Kandeh Yumkella’s NGC party wins Kasirie local council bye-election

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 November 2019:

Sierra Leone’s opposition National Grand Coalition (NGC) party, has won yesterday’s local council bye-election in the Ward 210 of the Kambia district with a majority of 54.1% of the total votes cast.

The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) came third, behind the main opposition All people’s Congress party (APC) with just 14.2% of votes, despite flying-in a throng of senior government ministers to help their candidate with campaigning.

The All People’s Congress Party came second with 29.3% of the votes.

The by-election was called following the death of the incumbent councillor in August 2019. (Photo below: Dr Yumkella left, with NGC party chairman Dennis Bright).

A total of 6,598 people registered to vote, with a turnout of about 53%. The election was at serious risk of being called off due to violence alleged to have been perpetrated by supporters of the ruling SLPP party.

The parliamentary leader of the NGC party – Dr Kandeh Yumkella and his security guard sustained injuries and had to be treated at the local hospital, after they were attacked by thugs.

Officials of the ruling SLPP party are yet to make a statement about the violence and the accusations levied against their supporters. (Photo below: Dr Yumkella with hand in bandage after sustaining injuries at the bye-election).

After the announcement of the election results today, the Chairman and Leader of the NGC party – Dr Dennis Bright, made this statement:

“I am happy to share with you all the results of the bye elections at ward 210, constituency 062. For the first time. we received ALL the RRF forms from our party. Polling agents within two hours from the close of the polls.  I therefore congratulate the elections management team for their efficiency.

“We won the elections but it was not an easy fight. Kandeh Yumkella got injured, two of our close members were also hurt,  Kandeh’s car was partly damaged but we have now learnt that we should refuse to be intimidated. We should stand up to them using any means necessary.

“The results would have been even better for us if they had not terrorized the people so much. Anyway let us celebrate this victory together because it is the fruit of our combined efforts.
United we stand. We stand united.”

20 Comments

  1. “Hey man … are you really David Bangura?”

    The DOUBT expressed in the above statement is not because you may be a Susu, a Loko, a Limba, or a Temne by tribe – all these tribes share the surname Bangura. A name is just like a label to identify a person, or an animal, or a cargo, in a particular homogeneity. For instance, one can be exposed to different cargoes of rice with various names; but the most important aspect is the ‘quality in the bag’.

    It would be advisable for you to make regular contributions on this forum so that you can exhibit your qualities – or patriotism, etc – instead of coming out of the blue, and naively making wild accusations that are unsubstantiated or unfounded. Thanks to Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, who has given us the opportunity to ‘woethrrneh’ (sharpen) our skills in the English Language, and as well as discuss our concerns about the current situation in our beloved country.

    If you have grievances with the All Peoples Congress (APC) party, or with the former President, Ernest Bai Koroma (EBK) – like some people on this forum – you can always discuss them here, or contact EBK direct. For me the word ‘tolongbo’ is a way of giving directions to someone to proceed, straight ahead. How this word is implied in the politics of Sierra Leone, is beyond my knowledge. No wonder the country is always retrogressive – due to a combination of hypocrisy, naivety and bad belleh. Clear enough?

  2. Joe Koroma,I thank you very much for responding to my comment.By nature I am a very cautious person,that’s why when it comes to our politicians I tend to go with only the available evidence and use common sense to make deductions. Reading between the lines of your comment,indeed there is every likelihood that APC could have been involved in the physical attack against Dr KKY,since the north has always been one of the strongholds of APC,but which now seems to be slipping away from them. But Dr kky was sure about the identity of those who attacked him,accusing the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Guinea of sponsoring the group.

    Implicitly you are saying that there are many unanswered questions,with which I agree;but why have SLPP not done anything to clear their name,or are they quietly alleging that KKY’S own supporters attacked him? What happened at constituency 110 a few months ago involving the notorious “Arata” make people like me take an unfavorable look at SLPP at every election time.

    Like APC before them SLPP are developing the tendency just to seat tight when an unfavourable political storm erupts and hope that it will blow over soon enough and become a distant memory.This is what seems to have happened in the case of the Chief Minister,David Francis,who has not held a single press conference to clear his name over the $1.5 million. To me he now operates under a cloud even with the intervention of ACC to clear him.Why was the Journalist arrested in the first place, and how did the police get to know about the incident when only the journalist and the Chief Minister were privy to it?

    Yes I tend to sympathise with NGC,but I am first of all a sierra Leonean,which means that I am ready at any time to be critical of the party’s leadership when I deem it important and necessary.I politically like President Bio,but he must get his house in order if he is really serious about advancing our nation.The cleaning he wants to do should start at the top.

