Battle In APC

By Saidu Dumbuya

The hard fought ding-dong constitutional battle between the National Reformation Movement (NRM) and the leadership of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party that started about two years ago continues unabated; even as mediators continue to seek peace and reconciliation between the two warring factions.

Taking the battle to the APC leadership, at a press conference held at the  Harry Yansaneh Hall at thr headquarters of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalist (SLAJ) in Freetown on Monday, 7th September, 2020, the NRM leadership registered their intention to continue with the court matter filed in the High Court against the current APC national executive that seeks to force the executive to create the conditions for holding of lower level elections that will lead to the election of new national officers.

Announcing that the term of office of the party’s regional, district, constituency and national executives on the 15th of September and 15th of October this year, NRM Chairman Sheridan Kamara Esq., said that beyond those dates, APC would have no legally constituted executive body until new executive members are elected. NRM is determined that this crop of national officers should excuse themselves from continuing to providing leadership for the party by paving the way to the election of a new generation of APC leaders.

Reading the Movement’s position statement to the press at the Harry Yansaneh hall, NRM Secretary General, Osman Bikal Kamara disclosed that on the 1st of July, 2020, NRM’s leadership met with the APC leadership at the party’s Old Railway Line headquarters wherein both parties made commitments to search for a negotiated settlement.

In the meeting which, he said, was facilitated by Dr. Ibrahim Bangura, both parties made commitment to observe the rule forbidding disclosure to the public information on the course of negotiation.

Few days after the meeting, NRM, he continued, submitted three copies of their negotiating document to the facilitator for onward submission to the party Chairman, Deputy and the Secretary General.

Mr. Kamara said that since then, the negotiation process has stalled and that after the party leadership broke the public disclosure rule was what prompted NRM to bring the issue to the notice of the public.

He added that NRM is of the view that the APC leadership lacks the political will to resolve the issues put to it by NRM; adding that the APC leadership came to the negotiating table with double agenda while pretending to be interested in negotiation.

He disclosed that prominent APC members acting on the instruction of the party’s leadership are secretly engaging plaintiffs and other actors to withdraw the NRM case from court before the issues raised are negotiated; just as has been done to one of the plaintiff who has withdrawn his membership from NRM. With such duplicity shown by the APC leadership, he stated that the only option NRM has is to have their case heard in court and justice delivered.

Mr. Kamara lashed out at what he said NRM calls the manipulators to whom negotiation means manipulation that their unconventional negotiating tactics will serve them no useful purpose, declaring that NRM is disciplined and structured, adding that withdrawal of the court matter does not lie exclusively in the hands of any one plaintiff.

Newly appointed NRM Public Relations Officer (PRO), Richard Mansaray maintained that the Movement do not only frown at the selection clause in the party’s constitution that are asked to be reviewed but also other undemocratic clauses entrenched in the reviewed constitution that gives the APC Chairman and Leader power to appoint thirty members of the party’s National Advisory Council (NAC).

Mr. Mansaray warned that NRM is poised to challenge any undemocratic posture that the APC leadership takes. He added that further line of action, such as going round the country to inform party executives that the life of the current executive has come to an end, will be taken in the Movement’s determined bid to make APC democratic and open to one and all to participate in its leadership.