Titus Boye-Thompson: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 May 2022:
Coming events cast their shadows and so the saying goes that what is to come is in itself offered to us by signs and premonition. The die has been cast. The Fisher verdict is not to be considered a spanner in the works but should be seen for what it is. This is a parody of the mismanagement that has plagued the APC all these years to the extent that it had to take one man, brave enough to stand up and show that enough is enough.
The judgement is robustly legalistic and yet simple in its elucidation. What Fisher has done in a nutshell is to offer the APC a chance to rebuild and more so to rebuild its structures better than what it was before.
I for one do not fault him but turn the lens squarely on those who have led this party for the past 20 years, distasteful of the greed and avarice of some to the extent that they could not even think beyond the existence of the Party Chairman as if on his bowing out, the APC shall fall? Yet at the onset of his stated intention to retire from front line politics, those who were fanning the flames of discord were the erstwhile Chairman to vacate became the first to rise, prematurely to take his place.
The hypocrisy of it all and the bellicose marauding of power thirsty tendencies clouded the better judgement of men like Osman Foday Yansaneh. His rush to declare interest for the Chairmanship of the Party was tainted with desperation and showed an intrusive nature of avarice yet unsurpassed. Now that this verdict has come out, it would not be surprising if he does not lead a barrage of self-interest idioramuses to ask for an appeal that he knows would surely hurt the Party more than it would benefit him.
It is indeed sad that as National Secretary General, Osman Yansaneh should have been planning how the Party would celebrate or otherwise mark the end of tenure of Ernest Bai Koroma even before we go to the next convention, to put together a compendium of the achievements of the APC under his governance and to sketch for eternity, a concise record of his personal sacrifice and dedication, success in bringing the Party back to power and serving as President for two consecutive terms. None of these occupied him but a botched attempt to lay the ground for him to ascend to the position when he himself knows that this was not the time for him to have been engaged in such melodramatics.
In a nutshell, Osman Yansaneh has failed this party and has allowed the party to look like a bunch of power-hungry hustlers without a vision or mission. It is shameful and degrading, that it had to take a court order to bring it to the attention of these miscreants that their actions were unlawful and ultra vires of the very governing document we were all supposed to be ascribed to.
The revolving door corruption was too endemic as was the egregious criminality that underpinned that corrupt sequence of events that saw ill matched persons selected to man positions in the Party, the absence of law and order and a complete disregard for legality led to the removal of symbols from many who held second citizenships only for that to be determined that such was not sufficient to deny any person who is Sierra Leonean by birth to be eligible for elective office.
It is a shame that this landmark interpretation of the Constitution was the result of a case brought by the APC, yet the NSG who should have had full oversight of that matter dropped the ball and had even asked that the matter be vacated without a proper deliberation of its merits.
It was Yansaneh’s fault for misleading the Party on the issue of Kandeh Yumkella on account of some filial ambiguity in much the same way as he proposed and hedged his bets on Nfa Alie to be made Electoral Commissioner over a much loyal and professional alternative in the person of Miatta French. It was also Yansaneh vitriolic vendetta against Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana that engendered his dismissal from the Party and the persecutions of Kainday Bangura and others on prevaricated charges of “anti party activities” that caused the gaping divide in the APC in Kono District. Once we lost the ball on those issues, and our vacuous disengagement with many of our loyal supporters across the spectrum, the APC became disentangled from its mainstay and left to drift and dislodge from its support base.
Now that we have an order against the illegal National Secretary General, one wonders what records he will have to hand over as he vacates the Party Office in less than two weeks time. Will he rouse the spirits of the Task Force to rebel against the new interim administration that will take over or will he now sign the hundreds of membership card applications that he was refusing to sign because he was busy finding ways to corrupt the Chairmanship elections with his own delegates?
In a way, many, including those who layabout at the Party office would not be sad to see him go. Yansaneh was not a giving but a receiving politician. He was ways embroiled in deals and arrangements that were in their entirety dismissive of proper administration of his office. He has scant records of how the Party is organized because his sole purpose was self preservation. There is hardly any mention of a deputy NSG or what role he was allowed to play in the Secretariat because nothing gets done unless Yansaneh puts his hands to it. That has always been a bad way of managing the affairs of an institution and in his own inimitable way, Yansaneh did that to perfection that has now resulted in the dismantling of his empire.
This is not the end of the APC. It is heartening that many are now seeing that if Yansaneh and his cohorts can be given the boot out of Marine House, then there will be a chance to start the process of rebuilding the Party.
The APC is bigger than all of its parts but at the same time, it is important that we all play our role to help make it better. This Party has a strength that goes beyond its membership.
We must draw on that strength and make this a party that can regain State House in 2023. Leaving Yansaneh in charge of such a challenge would be doomed to failure. So for that, I say thank you Justice Adrian Fisher, you have given the APC a lifeline.