    If,for example,the police are not doing their job he has to tell Richard Moigbe,the IGP,to look for another job;if our immigration officers are not professional enough he should let the minister responsible for such matters know that the nation will have to get by without him/her.Please let us don’t give our politicians any benefit of doubt,they are too clever.Equally we must let them know that we may be stupid but we are not mentally retarded.Many thanks once more my brother.

  3. He never comes up with any useful contribution on this forum. The only time he comes to life is when the TRUTH is splattered on his face. Hey man … are you really David Bangura?

    • “Hey man … are you really David Bangura?” Alimamy Turay

      Korthor, don’t worry you are not the first to ask me that question. It is this same clannish mentality that has your Tolongbo party hemorrhaging support all over Sierra Leone. A Bangura cannot be critical of the APC without being asked if he is a real Bangura.

      A party that embraces chronic tribalism and regional hegemony cannot sustain itself over a long period of time. Say what you may about Siaka Stevens but the man was all about bringing people together. But PDP Ernest Koroma came and totally deviated from that honorable cause by transforming Sierra Leone into a fiefdom of his family, regional and tribesmen. What do you expect Maada Bio to do? Work with that coterie of tribalists and regionalists?

      And some of you will come to this forum and engage in the perversion of the truth, in the advancement of theories that are based on false narratives for the sole purpose of advancing a narrow and selfish tribal and regional agenda. Then when you are challenged, you resort to questioning the challenger’s identity.

      Bra, my loyalty is to Sierra Leone. I am neither a member of a political party nor do I associate myself with clannish tribal and regional activists. Therefore, I bear no one’s cross. But one thing I must state in parting is that if you Tolongbo activists don’t change your mentality and embrace other groups in Sierra Leone, you will rot in opposition.

  4. Alimamy Turay – a real Patriot, thriving with great ease on so many different levels and dimensions of critical reasoning, and prudent thinking. Indeed, like a full moon on a dark stormy night, my brother outshines with his dazzling, mesmerizing display of unmatched intelligence and brilliance. His thought provoking insights are flawlessly exact, refined, polished and skillfully designed for the sole purposes of giving preeminence and relevance only to the truth, over and above every thing else.

    Well done, Lion that rules the den! Let your passionate roaring always be heard at the peaks of mountains far away; in dark valleys, deep forests and deserts…let it awaken many from their indifference, habitual pretences and deepest slumber. From the depths of boundless overflowing seas to the majestic surroundings of breathtaking shining shores, let your vehement roaring always be heard….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. What planet does Mr. Fallay come from? According to him, SLPP party is always doing the right thing and the other parties, or people writing about it are wallowing in the figment of their imagination. What benefit will it bring Dr. Yumkella to lie about the brutality meted to him by people that are claimed to be SLPP hooligans. I may be wrong but has anyone heard the president ever condemn these shameless acts? I pause to be corrected.

  6. The word democracy and its fundamental principle of ‘one man, one vote’ has never been in the vocabulary of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) – it had been replaced by the word PAOPA (at all cost) from time immemorial. Although this word was spotlighted, or attained relevance, in the past 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections, it had been in the SLPP’s blood stream from the time of the party’s inception. Being what they are, the SLPP knew from the onset that the only way they can win elections, and achieve their aims and objectives, is to instil fear and violence on the people of Sierra Leone.

    Unlike the mighty All Peoples Congress (APC) whose philosophy reverberates in all corners of Sierra Leone, the SLPP is merely a fringe party whose demographic is concentrated in the South-Eastern part of the country. Take Kono and Moyamba districts out of the South-Eastern equation, the SLPP becomes a splintered group that is comprised of about 31% of the electorate. Notwithstanding, these 31% of the populace are the most power thirsty and overzealous people in the country. But how do they win elections? Well … this is the 1.5 million dollar question; or it could also be the 18 million dollar mystery.

    In public, you see this bunch of tricksters putting their hands on the side of their hearts to display fanatical patriotism, though behind closed doors they know within their inner core, that the whole exercise is just a camouflage to rob the nation for the interest of their South-Eastern people. The SLPP are not patriotic for the country as a whole, and this was exemplified during the 11-year civil war, when the NPRC (an SLPP outfit in uniforms) mortgaged the country’s diamond resources to the South African mercenaries for the sole purpose of clinging to power.

    Many people are still wondering whether the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) were not a splintered group of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Was there a disagreement between the NPRC and RUF in sharing the spoils of war – after overthrowing the legitimate government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh? Only the dead – including RUF leader, Foday Sankoh; and Kamajor militia leader, Hinga Norman; – would be able to testify to this question.

