Sierra Leone Telegraph: 11 October 2017
As the row continues into what many – in and out of Sierra Leone, regard as the blatant misuse of administrative rules by the Sierra Leone Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in refusing to grant a full registration certificate to Dr. Kandeh Yumkella’s National Grand Coalition Party (NGC) today, the chairman of the coalition – Dr Dennis Bright has spoken out. This is what he says.
“As per the PPRC Act, our final certificate of registration as a political party was supposed to have been issued today 11th Oct. 2017. As we were getting ready to go to PPRC, we received a letter from them forwarding objections purported to have been submitted to them by concerned citizens.
“The objections were mainly about the NGC colours, our symbol and a poster or photo of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella prepared by an unknown person presenting him as Presidential candidate for the NGC.
“The PPRC has therefore invited us to discuss the objections on Tuesday 17th Oct. 2017.
“Considering the stupid nature of the objections I am in no doubt that we can dismiss them with a single wave of the hand.
“We have also suggested that the so-called discussions should be held before Tuesday having regard to the length of time the PPRC has caused us to wait already.
“In any case, we are perfectly aware of these booby traps being set along the way for us to fall into and expire.
“We also know that these delays are being inflicted to break our confidence and kill our spirit so that we don’t attain the fruits of our collective endeavour to change the face of history in Sierra Leone and save the future of our children.
“Yes, we know why they are doing all this but let’s wait patiently for one last week, and the world will know on Tuesday next that something huge is happening in Salone when we will shout out the news that the NGC is truly and finally born.
“To our brothers and sisters in the diaspora a special message and appeal to you all to remain calm and focused on our project and please encourage your relatives out here to stay calm and be patient. Trust me.
“We will not allow anyone to infringe on our freedom of association because this is our country and no one has the right to steal our fundamental right as citizens. We pledge that this time we will defend our rights BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. This night must go away and day must break in Sierra Leone at last”.
The ball is now on the court of the PPRC to turn a new leaf and prove to the people of Sierra Leone, its funders – the United Nations Development Programme, and the international community, that it can conduct its affairs without fear or favour.
The PPRC must take cognizance of the fact that there is lot at stake at the 2018 elections, not least consolidation of Sierra Leone’s hard-won peace, and continuing nurturing of the country’s nascent democracy. The PPRC must not be seen to be doing anything that will put its credibility and the nation’s interests at risk.