Now is the time for us to rebuild better!
Well put, the dictatorship of the chairman for life, which is at odds with democratic norms and his futile attempts to hide his ill begotten wealth under the guise of he is the saviour has been bought to ruins.
Now, democracy can flourish.
Personally, I believe that the DEAFENING SILENCE of the lifetime leader and chairman of the APC party should be a concerned for our citizens. Few weeks ago when he wanted to spread his Propaganda messages, he gathered his SARDINES in Makeni and gave the roadmap to once again imposed his handpicked stooge Drunkard Samura Kamara, which supposed to be around June. During the Ramadan season, this Drunkard has been undermining the judiciary and his party by campaigning around the country before the injunction is lifted.
Currently, the least the former lifetime leader of the APC can do now is to make a public statement about the court verdict as he did by stating “Ar Hol Word”.
Finally the blame game is unnecessary based on the fact that “ You can’t shoot the messenger” or Secretary who only delivers messages from his Boss and members of the party, which explains why the judge gave only him time to close his books and hand over the documents to the interim body. “The buck stops at the office of the lifetime leader and chairman”.
Justice Fisher ruling might have just thrown a life line to a party that have increasingly lost it’s sense of purpose and of belonging .We need strong political parties that not only advance the will of the people ,but also represent the will of the people in our presidential and parliamentary democracy .There are three components to a political party .The leadership , the membership and the grassroots supporters that play a vital role in selling the parties beliefs and it’s transformative agenda, in this case it’s manifestos it wish to implement if and when it’s gets elected by the majority of the voting population .In the nutshell a bottom up approach with aim of democratisation of the party from the grassroots to the top leadership is not only vital , but it’s gives real voice to the voiceless in society .No one individual can claim to be the sole voice and representative of a party without involving the leadership and the grass roots supporters through the party structures of voting on amendments ,adhering to principles of one man one vote which is the basic tools under which all representative governments be it local or national are elected to public office .
Unfortunatly, what we have seen within the APC party , is a small clique of people led by Mr Yansenah and others cut off from reality and riding rough swords on others that doesn’t agree or are oppose to their idea of what it meant to be a party of the people and for the people .They are putting their egos before the interest of the APC party and by extension the country as a whole that is desperately crying out for change through democratic means .The treatment of Dr Bylden and Rt Major Alfred Paulo Conteh during their 2020 run in with Bio and their failure to come out and condemn Bio in the strongest terms at the time by the so-called APC big wigs of the party is not only a self inflicted wound , but an own goal in their desire to unseat President Bio in the next general election .Now if the APC party leadership is serious in winning the next general elections , they have to get their acts together .
Time is not on their side.Because at it’s stand , Bio and the SLPP party and the smaller parties don’t have to do anything in the form of campaigning because the APC party is tearing themselves apart through their own little dog eat dog infighting and back stabbing that is now etched in the minds of the voting public.The APC party leadership have to move mountains to erase that public perception of them to stand any chance of regaining the public trust .And history has consistently shown parties that are engaged in this sort of self harm inflighting , or shooting yourself on the foot, the public take a very deem of you and is very likely to vote for the devil they know rather than the others that don’t seemed to have their act together.
It’s not just Oman Yansaneh that has failed APC but the entire executive members of the party, who have now been shown the door by Justice Adrien Fisher. It has to be understood that although Yansaneh is responsible for the everyday running of the party, ultimate authority rests with Earnest Koroma as chairman and leader; he is the commander heading his troops. I must emphatically state before going any further that I am not APC or SLPP. Allah/God knows I cannot stomach them.
The turmoil which APC now faces can be traced back to the Stevens’ years. Put another way the past has caught up with the party finally. The irreversible mistake made by Koroma and Yansaneh was to think that time had stood still since the days of Sheki, S.I and Kamara-Taylor. Using where the world currently stands as the base the triumvirate operated in the dark ages, Sierra Leoneans did not know any better then. Now we have the internet and everything that goes with it, including social media. Cyberspace has bred a new generation of adroit people the world over. The rank and file of APC have not been left behind either, they know how to use YouTube for example,and are ruthless in denouncing their leaders. The culture of autocracy which Sheki initiated and enjoyed is no more; it died in a court of law a few days ago and is in a funeral home awaiting burial. The pallbearers will be Dr Sylvia Blyden, Alfred Peter Conteh, Ibrahim Bundu and others. The darkness of oblivion now awaits Osman Yansaneh and Earnest Koroma. A democratic APC may well rub off on the nation. SLPP should not rejoice because it’s their turn next, especially if they lose in 2023.
If the Executive of APC know what’s best for them, they should just bow out quietly to avoid further humiliation, they are now dealing with nimble younger members who will continue to outmaneuvre and outpace them in restructuring the party for it to reflect the wishes of the majority, a party of equal rights – the pa, pa business should come to an end.