NGC Media Team:
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 December 2017:
Kandeh Yumkella, Presidential standard-bearer for the National Grand Coalition (NGC), visited the SLPP’s stronghold of Segbewema in Kailahun District, last Sunday, 10th December 2017.
Flanked by hundreds of NGC supporters who lined up the highway of Tondola to welcome him and his entourage, an emotional Yumkella ditched his convoy to join his fans as they marched past curious looking residents towards Paramount Chief Jajua’s compound.
In his welcome remarks, PC Jajua thanked Dr. Yumkella for paying him a courtesy visit and for maintaining traditions noting that as a chief, he takes his traditional role as a neutral father very important.
As Sierra Leone prepares for elections, PC Jajua further stressed the importance of fair and peaceful elections for a stable Sierra Leone.
“As you know, I have not come to campaign at this moment,” said Yumkella. “I have come here to introduce myself and to meet my numerous supporters who are passionate about my message of “Change “ and putting “Salone Fors.”
Addressing his supporters at the Segbewema football field following his visit to PC Jajua, Yumkella noted that he has proven his critics wrong, who had previously claimed that he will never dare to come to Segbewema.
“Den say wu nar nor go welcome me, but wu nar don prove den wrong.” Reciting a verse from the Quran, He further noted that “God is sovereign and power comes from him.”
Given the large crowd that welcomed the NGC flag-bearer in Segbewema, a trend which occurs at every location he has visited around the country, political analysts have opined that traditional party strongholds may not exist for the 2018 elections. In fact, said Joseph Kpaka, “with NGC making in-roads, every district is at play.”
Said Yumkella, “I am not from Kailahun but because of love for country, I have done a lot that benefited many people in this country.”
He further noted that he built a “Growth Centre” in Koindu that is benefiting so many youths today. “All my life, I have been a passionate advocate for pro-poor policies, youth and women, energy access to ensure economic prosperity for all. Development is in my DNA and I returned home because of love for you and to help push Sierra Leone forward with your support.”
During the Ebola crisis, Yumkella appeared on numerous international news channels appealing for international assistance and expertise for Ebola hit countries especially Sierra Leone.
Through his personal lobbying efforts, USD 500,000 dollars was raised to support Ebola efforts, including linking President Koroma with former World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Margaret Chan.
As he introduced the NGC flag-bearer, Andrew Karmoh Keilie noted that both he and Yumkella share so many things in common. He noted that “we were both SLPP, but we chose to leave to join NGC because the party no longer holds true to its founding values. We both attended CKC in Bo. I feel proud to be able to welcome Kandeh in my home district of Kailahun,” Kailie said to thunderous applause, as supporters in his hometown held placards with the caption “ Kailahun says Andrew Kailie for Running Mate.”
Commenting further on their departure from the SLPP, Yumkella noted that his allegiance to Sierra Leone is greater than any party. “There are no green Sierra Leoneans, there are no red Sierra Leoneans. We are Sierra Leoneans and our country must always come first.”