Sierra Leone’s National Grand Coalition leads other parties in the democratisation process

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 February 2020:

Yesterday, 22nd February 2020, marked a major milestone in the very short history of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party, as well as in the history of Sierra Leone’s chequered political landscape. The NGC party leadership, launched the final phase of their constitutional consultations with stakeholders, which will be held throughout Sierra Leone in an effort to fully democratise the party.

According to the party’s governing body, the purpose of the constitutional consultations, which started in May 2018 and will end in March this year, is to present a draft revised constitution to the party leaders (i.e. Chairpersons, Women’s Leaders and Youth Leaders) of all districts and constituencies for their final comments.

The next phase of the process is restructuring the party leadership at the constituency, district and regional levels.

All chapter elections in North America and UK&I have already been completed. Consultations with NGC chapters and regions in the diaspora commences today, Sunday 23rd February 2020, says the NGC leadership.

What the NGC is doing that is most significant and strikingly different to all of the other political parties – including the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC, is that the constitutional reform and structural changes the NGC party is putting in place now, will ensure that the party’s presidential candidate will be elected by the district party conferences and not at the national delegates conference.

This means that for the first time in the contemporary history of Sierra Leone’s politics, there will be primary elections for presidential candidates conducted by a political party. The NGC will be the first political party to introduce primaries to elect their presidential flagbearer.

Whilst other political parties including the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC are locked in fierce and bitter internal constitutional struggle, the changes that the NGC are now making will not only fully democratise the party, but will ensure that those representing the will of party members are freely and fairly elected by ballot at the local and regional levels.

Consultations for the NGC democratisation process in the Northwest Region of the country were held in Kambia. The process was led by Dr Dennis Bright, Ambassador Daboh, Ambassador Ibrahim Mbaba Kamara, John Bangura – Northern Region Chairman, Dr Obai Kabia, Alhaji Ibrahim Sesay and the Reverend Alfred Munda Sam Foray.  The meeting was hosted by the party’s parliamentary representatives – Hon. Foday Mario Kamara, Hon. Baisama Kamara, Hon. Abdul Titus Kamara and Hon Alhaji Kandeh Yumkella.

Similar consultations are also being held for the Southeast in Bo, led by Mr. Francis Hindowa – National Secretary General of the party, Hon. Helen Kuyembeh, Madam I.J. Kabba, Mr. Joseph Maada Kpulun, Mr. Amadu Sheriff, and Haja Memunatu Koroma.

Consultations in the Northeast and Western Area will be held in the coming week. The consultation process will culminate in a National Convention to be held at the end of this year.

Speaking about this ground-breaking democratisation process taking place in the NGA party, Dr Dennis Bright – Chairman and National Leader of the NGC, told the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph that: “In keeping with our promise to provide the best example of internal party democracy in Sierra Leone, the NGC has made a ground breaking decision to choose our flag bearer by holding primaries.  That means that all our constituency, district, regional and diaspora executives will be voting to choose our Presidential candidate. We are all set to change the face of politics in Sierra Leone.”

Mr Alan Luke – the newly elected Chairman of NGC UK and Ireland, also spoke to the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph. He said: “This development does not only empower executives at all levels of the party to choose our Presidential candidate, it will make aspirants forge relationships with the electorate from all parts of the country. They would not rely only on local stakeholders to campaign on their behalf, they would have go to all parts of the country and fight for those votes.”

The National Grand Coalition party it seems have set a new standard of democratic politics in Sierra Leone that other political parties in the country will now have to follow, if they are be taken seriously.

Only time will tell whether the constitutional reforms and structural changes that are being proposed by the APC and SLPP will go so far as to include the holding of primaries to elect their party leaders and presidential candidates.

10 Comments

  1. Having the NGC party and other political parties in Sierra Leone is a big sign of our democracy. But the problem in this nation is that we don’t have true democracy. Democracy in Sierra Leone is tribalism – the north vs the south; temnes vs mendes; APC vs SLPP. This is our democracy. The sme in the US. Democrats vs Republicans. In the UK – Conservative vs Labour. I think its time we the people of Sierra Leone give chance to other minority parties. This makes for good democracy in Sierra Leone. But the question is whether the majority ethnic groups are ready for change? I don’t think so. But why not?

