Sierra Leone Telegraph: 18 October 2017
For the first time in the history of Sierra Leone, since the country gained independence in 1961, politicians from across the political divide have come together to form a broad church of liberal philosophies and values, which they say is a break-away from the traditional APC Red and SLPP Green politics.
They have formed a new political party, known as the National Grand Coalition (NGC), based on the values of progressive liberal democratic freedoms, which its founders say will energise and drive entrepreneurship, a vibrant and diversified free market economy, innovation, wealth creation, prosperity, and social and economic inclusiveness.
Today, the NGC received its full certificate of registration from the country’s Political Parties Registration Commission to operate as a political party, and to organise, mobilise and prepare for campaigning for the 2018 general and presidential elections.
Those elections are due in less than five months – on the 7th of March 2018, a timeline that is going to focus the minds of the founders and members of the NGC.
But the executives of the party are confident that they can break the stranglehold that the two established parties – APC and the SLPP have on the politics of Sierra Leone, as the country’s economy teeters to the edge of bankruptcy, and poverty worsens.
Since the end of the Ebola epidemic and the decline in global prices of iron ore which is the country’s main export earner, the APC government appears to have ran out of ideas as to how best to generate revenue.
Foreign donors have cut back on their support as election approaches. Youth unemployment continues to rise, with over 70% of adults in the country out of work.
Critics of the APC government say that after ten years in power, they have woefully failed to diversify the economy from an over-reliance on mining revenue, so as to broaden its taxation base. They are now calling for a change of government.
The opposition SLPP appears to have shot itself in the foot with the election last weekend of the retired former military junta leader – Julius Maada Bio as its presidential candidate for next year’s elections.
According to political analysts, the SLPP’s chances of winning the general elections in 2018 are now far less likely, given its lack of broad national appeal, which the founders of the new National Grand Coalition claim to have.
Members of the NGC are hoping that with the former UN executive assistant to Ban Ki Moon – Dr. Kandeh Yumkella (Photo) as their presidential candidate, the NGC is the only party that has the leadership to bring much needed economic prosperity to Sierra Leone.
Heading the NGC as its Chairman is Dr. Dennis Bright – a highly experienced organiser and politician, who spoke at a press conference in Freetown today about the NGC vision, and the party’s hope of a better Sierra Leone.
Politics in Sierra Leone will never be the same again with today’s granting of full registration certificate to the new National Grand Coalition party, a broad church of progressive liberal democratic politicians, whose vision is to change Sierra Leone from its current status of ‘donor-driven and debt-ridden nation’ to an economically productive and prosperous country – with Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as president.
I want to be member of N.G.C. So how can I have membership?
Awesome news forum.
The author of this piece is certainly not resident in the country or that he is unaware of typical Sierra Leone politics, if not that s/he is dishonest with the people of Sierra Leone. Now, I was an astute admirer of Kandeh Yumkella, more so when he unfolded his agenda if elected as president of Sierra Leone. However, his actions have proven that he lacks the political maturity, coupled with his indecisiveness exposes that negative side of leadership in him.
Being honest with myself, my conscience, and the people of Sierra Leone, I am with the view that Sierra Leoneans are highly unprepared to accept any third party, talk-less of the garrulous Yumkella.
This is a watershed moment in the political scene of Sierra Leone, an oasis. Unless we recognise and exploit every facet of the situation, the darkness which has bewitched the country for the last six decades through A.P.C and S.L.P.P will not be lifted.
Defeatism, therefore, should have no place among those of us who desire to extricate ourselves from the shackles which the two major parties have around us for an inordinate amount of time. The defeatists can continue existing in their little kingdom of not even wanting to put a fight before throwing in the towel.
A.P.C and S.L.P.P are not invincible, although they would have us believe otherwise by trying to brow-beat or stare us down. Once we take a step back they will be all over us – but not this time, thanks to Yumkella and others who have the courage and confidence to confront the bull and wave the cape at it to start the fight.
The people of Sierra Leone already know the stakes and are ready to try something completely and new, if just for the sake of it. It is now left to the coalition to tailor and sharpen their message to reach all corners of the country, the centre of which should be to caution voters that they should not allow any old A.P.C tricks to lull them to a false sense of progress by doing everything, for example, to light up Freetown henceforth until election day, after which the city would be plunged back to darkness.
Kandeh Yumkella and his colleagues would only lose in 2018 if they did not keep all their senses awake to ensure that any voting system advocated by A.P.C was fool proof through all tests.
This is the time to tell A.P.C and S.L.P.P that we are not Mendes, Temne, Limba, Kurankoh, Kono or anything, but Sierra Leoneans who are tired of being treated like idiots.
It’s a start, people who want change should educate their people on the need to break the stranglehold of both the APC and SLPP on the nation. Its not the birthright of these two parties to pillage and plunder the nation with impunity.
No matter how many new political parties emerge in Sierra Leone, they will have votes but will never win election in this country. Thanks to the founders of the N.G.C party, but sorry to tell you that winning the presidential election come 2017 is really far from you now.
The indigenous supporters of the APC and S.L.P.P are not ready to support this coalition. Thanks very much and you will prove me right very soon.
No matter what happens in Sierra Leone, the New political party has got a lot to say and do to make sure they are prepared to govern and control the economy from its meltdown under APC. I wish them good luck in their endeavour to build Sierra Leone.
Thanks be to God almighty for such an event to happen in our beloved motherland. Today marks the dawning of a new day in Sierra Leone’s political landscape. What the SLPP Party’s current delegates lack is the value, vision and reason of change for the better in their party by accepting and promoting liberals whose records had stood the test of time for the better through their various endeavors at the various institutions they had find themselves that can easily be transmitted to the party’s philosophy in selecting a presidential flag-bearer for the party.
Sadly one of their own sons whose father was a founding father of the SLPP has had enough of that party’s pull him down syndrome and has joined like minded liberals in forming a new movement for the betterment, progress, and prosperity of fellow brothers and sisters who have been snared, enslaved, looted of their status and pride of being a Sierra Leonean by this ruthless, reckless and vulture-like APC party scavenging the resources for the benefit of the masses for their own selfish end.
One day you looters will be held accountable for what you have done to the populace of Sierra Leone.