party for his resignation as leader.

alpha kanu2And of notable absence during Foh’s tour of the northern province, was information minister Kanu (Photo) – a son of Port Loko, who is said to be deeply disturbed by president Koroma’s new political alliance with his former arch rivals for the leadership of the party, who in 2002, took Koroma to Court.

During his visit to Port Loko and Kambia – vice president Foh spoke to the Temne people about the importance of the loyalty shown by the late son of the soil – former vice president S.I. Koroma to Siaka Stevens.

State House sources told the Sierra Leone Telegraph that this statement by Victor Foh must have deeply offended Alpha Kanu, especially as it could be interpreted as a euphemism for Kanu’s now ebbing support for the president.

victor Foh in KambiaBut several key figures in the party’s executive and senior ministers regard Victor Foh as a highly divisive figure, who would stop at nothing to consolidate his power withing the party and across the country. (Photo: Victor Foh in Kambia).

Victor Foh hails from the South of the country – the opposition SLPP heartlands, and is therefore not considered by purist in the ruling APC party as true RED.

It is also symbolically significant that the noticeable shift in power at State House, saw Victor Foh and Jengo Stevens at the Lungi Airport to welcome the arrival of president Koroma from his US trip. (Photo Below: Jengo Stevens and Victor Foh – courtesy of Cocorioko).

Jengo stevens and victor Foh waiting for Koroma arrival at Lungi airport

So, where was information minister Alpha Kanu, who was not only absent from the president’s entourage, but failed to turn up at the Airport to welcome his president?

So, as the days and possibly weeks unfold towards the emergency meeting, political wounds within the party will become more deeply infected by animosity and rancor.

It is also understood that president Koroma will use the emergency meeting to steady the nerves of party rank and file, and will call for a vote of confidence in his leadership.

APC meeting

Elections in Sierra Leone are not due till 2018. But the fight for the heart and soul of the ruling APC which started in 2010, has no doubt intensified and may destroy the party.

Sierra Leone Telegraph also believes that with the Supreme Court likely to decide that president Koroma’s decision to sack the vice president was unconstitutional, president Koroma may now be looking for a face saving strategy.

This emergency meeting may well see some shocking changes at the top of government and the party leadership.

Should president Koroma resign from the leadership of the party and Victor Foh effectively becomes the president, a Supreme Court decision about the vice presidency will therefore be of less importance.

All eyes are now on Thursday, the 30th of April.

3 Comments

  1. My fellow Sierra Leoneans in the USA, let us all show up in large numbers to show the United Nations and the entire world that the so called Ernest Koroma government has failed our nation and its people.

    And we the Concerned Sierra Leoneans will never stop raising our voices till our demands are met; which are: (1) To reinstate the elected VP (2) The Ebola money must be accounted for and (3) Our Constitution must be preserved and respected.

    This is the only way forward for Sierra Leone.

  2. My people, emotions and feelings belong to the lower scale of human faculties- being considered in the same broad category as animal instincts. Whereas, moral sense and reason belong to higher faculties, being distinctly human capacities.

    Therefore, the mode of good political reasoning in which politics must be conducted democratically or a decent action taken should be the distinct human capacity.

    In his decision to fire the Vice President, the President overlooked the constitution of the land, and used his emotions and feelings, the worst mistake any leader can make in today’s politics.

    That is why the President has realized his mistake, a mistake that is causing him to be restless without a good peace of mind. I hope he will learn from this.

  3. It’s so unfortunate how fractured the APC Party has become – all because of poor advice. This is our Party, being destroyed by a few bad apples.

    Let’s hope the president does the right thing. Most of us that are vociferous in opposing him are strong party members. We are not looking to switch parties, but we cannot condone behavior which usurps the constitution of the land.

    The constitution is what binds us as a nation, and everyone should vigorously preserve it when it is attacked, regardless of party affiliation.

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