Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 May 2021:
Sierra Leone’s High Court decision pronounced by Justice Adrian J. Fisher on the 19th of April 2021, ordering the country’s main opposition APC party to convene an emergency National Delegates Conference, so that its rank-and-file members can adopt the Party’s amended 1995 Constitution has become a focus of immense political intrigue.
Whilst ruling that the injunction imposed by the Courts on 26th February 2021, restraining the Party from conducting political activities must continue to be in force, Justice Fisher however, ordered that, “the following office holders are restrained from taking part as delegates in the emergency national delegates convention: all members of the National Advisory Committee, the National Secretary General, the Assistant National Secretary General, the National Organising Secretary, the Assistant National Organising Secretary, the National Publicity Secretary, the Assistant National Publicity Secretary, the National Treasurer, the five Regional Chairmen, the 16 Districts Chairmen, the 132 Constituency Chairmen.’’ (Photo: The most powerful executives of the APC – former president Koroma, Secretary Genreral – Yansaneh, and Dr Minkailu Mansaray -deputy leader of the Party, banned from taking part in adopting the Party’s draft constitution).
He also ordered the election of twenty delegates representing the Women’s Congress, twenty delegates representing the Youth League, and five delegates for each constituency must be conducted no later than 25th June 2021.
The High Court ruling by Justice Adrian Fisher has been received with mixed feelings by sections of the APC Party as well as by observers. Many believe that the ruling by a Judge they describe as a ruling Party supporter, is politically motivated and calculated to damage the main opposition APC ahead of the 2023 elections.
But others say that the Court’s ruling is aimed at ensuring democracy and the observance of constitutional order and the rule of law by the executives of the APC Party, who are being accused of dictatorship, especially its Chairman and leader – former president Koroma.
Writing in a statement published last week, the National Reformation Movement (NRM) – a pressure group within the party, who took the APC executives to Court, launched a scathing attack on former president Koroma and his co-executives of the party. This is what they said:
“On the 19th April, 2021, a High Court Judge in Freetown issued an order which restrained a group of people, who have held offices illegally in the All People’s Congress (APC), from participating in the adoption of the draft constitution of the party.
“Clearly because the people who have been putting on a show as executive members and delegates of the APC were selected into positions the party’s 1995 Constitution requires to be filled through the conduct of elections, the court’s order, in line with Article 6.9.1 of the party’s 1995 Constitution, also enjoins the third defendant – the All People’s Congress – to conduct elections for the delegates, who will adopt the new constitution.
“Wishing to bypass so fair a process enjoined the court, and preferring the adoption of the constitution to be left in the hands of delegates they themselves have selected, reduced to yes-men, and drilled into them a sycophantic attitude that promotes the elevation of those who unconstitutionally selected them into offices to the pedestal of demigods, the leadership of the APC, most of whom the court has restrained from taking part in the adoption of the constitution, regarded the opening granted by the court for the conduct of the elections of delegates in considerably bad faith.
“The expired office holders in the APC, most of whom the court have restrained from taking part in the adoption of the constitution, worked up a plan in order to subvert the election of delegates.
“On the 28th of April, 2020, the party’s chairman – who now holds office illegally – summoned a meeting of the National Advisory Council (NAC) in Makeni to take a decision on the court order. A majority of the NAC membership and the party’s legal team supported compliance with the court order – restraining the participation of the either handpicked or expired office holders in the adoption of the constitution and ordering the conduct of elections for delegates to adopt the new constitution.
“Realizing that the odds were heavily against him and his band of adherents at the NAC meeting held in Makeni, and desperate for an arrangement that, in his mind, would eliminate any question of personal accountability, the Chairman and Leader, whose term of office has clearly expired, and who, lately, only becomes affected by something when his personal interest is on the line, quickly summoned the puppets he has forged through his unprecedented abuse of the selection clause to make a decision on the court order.
“Those whom the party’s chairman assembled in Makeni, all of whom put on a show as executives of constituencies and decided that the party should appeal the recent court order, are mostly puppets whom EBK, through his abuse of the selection clause, has forged in his own image and likeness.
“The recurrent spectacle of these handpicked and expired constituency executives endorsing anything that drips from the lips of those who selected them into the positions they unconstitutionally occupy, has become part of the enduring legacies of the party’s current leadership.
“We regret to say now that it seems our comrades who had always opposed dialogue with the status quo were right. EBK and his executive are insincere and duplicitous in their dealings.
“The charade of assembling EBK’s puppets in Makeni to endorse his resistance to the court order and to demonstrate that his commitment to the democratization of the party’s internal politics is nothing but mirage has clearly shown that EBK and his expired executive are in no urgency for the party to come into governance.
“How can anyone be so blinded by selfishness to appeal an order that commands you to go to a convention and adopt a constitution! What harm there is in excluding expired office holders who bear the greatest responsibility for all the chaos in the APC, who are bent on maintaining perpetual control of the party, who are prone to corrupt the process, plant confusion and make mockery of the constitution adoption process?