  2. Mr Kamara – How many seats do you have in Parliament currently?(lol)If you do not have at least 7 then there’s no need to blow trumpets, you will need a referees tiny,whistle,to get the attention of children,that can easily believe your delusional lies,and utterances.(lol)How many heavy boots do you have on the ground, making the headlines,winning opposition territories?You think next election is going to be as easy as the last one; Sadly mistaken!

    The legendary APC is going to come out wrecking havoc like a hurricane,sparing none,taking no prisoners, and showing no mercy. You will need the help of the elements that govern the universe to help you keep us in check. (lol) You seem to not understand that Democracy is a game of thrones, where numbers guarantee that the sceptre of power belongs to the winner.

    Here’s my prediction, and they rarely ever fail – if you don’t heed prudent advice, and change your lackadaisical attitudes, your party is surely going to become a thing of the past, ashes carried effortlessly away in the wind, never to be seen again. Who is going hand you votes on a silver platter?

    You’ve got to toil, sweat,and earn it,man – make sacrifices for it. Forget the antics, and showboating,and the needless crayon coloring of yourselves;You must brace,and dig yourselves deeper in the trenches, and prepare for WAR. (lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. There’s a song that says – Honesty is a lonely word,because everyone is so untrue – What a Classic! My grandmother used to say,honest criticism is as bright as the moon of Heaven on a dark night of trial. And it is also true,that Almighty God often times chastises, rebukes, and punishes us for our errors,shortcomings because he loves us. Sincerely,the NGC party is languishing at the bottom rung of the political ladder,and until they make concrete, strategic,firmly resolved efforts to rise, and ascend,they risk being extinguished like a mist in the midst of a frightening storm.

    Now let’s be sincere, you cannot make tangible,and sustainable gains on the ground by sitting behind a laptop,in Europe,or America,chilling, while browsing,and interacting on social media,in the comfort and convenience of an air conditioned,or regulated,heated home.

    How many productive boots does the NGC have on ground as we speak,doing the tedious demanding,frustrating,challenging work of
    travelling the length,and breadth of our nation, engaging our people in constructive dialogue, interacting with communities, empowering,and supporting as many as they can morally and financially,listening to their ideas,and fears, concerns, grievances, while at the same time, winning hearts,and minds,spreading their message?

    If you wish to shatter a rock to pieces,you will need a sledgehammer,and you must find yourself a chainsaw to cut down agiant tree. Which types of effective, practical tools,devices,and well thought out strategies, are they using to bring down strongholds, and obstacles standing on their way to achieving objectives,targets,and goals? (lmao )Well,empty cosmetic, rhetoric will just not be enough – it won’t suffice.

    So Great Sayedna,are you saying there is no hope for the NGC in Sierra Leone politics? Well,there’s always hope when men are prepared to make the sacrifices needed to get where they intend,and long to be. Scripture says nothing is impossible to he who believes.

    I know a way,that can get the NGC,on equal footing in just years,with the legendary APC and SLPP,but will the NGC be prepared to sacrifice skin,and bone for it? I think not (lol) Listen – “There’s a path,which no fowl knoweth, which the eye of the vulture,hath not seen. The lions whelp have not trodden it,nor passeth by it.(Job 28: 7- 8 )…(lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • “Now let’s be sincere, you cannot make tangible,and sustainable gains on the ground by sitting behind a laptop,in Europe,or America,chilling, while browsing,and interacting on social media,in the comfort and convenience of an air conditioned,or regulated,heated home…….How many productive boots does the NGC have on ground as we speak,doing the tedious demanding, frustrating, challenging work of travelling the length,and breadth of our nation, engaging our people in constructive dialogue, interacting with communities, empowering,and supporting as many as they can morally and financially,listening to their ideas,and fears, concerns, grievances, while at the same time, winning hearts,and minds,spreading their message?”

