Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 January 2018:
The people of Sierra Leone are preparing to cast their ballots on 7th of March 2018, to elect a new president and a new government. But all is not well today, as the country is gripped by a political crisis, many believe to have been engineered by the ruling APC to exclude leaders of the opposition parties, especially Dr kandeh Yumkella of the NGC, from contesting.
But it seems the plan may have backfired. The NGC party published a statement yesterday, denouncing the ruling party’s orchestrated crisis as a sham. This is what Dr. Julius Spencer – the NGC Campaign Spokesman, said:
“The leadership of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) notes with amusement the current hue and cry over the issue of dual citizenship that the ruling APC party has suddenly, after almost 10 years in government, realised is barred by the Sierra Leone Constitution for Parliamentarians, ministers and presidents.
“The NGC finds it hard to believe that the APC has been unaware of section 76(1) in the Constitution and its appointment of dual citizens as ministers as well as awarding symbols to dual citizens to enable them become Parliamentarians was done in ignorance of the Constitutional provisions.
“The NGC believes that this is just another instance of President Koroma and the APC’s total disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law and their propensity to twist the law to suit themselves.
“The NGC is fully convinced that the decision of the APC to raise the dual citizenship issue at this time has been informed by a mistaken notion that by doing so the NGC and its presidential candidate will be disadvantaged.
“The NGC wishes to draw the attention of the APC to the fact that they have now opened themselves up to litigation and may find themselves in a position where those dual citizens that served as ministers and parliamentarians will be called to account.
“As far as the NGC is concerned we are certain that Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella will be on the ballot for the presidential election on March 7. The APC needs to wake up to the fact that the NGC is an opponent the likes of which they have never seen. Their 99 tactics are obsolete and the NGC is way ahead in the game.
“The NGC also wishes to assure all its members and supporters that the speculation that Dr. Yumkella will be disqualified from contesting the presidential elections on March 7 this year has no basis in fact and is simply wishful thinking by those who are terrified by the prospect of facing him in the elections.”
The NGC party is also informing its supporters and indeed the whole country, that their leader and presidential candidate – Dr. kandeh Yumkella has successfully completed the necessary security screening to ensure eligibility to contest the elections.
“The National Grand Coalition (NGC) party is pleased to inform the general public that Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella has completed all the internal screening processes as a qualified Candidate for Member of Parliament for Constituency 062, Samu Chiefdom, Kambia District in the North West Region.
“As a result, Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella will contest the general elections on March 7, 2018 both as the Presidential Candidate of the the NGC and as a candidate for constituency 62.
“The National Grand Coalition also takes this opportunity to announce that it has filed with the National Electoral Commission 504 local council and mayoral candidates out of the 511 local councils and municipal seats available. Further, the NGC also successfully filed a total of 132 parliamentary candidates for all the constituencies.
“As a party, we continue to vigorously march forward as the new force and agent of change with our message of Hope, Opportunity and Transformation,” the statement reads.