    Today, one of the leaders of the NPRC junta is enjoying life at State House, after a brief spell in 1996. State House is associated with many opportunities and freebies albeit at the expense of the poor suffering masses. President Maada Bio, wandering in the US and the UK, without any meaningful employment is again, somehow, exposed to these goodies. And interestingly, he is even asking for more, in the form of blank cheques, to continue his fake international expeditions. And, by the look of things, it will take more than the impact of a cannon ball, travelling at the speed of light, to dislodge him from this windfall of opportunities.

    The series of violence that Sierra Leoneans are witnessing on the political scene of the country are just signals to highlight the determination of President Bio to cling on to his unexpectedly newfound fig tree. He knows that the wind of change that is blowing from the North-Western part of the country will be too ferocious, come 2023 elections. And he is not prepared to let go of all the fruits and spiritual powers that this tree offers – paopa! It will take the combined effort of storm and tornado to sway and dislodge him from his grip. In effect, only a concerted peoples’ power can accomplish this enormous task.

    • This reads like a thesis from a disgruntled and frustrated APC Tolongbo headman. If these guys are frustrated with the SLPP in only 18 months, how are they going to feel in Maada Bio’s second term in office? Power hungry folks they all are. God bless Sierra Leone.

  7. I don’t know what we are becoming in this country. Even a small election like a local council election, violence will erupt. Let’s stop this nonsense – this country is above this now.

  8. It is quite endearing and gratifying that most people in this forum have placed their love of country first before any other affiliation in congratulating NGC for pulling off a victory, after all the violence engendered by SLPP thugs whose presence in constituency 210 must have been well known by President Bio, just as well as they were well known by him at constituency 110.

    It is therefore quite appalling that anyone would unambiguously declare that SLPP are for free and fair elections with contrary evidence staring them in the face. This is precisely what most of our politicians thrive on – that whatever they do, a significant number of us will support them entirely, based on sentiments and emotions.

    It is a hole which those of us with a little education must endevour to dig ourselves out of, face reality and help our less educated or illiterate brethren to face it too, namely: that since independence in 1961, all we have known are APC and SLPP who have had trouble nudging the nation forward because of demented thinking and policies.

    The number one loser in all the political violence is President Bio who constantly roam the globe, supposedly in search of investments. Does he really believe in his heart of hearts that any significant investments will flow into the country with its history of political violence which could grip the entire country? He must understand that all the Western countries and their client states from which he is seeking investment, communicate with each other and they know exactly what is at stake.

    So via the British High Commission, German Embassy, American Embassy and other Western representatives in Freetown, all potential Western investors are aware of the ranking of Sierra Leone vis-a-vis investment. Although Japan and Turkey are Asian nations, they are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation [NATO], and they too must know the risks involved in investing in our country.

    President Bio has the tools to make the country completely free of political violence if he choose to use them. The most potent tool is that of using law enforcement [the police] to ensure that no one from any group can use violence in any election. All he has to do is emphatically tell Richard Moigbe, the Inspector General of Police, before any election, that if he hears of the slightest violence it is his job. The President could even rush through Parliament a Bill stipulating that anybody caught in political violence can be held for up to 30 days to give the police time to complete their investigation.

    This should work miracles in attracting investment both local and foreign. The Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, can attest to this. From a country only known for the genocide which occurred there in 1994, President Kagame has transformed it to a modern country, attractive to foreign investment. The Germans now assemble Volkswagen there. Now Rwandans see themselves first as Rwandans not as Tutsi and Hutus.

    Wake up from your slumber Maada Bio and link yourself up with the likes of Paul Kgame. And please get your Finance Minister, Jusu Saffa, to delete the part of his budget which gives you, the vice president and speaker a blank cheque whenever any of you travel. It does not befit the economic straits the country is in.

    • Bravo to you sir, Mr. Sorie; your comments are one of kind, patriotism is writing all over your few paragraphs. What supporters of the regime fail to realize is that, if the regime takes into account comments and advice from people like you, especially eradicating political violence in elections, the biggest winner is the SLPP; but oh yah, these diehard supporters are entrenched in an illusional world where common sense has been overtaken by party fanaticism.

    • Brother Santhkie Sorie, you are one of the brilliant minds on this forum that I admire very much. I like the way you articulate issues. However, I have observed that you too quick to rush to judgment. You rushed to judgment in the case of Professor David Francis and you are doing the same here with Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. Can we wait until all the evidence is in?
      Like you, I am with the NGC.But I find it difficult to reconcile what the SLPP would gain by fighting for a council seat in Kambia. I am still conducting my investigations.

  9. Congrats to the leaders of the NGC for their huge sacrifices in ensuring democracy prevails in the just concluded bye elections. This is exactly the kind of efforts required by all political heads and stakeholders to put an end to the current crusade by the POAPA regime – derailing our democracy. Sierra Leone belongs to all of us. No one party or a group of people should hold the country to ransom, thinking they are the chosen ones to be in charge of everything.