      What on earth makes you think that those in the NGC responsible for planning and organising the party’s business are sitting abroad with their laptops as you dreamt? Navel guessing is not the way to have an honest and intellectual discourse about politics here in Sierra Leone – its amateurish. Let me tell you that most of us carrying the NGC ethos and message have never left the shores of Sierra Leone. You think you can lecture us about politics in Sierra Leone? You must be based in the diaspora dreaming these fanciful Shakespearean dreams abpout our party – Lol.

      First stop: In less than 3 years of forming our party we were able to win votes from both main parties across Sierra Leone. Think what we will achieve next time with the resources and manpower we now have. Underestimate us at your peril if you really care about your APC. Do you know how many thousands of people across the country voted NGC in 2018? Those people are universally spread across all tribes, regions and districts of Sierra Leone. We have offices located in all the regions of the country.

      Yes we got almost 7% of the total votes polled in 2018 but I can tell you that our votes are the most loyal you will find in the country. They are committed and determined for change. They are going to be our foot soldiers in our democratisation process that has begun. They are taking the “Time for Real Change” message all over the country. So you keep dreaming and watch NGC marches on! Lol

  4. All I would say is, the NGC with its democratization process is moving in the right direction. To be honest, political parties throughout the world have never been democratic. They always end up having certain clauses and articles in their constitutions, that they can easily tweak at any time to change the situation in someone’s favour. However, let’s wait and see the outcome of the democratization process undertaken by the NGC. I wish them all the best. God bless the democratization process of the NGC.

  5. While the NGC is still in its infancy stages. The leadership’s relentless efforts in epitomizing the democratic structures and functional aspects of the party will certainly leapfrog its status to an enviable position. Yes, as many have alluded, the NGC has a steep hill to climb in trying to convince our majority illiterate and ill-informed electorate – many of whom cast their votes solely on the basis of tribal and regional sentiments.

    A multi-prong nationwide electorate sensitization approach will certainly pay some dividends if the NGC choose to do so. Nevertheless, the NGC leadership have indeed raised the democratization bar in our nation. In this day and age of social media, both the SLPP and the APC will have no choice but to follow suit, else risk losing their positions.

  6. Honorable Abdul Thomas – The world has changed,and will continue to change,but yet, Africa remains the same. Why is that?Because of a culture deeply embedded,and anchored in mediocrity that outrightly ignores honesty, celebrates,and glorifies impunity,and lack of unaccountability. Get this – You cannot force a snake to shed it’s skin; take a horse to the stream but you wouldn’t be able to compel it to drink. It all starts with the willingness of our people to want,and demand genuine change -that’s where a spark is born – that’s when the magic for sustainable progress actually,truly begins.

    Reforms,are needed,they are a step in the right direction,after all, things must not, and cannot remain the same – evolvement and change are sometimes signs of progress, or regression,depends on who you ask. Now, let me reiterate,first you must understand the terrain in order to be able to measure up, and compete.(lol) In Democracy,numbers make all the difference, where is the NGC going to get those votes to get them into State House, Sir? Not gonna happen!

    If the Super Power nations impose a criteria for the creation,and running of Political parties,and systems in Sierra Leone,or anywhere in Africa it will be frowned upon,as being undemocratic,and thrown out of the window. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. I wouldn’t lose a night of sleep hoping, and wishing for those Colonial thieves,and criminals,that once robbed us, and left us naked to come back,and rescue our sinking nation now.

    With the right motives,and mindsets,a people inspired,and Almighty God on our side,we can make our beloved nation into a little Paradise on earth – Forget the outside trumpets the West is blowing,they are all meaningless,and empty noises…Rising Sun Will Rise Again

  7. Congratulations National Grand Coalition (NGC) on planning to inject a much-needed internal democratic process in the party. This will be a marked improvement on the moribund process that catapulted Dr. Kandeh Yumkella and Andrew Keili to the apogee of party leadership unopposed. Additionally, a democratic NGC puts the party in a better position to compete with the SLPP in 2028.

