Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 May 2023:
Yesterday, Saturday 13 May 2023 at the Wizard Complex on Dambala Road in Bo City, executive members of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party endorsed the SLPP-NGC alliance that has been formed by Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) and President Bio, ahead of the 24th June elections.
Speaking at the event, executive, registered members, and the leadership of the respective parties from Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Bonthe, Pujehun, Bo, and Moyamba Districts gave their final confirmation message after President Bio had reiterated his reasons for supporters to follow and support the alliance.
Addressing his supporters as to why he decided to enter into an alliance with the SLPP, the leader of the NGC, Dr Kandeh Yumkella (Photo above) spoke about how he and President Julius Maada Bio worked together as members of the NPRC regime with a clear focus on developing Sierra Leone.
Yumkella said: “President Bio and I did not enter politics because we are happy. It is because we care about Sierra Leone. So, when President Bio told me to return to the SLPP party to join him in the transformation of our country, that open invitation was genuine even though other sectors of the public were thinking otherwise.
“The only thing we have been talking about all this time is how we are going to consolidate our peace, hope, and national coherence in our beloved country. We are worried. We have lately seen division, whereas some people have started preaching hate, malice, and violence.
“We are here today not because of politics but to discuss how to develop Sierra Leone. Politics is not about fighting but about how we can develop the country. Everything we have been working towards is about the unification of this country. On that note, I am pleading publicly with all NGC members nationwide who have decided to run as independent candidates in the June elections to withdraw their candidature. Our focus now is to ensure President Bio wins the elections with no runoff.
“I am not vying for president. Our alliance is one that is progressive and will transform this country. I only have one presidential candidate, which is President Julius Maada Bio, and his vice presidential candidate, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. So, all NGC members nationwide, I am calling on you to put your support behind them and ensure the election is over with a massive vote for no runoff.”
In response President Dr. Julius Maada Bio said: “Leadership is about shaping the people. The sacrifices Dr. Yumkela is making to let go of his own leadership ambitions are a result of the long-standing relationship that existed between us as far back as 1993/94. Any decision taken in the interest of national development rather than personal interest is what a good leader is made of.
“We agreed to come together to put our human resources together not only to win the elections but in order to govern and deliver what the people of Sierra Leone want. We are coming together to look at the enormity of the task and complexity of the situation of our national issues ahead and find solutions to addressing them as a team.”
The President called on all SLPP supporters to embrace NGC supporters, assuring that “I believe that most of them are not strange people. We know almost all the NGC supports. Our focus now should be to put Sierra Leone first. We have realised that no single individual can develop the country more than teamwork.
“So, as leader of the SLPP party, I want to confirm to all of you here present that this is the decision we have taken in Freetown, and it is one that is in the interest of the people, and we are calling both SLPP and NGC supporters to support our decision.
“Therefore, I am formerly welcoming all NGC members to this alliance. I am happy to see you, and the fact that the alliance is formed means that our focus should be on how to transform the country with the alliance.”