10 Days To Go… All Roads Lead To F/town, Makeni

 

The political tempo in the country seems to be heightening as the date slated for the national elections fast approach. Next week, the two main political parties, the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) will hold their national delegates’ conferences in Makeni and Freetown, respectively, coincidentally on the 14th and 15th October, 2017, where they will select/elect their presidential candidates for the 7th March, 2018 national elections.

Currently, the atmosphere of the Northern Province headquarter city of Makeni is reportedly buzzing with excitement and anticipation. All available hotels, motels, inns and accommodations for rent inside and around Makeni are said to be full. Party delegates, members and supporters from abroad have reportedly started jetting in as more than 1, 000 visitors from abroad are expected to be in Makeni for the two days’ event.

Meanwhile about nineteen party members have expressed interest in vying for the presidential flagbearer position of the ruling APC while more are expected to show interest.

Ahead of the said event and in a bid to reduce the already mounting tension, the President had reportedly summoned three consultative meetings with all the aspirants at his Presidential Lodge to prepare their minds. He reportedly tried to impress on them that they have to placidly accept whosoever the party settled on as flagbearer and be ready and willing to work with that person to achieve the party’s mission of winning the 2018 national elections.

In the main opposition SLPP, the tempo is also reportedly building up to fever pitch. The Editor of the party’s newspaper, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay, informed this medium that everything is on course for the 14th and 15th. He said invitations have been sent out by the party to the diplomatic corps, government officials, other political parties, prominent personalities and institutions. Preparations have also been made to host the 647 delegates for the convention. The Independent Elections Monitoring Observer Committee (IEMOC) which will conduct the party’s flagbearer election, he said, is currently screening the six people aspiring for the position. The aspirants, he said are currently busy crisscrossing the country campaigning to delegates, adding that the election will be conducted using the gazetted SLPP flagbearer rules and regulations.

He assured that like the party convention for national officers in Kenema, the flagbearer election process will be free, fair and transparent.