APC must go to convention earlier – says former President Koroma

Sheriff Mahmud Ismail: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 October 2019:

The outcome of the 2018 presidential polls shocked the All People’s Congress (APC), punctured the nerve and fibre of the Party, causing dissonance and disorientation among its rank and file. The vast majority of its membership and supporters are therefore demanding constitutional reforms, as well as the emergence of a new party leadership.

While some have been doing so rather quietly, others have been tempestuous, almost contemptuous. The divergence on how the changes should be brought about constitutes one of the few hindrances to the process.

The outgoing chairman and leader, former president Ernest Bai Koroma, on his part, had expressed desire to step down even before the elections results were announced. But as the sage would say, “If the hook didn’t catch the fish, someone should account for the bait”.

That accounting process had begun with a nine-man committee established to investigate what was responsible for the party’s 2018 electoral performance. One of the recommendations of that Committee is a reform of the APC Constitution, particularly relating to the filling in of national and other officers of the party.

That Constitutional Reform Process itself had been commissioned but understandably, the fallout from the unexpected outcome of the 2018 presidential polls and the lack of magnanimity on the part of those who were announced as winners, warranted some amount of delay in the APC’s internal transition process.

About 18 months after the April 2018 presidential run off, that sluggishness has engendered palpable anxiety among a good number of APC faithful. Many agitate that the continued delay in concluding the constitutional reform and the declaration of a timetable for a National Delegates’ Conference (NDC) doesn’t serve the collective interest of reorganising into a formidable party ready to govern once again.

This incontrovertible fact is not lost on the man who has led the APC since 2002. The former president (Photo) is expected in Freetown this week for an engagement with the Party leadership on the revised constitution and possible timetable for the party’s NDC.

“My position has always been that after being at the helm for this long, it’s really time for fresh heads and hands to carry on with the business of running our beloved APC. Eventually, a new leadership has to emerge – it is inevitable”, said the outgoing chair and leader to a cross section of the APC Northern Region Executives.

The APC leader, who still enjoys considerable goodwill among the party’s rank and file, holds the view that “the Party must go to convention earlier enough to conclude the election of flag bearer, parliamentary and council candidates”.

To achieve this, the Party, especially former flagbearers should close ranks, rein in their many supporters; focus on getting a new leadership under the new Constitution and reenergise the Party ahead of 2023.

Already, the outgoing chair and leader has reiterated that, the Consultation Clause in the Draft Constitution should not stall the process, saying: “Whatever that is deemed as controversial and objectionable should, in the interest of the general good, be expunged in order for the process to forge ahead”.

This renewed determination by the outgoing APC chairman and leader to expedite and conclude the reform process in collaboration with his comrades at Old Railway Line in Freetown, could not have been more reassuring to both the APC and the country at large.

Political analysts agree that the current dire governance and socio-economic realities in Sierra Leone, underscore that the APC was on the right path; and that should the party get its act together and function more effectively in unison, reclaiming State House in 2023 will be less difficult.


  1. There is no extra time to give a leader, except the one granted by the constitution and law regarding a President’s time in office. If any President is unable to show tangible results during his first term in office,he must be voted out.That’s it,and that’s all.

  2. By going to convention earlier than is normally prudent, it is assumed that it will be such a strategic move that, in all probability, this exercise alone will swing the political pendulum or barometer in APC’s favor. I beg to differ. APC had all the state resources at its command, and incumbency was at its disposal. Yet after 10 years in governance, it failed to win reelection, in Africa of all places. So only after 2 years, the APC is now on the right track to win back State House come 2023, per “political analysts”. I think this is rather farfetched.

    First of all, the “current dire governance and socio-economic realities in Sierra Leone”, was not born overnight. It was years in the making, 10 years to be exact. I’d like to remind everyone how APC threw heat and sink in everybody’s path in a futile attempt to stymie any attempt to contest any position whatsoever. For starters, even the fees to contest any position was raised to atmospheric proportions, dual citizenship was raised. APC even tried to drop electability threshold for president from 55% to 50+1%. Even the method of ballot counting was multi contested. To cap it all, the eventual APC flag bearer and his running mate was single-handedly chosen by one man. No protocols were observed.

    President Bio’s effort to change Sierra Leone’s narrative will take years to take hold and to achieve the desired result. The damage has long been done, almost beyond repair. And he didn’t do it. So give Bio a chance to right the shipwreck that is the state of Sierra Leone.

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