A Clarion Call To Unclenching The All People’s Congress Party From The Powers That Be
An Open Letter to Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma: Former Chairman and Leader of the APC Party
By Elhaj Malik Shabbaz.
Dear Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma:
I extend my heartfelt greetings to you from my residence in the hills. It is from here, for the first time since you stepped down from power and relinquished the party’s leadership following a court verdict, that I take up my pen to express some concerns about why the All People’s Congress (APC) has been struggling to reclaim its place at State House. Before delving into the main purpose of this letter, I wish to revisit your promise to the youth of our nation when you were elected president of the Republic of Sierra Leone in 2007. In your own words, you pledged to place youth empowerment and development at the forefront of your administration. We widely embraced this agenda, not only by the international community, as you were the first former president to so closely align yourself with the youth of our country.
The encouraging news is that the youths you promised to empower have now matured. They are not only ready to take on leadership roles in our country, but also capable of driving the much-needed change we all yearn for.
Mr. President, I believe you would concur with me, especially considering your statements in the press leading up to the June elections, that the 2018 outcome was a disappointment. Despite the explanations you provided for relinquishing what should have been a national assertion of the people’s choice, many of us remain stunned by the events of that year. If blame is to be assigned for the country’s current hardships, I must argue, in a biblical sense, that the responsibility rests solely on your shoulders for the circumstances brought about by the seven-man team known as “PAOPA”. Your announcement in 2023, claiming that the 2018 elections were tainted with irregularities that you overlooked for the sake of peace and national cohesion, seemed to prioritise personal interests over collective wisdom.
Mr. President, we have shown you great respect, and we have strived diligently to uphold your legacy within the APC, despite the setbacks and disadvantages resulting from your decisions. In 2018, we agreed after you appointed Dr. Samura Kamara as the APC’s candidate in the elections. Despite the party’s roster of popular candidates, we were taken aback to support a candidate we barely knew until your endorsement. According to reliable sources, this decision was the outcome of power-driven deliberations among over 28 potential flag-bearers.
Mr. President, the delegates in Makeni chose Samura to lead the party once again as a tribute to you, a leader who has significantly contributed to our nation. We now implore you and your associates to graciously step aside and allow the APC to breathe anew. By ensuring that your 2007 commitments come to fruition within the APC, you will set another commendable precedent. It is time for the APC’s youth to assume control of the party’s affairs. With the deepest respect, I urge you to support the youth agenda in the upcoming APC leadership.
You are best positioned to rally your supporters to make way for the new generation. Let those you empower, who are now fully capable, take the helm and fulfil your vision. The political landscape in Sierra Leone is evolving, with increasing calls for youthful participation and fresh perspectives. This is a movement I hope you will endorse wholeheartedly.
This clarion call to you and your team is not a directive but a plea to reignite the APC’s spirit and set it on a path to reclaim its rightful place in our nation’s political discourse. It is a call that extends beyond the party, addressing a nation that has long been constrained. It’s not just about empowering a select group of youths within the APC, but about embracing leaders with the right blend of intellect, energy, and initiative.
This call is not about deciding the next leader; it is about the youths recognising their role in our political sphere. As the first president to engage with the youth, who form most of our electorate, I kindly request that you now assume the role of an advisor, allowing us to take the lead.
The time has come for the party’s youth to take charge. This is a divine mandate and one that must be respected. We no longer wish to resolve our disputes in court, but to explore the best possible solutions to encourage your transition into advisory roles. The era of a renewed APC is upon us. We kindly ask you to release the APC from the grips of the status quo.
With utmost respect,