“If we at the NRM can demonstrate our commitment to peace by withdrawing our case from court in an effort to promote peace and cohesion, why is it so difficult for the expired holders of offices in the APC to accept an order that commands the party to conduct elections for delegates and adopt a democratic constitution?
“We want the Chairman and Leader, whose mandate has expired, and who is the mastermind of all the chaos in the APC, to know that we at the movement have the same energies he has in fomenting chaos.
“To all those who believe in the struggle for democracy in our party’s internal politics as opposed to the vigorous authoritarian order Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma wants to entrench, our assurances of an unrelenting commitment to the struggle for democracy in the APC.
“Signed: Osman Bikal Kamara, Secretary General, NRM.”
Bloody hell. I don’t understand why so many people want the APC to become the First democratic political party in the world. Will anyone tell me which country in the world has a democratic political party? I don’t give a damn if any political party is democratic or not. Political parties should sort out their problems without interference from external inquisitive political operatives. Are some people politically blind? leave the APC select or elect who they feel will lead them to victory in 2023. What is wrong with that? Anyway, messy political party politics sometimes bring change. God bless the leader of the APC and former Commander in Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces Dr Ernest Bai Koroma. Do they think he should not be a leader for life? Stick around our former Commander in Chief.
The current tyrannical practice of selection over election in the All People’s Congress is dangerous because it becomes impossible for this party to behave in a democratic manner on the national scale (especially as an incumbent party) when it has contravened it’s own constitution on matters of internal democracy.
Secondly the APC seems to be about the rule of strong individuals rather than the rule of institutions. Strengthening the individual at the expense of the institution will weaken the party. Because individuals have a tendency to put their selfish interest above the collective good, something that the institution tries to prevent. Elevating the selfish interest of EBK will create more disharmony, jealousy, infighting, chaos and reduce the party’s ability to win elections.
I personally believe that former President Koroma is the worst thing that has ever happened to our beloved country. After our 11 years civil war, the international community collaborated with the late President kabba to rebuild all our institutions by making sure that most of our civil service and parastatal employees are hired based on their qualifications rather than party affiliations, tribes or regions. Unfortunately, former President Koroma not only reversed those gains, but by the end of his second term humiliated our nation by sacking his elected vice president.
He took his dictatorship to a new level when he handpicked his successor after his failed third term attempt which was rejected by most citizens. Unfortunately he successfully installed himself as the lifetime leader and chairman of the APC party which is currently a disaster. He is a serial LIAR and MANIPULATOR but his worst trait is GREED which explains why he is the biggest “ARATA” in the history of our country. His only hope at the moment is to “make our country ungovernable” starting from his own party. Thankfully some young patriots within his own party are doing whatever it takes to bring peace and stability in our beloved country by expunging the Selection clause within their constitution which will eventually strengthen our democracy.
One mistake which all of us must do our utmost to avoid is to overstay our welcome. It’s always more rewarding to bow out while at the top, that’s the memory that is perpetually endearing. Earnest Koroma should have stuck around after his party’s defeat in 2028 only to ensure that there was a smooth transfer of power from himself to someone else. The civil war which has taken hold APC could well handicap it to mount any serious fight against SLPP come 2023. Bio’s prayer at this moment is for the APC civil war to intensify.
There’s no democracy within the two major parties (APC and SLPP), that’s why they are unable to practice it on a national scale. Their leaders have very thin skins – it doesn’t take much to pierce them. They are intolerant and believe that they alone have all the answers. This time it’s APC that seems to be disintegrating because they are the losers, next time it will be SLPP.
A well structured APC should not have to enter into litigation to legitimise anything but the old guard fear oblivion, that’s why they don’t want to go anywhere. If they’re somehow pushed out they will be engulfed by depression. Both major parties need a break, let’s give it to them in 2023 and bring in NGC; we need some fresh air.
Thanks for your insightful contributions on this important issue Mr Reinard Wiecha and Special Agent Young4na. Indeed, Sierra Leone is a strange country where the interests of the masses can be easily subverted by men like Justice Adrian Fisher that can be seen as a Nation Wrecker that seeks only to validate the corrupt tendencies of an inept, criminal, SLPP President and his deplorable bunch of corrupt officials. The truth of the matter is this: the law allows and permits issues on transparency to be laid at her feet for scrutiny and judgement. What it doesn’t allow is for Judges that make critical decisions on National matters to be members of any political party. Well, what we are witnessing is the biased decision of a man that is a member of the SLPP in the depths of his totally compromised,thoughtless, corrupt soul. Any Class 5 student will tell you just by glancing at the final words of the Judge that it was a dubious, malicious attempt by a puppet to tip the battle scales of the 2023 election in favor of the old soldier in Freetown.
Someone, anyone, answer me – When will this eerie curse that compels us to accept Maada Bio, David Francis, JJ Saffa, Adrian Fisher and Abass Bundu ever unshackle its iron grips on us and set us free so that we can chose Hope, instead of despair,and liberty instead of bonds of abject poverty and intense suffering?(lol)
I blame Charles Margai for his role in reviving a dying and pathetic APC party.
