APC accepts Sam Sumana back into its membership

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 7 January 2020:

Sierra Leone’s main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party, today 7th January 2020, accepted former Vice President Chief Sam Sumana back into the party, after he was expelled in 2015 and sacked as vice president by president Ernest Bai Koroma.

But today, all is forgiven and there was no talk of his sacking and the bad blood that it created, as the members of the All People’s Congress National Advisory Council (NAC), unanimously welcomed Sam Sumana back to the party at their head office in Brookfields, Freetown.

Speaking at the event, Sam Sumana expressed delight at coming back to what he referred to as his home – “the only party that represents the grassroots of this country and whose values are based on working for the common man and woman in the country,” he said.

As he joined executive members of the party in singing the APC anthem – “There is victory for us”, there was jubilation.

But Sam’s re-entry into the APC party now raises questions about whether he can bring along the majority of members of his former Coalition For Change (C4C) party, who in a statement two weeks ago vowed to stay with their party as they bode Sam farewell.

Also, will Sam be accepted by the party as one of the contenders for its presidential or vice presidential flagbearership for the 2023 elections?

This question may not be at the forefront of Sam’s mind at the moment, but there is little doubt it will focus the minds of the more than a dozen contenders lined up for the contest whenever it is called by the party’s officials in two years’ time.

This is Sam Sumana at his welcoming by the APC party:


  1. Sam Sumana is highly welcome back to the honorable party, as we serve as the best and truthful party (APC) in this country (Sierra Leone).

  2. “Thus, expectedly, core Northern tribalists and regional hgemonists will again fight Sam Sumana with blood and tears to ensure that the tribal and regional “purity” of the APC at the leadership level remains sacrosanct.” – by Mr Bilal Coleman.

    The APC party was formed on the foundation of disgruntled Sierra Leoneans who felt left out in the introduction of overt tribalism by the Mende-dominated SLPP party – especially towards the Creoles at first, with whom the Mendes were competing for administrative and leadership positions – immediately after the dawn of independence in the country.

    The Mendes, about 30% of the population were locked in a tribal, cultural and legitimacy war for the inheritance of the main component of colonization (the art of ‘divide and rule’) with the Creoles, who only accounted for about 3% of the population. Obviously, it was a no-match scenario for the Creoles as regards to the numbers game, in a fair and democratic setting.

    At this time, the Northern region was not politically active due to many factors including, its deficiency or neglect towards the development of the region relative to the South-Eastern and Western parts of the country where Mendes and Creoles were predominately located, respectively. Most importantly, the North was poorly educated and most of its inhabitants were engaged in subsistence agricultural and business activities. Only few were attracted to politics.

    In spite of this, as the Northern region was the most populated area – with the Temnes alone accounting for over 35% of the population – the shrewd and savvy Siaka Probyn Stevens did not waste any time in forging an alliance with the Creoles and the Northern tribes. Game on. North-West against South-East. Or APC against SLPP. Or Temne-Man against Mende-Man … Take your pick.

    Thus, APC was founded on the same tribal pedestal, but with a philosophy of populism. Of course, the late Siaka Stevens was a Mende from the South; although the tribal-orientated political atmosphere convinced him to declare as a native of the Limba tribe, the third largest in the country – at about 9% of population.

    Mr Coleman may also like to acknowledge the fact that most of the military coups that had taken place in the history of the country, had been perpetrated by Southerners. Out of seven civilian governments, since independence, only two were led by indigenes from the North. And unlike the SLPP, the APC owes its origin from a Southerner (Sheki); which demonstrates the existence of LIBERAL attitudes in the North, as opposed to the tribal conservatism and falsehood of colonial outlook, in the South.

    Both Dr Samura Kamara (Northerner) and Chief Sam Sumana (Easterner) are all good candidates for the APC in 2023. It does not matter who finally prevails to carry the fight against the paopa SLPP. The main focus is for the APC to win State House. And, reflecting on the persistent regressive state of the economy, coupled with rampant corruption in the hierarchy of the ruling SLPP, any of these candidates is certainly capable of defeating the falsified and hyped-up Maada Bio.

    At the end of the day, all the APC needs now, is to forget the unfortunate outcome of the 2018 elections, and reposition their microscopic political lens to capture the new trend of paopa politics, and choose a flagbearer that will suit the bill to defeat this dangerous and undemocratic mentality. And furthermore, probably redefine the political landscape of Sierra Leone, away from the entrenched tribal sentiments.

    “Yet it is no hidden secret that the APC as a political formation has always embraced the ideology of tribalism and Northern regional hegemony in Sierra Leone.” Here is Mr Coleman again, expressing the level of tribalism and regional hegemony in the APC northern heartlands; and at the same time against the idea of Chief Sam Sumana (an Easterner) from having the opportunity of celebrating a perfect home-coming to his party.

    Mr Coleman’s opinion seems to be wedged between a feeling of total disregard of the social, economic and political impact of the North; and a common fear, or a reluctance to accept that this region is now becoming a strong contender in the definition of politics in the country as a whole.

    • Alimamy Turay, I do not hold briefs for Mr. Bilal Coleman. But you certainly need to have a better education in Sierra Leone’s political history. Your revisionist history of Sierra Leone has no legs to stand on. Contrary to the ignorance that you have displayed, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) from its very inception had had a national character. In fact, some historians have really argued that the SLPP emerged from the North.

      Siaka Stevens (Limba), Taylor-Kamara (Themne), PC Bai-Koblo Pathbana (Themne), PC Bai Sebora Yumkella (Susu), Kande-Bureh (Themne), Dr. Hajj-Conteh (Themne) and many others were all founding members of the SLPP and they were also Northerners.

      Look, I am a Northerner who will always be critical of the APC for its internal politics that encourages and embraces ethnic and regional exclusivity. I have relatives in that party (God only knows what they are still doing there). But until the APC embraces diversity, it will continue to shrink until it self-exterminates.

      The marginalization of Samuel Samsumana and Victor Foh, for example, demonstrates how extremist the trbalists and regionalists leading the APC have become. Had these two been fully embraced, the APC would have still been in power today.

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