    It is a forgone conclusion that barring any egregious governance errors, the SLPP wins by a landslide in 2023. The best predictor of future performance is past performance. In 2019, the SLPP rode roughshod over the APC and the NGC in all bye-elections in the North, the supposed stronghold of the APC and the NGC. Men who allow their opponent to kick open the front doors of their homes and beat them up mercilessly are languid and flaccid fighters.

    Thus, a retrogressing and forceless APC juxtaposed with a rising and democratic NGC creates an interesting and intriguing political dynamic in Sierra Leone. If anything, it puts the NGC in a better position to effectively compete with the SLPP for State House in 2028.

    Suffice it that the REQUIEM of the feckless APC has long been written and sung. Consequently, the APC will rot in opposition and its carcass will eventually be disposed of by its remaining frustrated proselytes.

  8. Now this – “The National Grand Coalition party,it seems have set a new standard of Democratic politics in Sierra Leone,that other political parties,in the country will now have to follow, if they are to be taken seriously – Sierra Leone Telegraph.” (lol) Indeed, it looks good, but Mr Editor I beg to differ. Setting a new standard in any undertaking,and endeavor is one thing, but ensuring it becomes widely acceptable, and practicable is another matter completely.

    With such a superficial approach to politics in our country, I am totally convinced that the NGC is like a bride,all dressed up for a wedding,whose only interest is in looking lovely,elegant,and good,but really isn’t sure,or quite serious about getting married at all. Seriously,the NGC doesn’t understand the terrain,enemies,and challenges,they are up against,neither are fully aware,how high the stakes are in this game they are anxious to play. Gentlemen – It all looks enviably good on paper, but the reality on the ground is different.

    Firstly,understand the mindsets of our people,how they think, and act,and you will be amazed to see that,the vast majority, owe their allegiances not to progress,or the enhancements of democratic norms,and processes but to sentiments, standing defiantly,and steadfastly on solid pillars and structures of tribalism,and loyalty to partisan politics. I beg to differ – This isn’t Europe of America where democracy has now matured,and getting old,but backwards Africa where it is still in its infancy learning how to crawl. And what do sucking infants need the most – Milk of course!

    I’m now quite convinced that even with all the applaudable Democratic reforms going on their party,the NGC will not be able to grab the reins of power,and enter the gates of State House,for the next 25 plus years to come, simply because they are not quite familiar with the terrain in which they are competing. Yep,.25 years,or more -You can count on it! Listen, a showboating, cosmetic, impractical approach cannot win you power in Sierra Leone – creativity,not technicality is what is needed.

    Again,it seems to me,the NGC is eager to follow in the footsteps of western nations,but these are already ancient Dragons, that used ages,and countless ages to practice, and learn the fearsome art of spitting out raw fire, strengthening their massive wings,and soaring to unreachable heights.

    Folks,I can assure you,all that didn’t happen overnight! It came from so many years of toil,sweat,and tears. Gentlemen – we will be watching; Go ahead,restructure,and modernise your party to the best of your abilities,and I will applaud, but while doing so remember that millions who are uneducated,and misguided are going to vote,not based on merit,but on unshaken loyalty, and trust,that is intricately attached to convictions,and assurances stemming directly from Tribal,Political,and Partisan influences. Enough said! Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

    • Mr Conteh, if the opposition APC does not reform, restructure, change its culture and adopt similar democratisation approach being adopted by the NGC, the APC will cease to be relevant in Sierra Leone and will continue to sit in opposition for a very long time to come. Equally, should the SLPP refuse to undertake the necessary constitutional reforms which they are – I believe, poised to make at their next convention, they will lose the 2023 elections.

      Trust me. The world has moved on from the African centralised, command and control form of politics which is very much akin to the old communist style of governance. Thanks for your views though. By the way, if the laws of statistics were always true at elections, APC would still have been in power today. Word for the wise. God bless.

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