    Our nation will develop and become more stable if all political stakeholders can partake in the decision and policy making affecting all Sierra Leoneans; hence no patriotic Sierra Leonean should be supporting a government without checks and balances.

  10. Congratulations gentlemen,for your vigilant, courageous,audacious efforts in snatching victory out of the jaws of mindless brutality,and intimidation.I have always maintained that the biggest contributors today,hampering,and hindering our nations progress,are the regressive,self centered,backwards mentalities,and attitudes of the inglorious SLPP. It has been said that Power tends to make men corrupt – absolutely agree.

    But in the case of the SLPP things are a little more complexed than that. Since the days of Milton Margai, they have been nothing but a perverse, lawless group of men, hell-bent on grabbing and holding on to power – cruel barbaric individuals – reasonless and totally engulfed by their self-centred, overpowering, compulsive attitudes and repulsive habits of ensuring that things turnout the way they want at all cost.

    The TRIBE THAT DOESN’T TAKE A BRIBE is what they proudly call themselves in public. Imagine that! (lmao) Yet their honorable Chief Minister – leader of the pack of hungry wolves, is as corrupt and as shady as he can be. (lol) How did we get to this point – where good for nothings are holding on to the reins of Power? A damn shame! Who would’ve thought or guessed our nation will sink to such a low point of abject insignificance. The SLPP – depraved and degenerate men anyway you choose to examine them – up, down, sideways, at close range or from a distance – nefarious, all the same.(lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  11. Wow! finally this election has been free and fair all this time but Hon. Kandeh Yumkella was only putting up drama just by creating unnecessary confrontation. I personally believe that under this government there will always be free and fair elections at the ballot box. That’s why we have to trust the Electoral Commissioner whether you win or lose.

    Congratulations to the NGC. I hope KKY will apologize to our people for all the false allegations that he has been making against the SLPP and NEC. Finally I congratulate KKY for finding his precious Watch which he was more concerned about during his well orchestrated confrontation with peaceful citizens.

  12. WELCOME AND WELL DONE by the people of KASIRIE. DEMOCRACY has TRIUMPHED. VIOLENCE, INTIMIDATION, BARBARITY and SAVAGERY have been KNOCKED OUT and left to rot in the WILDERNESS. These EARLY MAN type tactics should only be allowed when HUMAN beings start to grow hair on their TEETH.

    Thanks to Dr. Yumkella and his entourage for standing for DEMOCRACY and the RULE OF LAW. GOD BLESS Dr. Yumkella and his MEN. I’ll be right back.

  13. Indeed. LOSE BIG TIME would not be ruled out John. What I am always worried about is for our country not to be plunged into CHAOS and ANARCHY by MISTAKE in case an OPPOSITION LEADER is KILLED by such RECKLESS BEHAVIOR by SLPP ELECTIONS VIOLENCE and THUGGERY. Bye-Election violence has become the order of the day ever since the SLPP came to power. DENY/ARGUE. It will be very wise for the President to make sure that future bye-Elections are held in a peaceful ATMOSPHERE.

    If we have a situation where an OPPOSITION LEADER is KILLED because of ELECTIONS VIOLENCE, then, the GOVERNMENT will be held responsible. Such violence if left unchecked, will lead to problems that will take certain people to the HAGUE one day. To be fair to everyone, such violence can also lead to the KILLING of SLPP POLITICIANS too. So, please Mr. President, take your responsibilities as the President of every Sierra Leonean. GOD BLESS YOU.

  14. Congratulations to Dr. Yumkellah and Dr. Denis Bright for a hard fought battle and win for the NGC. Elections as they say have consequences; and there is no better way to fight for mama Salone than to continue promoting the philosophy of the NGC – hard work, transparency, use of opportunity with responsibility, and commitment to the cause of the people.

    Therefore, as long as you guys stand for truth and democracy, the people of Sierra Leone will stand with you; and even though the going can get tough at times as it did this weekend, we want you to know that the Sierra Leonean people respect and appreciate what you stand for. Congratulations once more and we sympathise with Dr. Yumkellah for his injuries and wish him speedy recovery.

  15. SLPP needs to drop this awful mentality. Umaru Fofanah says it all today as follows: “A by-election for an inconsequential local council ward seat. Less than 4,000 votes cast in the end. Yet there was fighting and injuring. I think the ruling SLPP party should lead by example and invest meaningfully and appropriately to win elections. This foolish investment by ruling parties has gone on for too many years. It hardly ever served its purpose. Time to change tact!”

    SLPP’s desperation to hang on to power will cost them the 2023 elections, if they are not careful. They need to focus on policy isues, such as the economy, unemployment and poor healthcare if they want to go on to win in 2023. Otherwise they are going to lose big time.

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