We keep blaming Maada Bio. This situation was the creation of the former president. How? One may ask. Firstly, Parliament, the constitution set up for an independent speaker, who was to be a retired Judge. The position was held by Abel Stronge. Bai Koroma changed it to a sitting member, Dumbuya, I think the fellow’s name was. This was to chase his futile dreams of a third term. Now that has come back to bite the party, which led to Abass Bundu taking over the role of speaker. Second,His selection agenda ensured that the SLPP did not win the election, rather the APC lost it.
Finally, his nepotism and delusions of Siaka Stevens grandeur alienated the Mende people, as he forgot that it was a coalition government and hounded Charles Margai because of his wife. Now, he is being held hostage because of the threat of the Commission over his head.
If APC does not dump the chairman for life and his family, they will be stuck in political limbo. As the main rationale for Koroma now is to keep his ill gotten gains.
Hmmm; let’s paraphrase — ‘all APC current national executives, and all those who have been at the helm of managing the party affairs, for over a decade now, are being banned from participating in adopting their party newly drafted constitution’? Forgive me folks, but I am having a hard time fathoming this one.
This is like saying, members of parliament, the president, the judiciary, cabinets members, and all other stakeholders responsible for managing the affairs of the state, and make laws MUST NOT PARTAKE in adopting their proposed laws, simply because they might influence citizens in accepting their proposal. Wow, Sierra Leone is indeed a special country, and this high court judge surely has a unique way of interpreting things!!
As an outsider I can’t judge the differences within the APC. But what has a high court judge to do with it? This normally should be solved between the party members and supporters. Worldwide like in Britain or Germany there is a big loss of confidence in the established popular parties, because of bureaucracy, adaptability, lack of new ideas etc. I believe that is the same situation in your country.
The question of the moment now becomes; who do you TRUST? The decision of a Judge that is a weird puppet on a string,the broke, penniless,clueless NRM that is smooching the Criminal cruel soldier in State House and his crew or the living legend EBK that understands the heartfelt hopes,aspirations and demands of the people of Sierra Leone? The NRM has no credibility whatsoever; they are looking for a free ride on the back of an Invincible mythical Political creature known as the APC. These broke penny pinchers, are trying to pull a fast one on us just like Bio did to supporters of the SLPP; he sold them his lies, and falsehoods, assumed the reins of power just to enrich himself.
Now,listen up Comrades – Do not become complicit and at ease with any dubious decision handed to you by an unscrupulous Judge. He totally lacks the ability to remain impartial in such a critical matter because my sources indicate that he is an ardent SLPP supporter behind the scenes. It’s time to sit up and buckle up for a bumpy ride ahead. The APC I knew was fearless and confident; Why are you guys now scurrying helter skelter like mice being chased by a cat? Its a disgrace for Maada Bio to be able to outwit a resilient army of brilliant minds currently in the APC. My Goodness! Its a sad thing not to know when the stakes are high and we cannot afford to snooze and lose. Indeed an appeal of the questionable decision is a step in the right direction; now its time to travel the length and breadth of the country in order to sensitise the APC masses that their interests and livelihoods are in jeopardy. Shrewd old men with grey heads should never allow themselves to become defeated thrice by a deplorable thief.
Firstly Bio overthrew a legitimate APC President,then used shadowy tactics years later to win an election, now he is conniving again with a slippery, sloppy judge and the NRM behind the scenes in a quest to secure a second term in office. Its time for you guys to wake the hell up and double up your efforts..Word.
The 2023 presidential election is there for the taking. Judging by Bio’s record, it should be an open goal for the opposition parties to wrestle our country from the thrones of corruption, regionalism, tribalism, and above all else,a lack of sense of direction. And to add to our woes, a complete breakdown of respect for the rule of law, free press, and ordinary citizens rights, that were tricked to elect Bio to represent their welfare and look after their interest. Bio can talk the talk, but he can’t walk the walk. Under three years, Bio has managed to turn our country from a once promising bright economy to what one could only discribe as back water of misery for her citizens, and a trigger happy police state. The level of incompetence by this government is mind blogging.
You just can’t make it up. The sorry state we found ourselves, tells its own story. Never mind what the rest of us think. Its self-evident. The proof of Bio failures to deliver on his promises is there for all to see. Now its up to the voters to render their judgement. We need a credible opposition that can present an alternative arrangement, and come up with ideas that works for the many, not the few. We can’t afford to blow the chance of showing Bio and his team the RED CARD which as fate will have it, red is the symbol of the newly revamped APC, post the RUF wars.
The All People’s Congress party needs to put its house in order, for them to stand a fighting chance to unseat this incompetent and frankly a government that is marred in sleaze, nepotism, and corruption to the eye balls, that has no comparable moment in the history of our country. Put your differences aside, and work out a workable strategy to unseat Bio.