KKY Speaks Out


The leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party in Parliament, Alhaji Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, popularly known as KKY has in an interview on AYV Television last Sunday, 10th June, 2018 made some very interesting comments about the nation and its politics.

Among many salient comments that he made, KKY stated that Members of Parliament need in-depth knowledge about the workings of Parliament in order to be able to contribute better towards debates on national policy and bills brought before the house for ratification. Parliament, he said, is a very important state institution; therefore the quality of representation in it matters very much for making the right policies and oversight duties.

Given the massive following that NGC attracted for the 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, he was asked whether the voices of those supporters will continue to be heard, and whether losing the presidency and being in Parliament was a worthy consolation prize, KKY replied that those numbers, the majority of them, young people, are still there and that they should still believe in change and keep hope alive. “We intend to mobilize them again because we have to go back to them to tell them they have to keep hope alive,” he said. On his failing to clinch the presidency and being in Parliament, KKY said that part of leadership is to know how to put up with failure. “You pick yourself up; you re-strategize,” he said. KKY spoke of the challenges affecting institutions that are supposed to make governance work, stating that “institutional corruption,” which he described as refusal to exercise responsibility the way they should, could be worse than stealing money. This, he said, affects the nation going forward.

As a parliamentarian, and as a legally constituted opposition, he said he will keep hope alive as well as perform his accountability role. As a political party, he said, they will speak out against infringements of human rights and other social ills. Toward this, he said, he will work with the media.  NGC, he said, will soon launch its own newspaper to help mobilize the people.

“I will help government to govern the country by calling on NGC supporters to hold government accountable,” he said, adding  people at community levels should be able to monitor the implementation of government funded development projects such as the building of schools under the free education programme. Where they see anomalies, he said, they should report to their councilors, MPs, the Resident Minister and the media. He further stated, “we the people should help the ‘New Direction’ vision by acting as policemen in our localities in monitoring government activities in education, health, agriculture, mining, among others.” The President, he said, will take corrective actions immediately instead of waiting for a government audit.

On the sensitive issue of national cohesion after the elections, KKY said that harassment continues to take place everywhere. He mentioned his constituency and Kambia in general which, he said, some ill-motivated politicians have threatened to throw a spanner in the works of NGC which controls the district council. KKY lamented that such politicians who he called saboteurs can only thrive in an atmosphere of political chaos. He called on the government to pay attention to such elements as they are a threat to national security, recalling how ancient grudges and the need for revenge that dated back to the 1960s and 1970s fuelled the eleven years civil war.

The government, he reiterated, must ensure the security of every citizen. He called on the political leaders to visit areas where there are political quarrels not on a partisan basis but to settle the disputes and calm down the people. He stressed that the current spate of violence should be checked as they fester. “Government should take it serious,” he warned. He called on the President to reach out to those that are hurt; noting that without security there cannot be development.

“Now is the time for development, not partisan interest,” KKY said. The culture of, ‘na dis den bin do me’ (tit for tat)” should stop, KKY said. He gave the reason why people in a democracy vote for a change of government. The new leaders, he said, should scale up what was good and radically change what was bad. “Do not justify violence and intimidation,” he warned, adding, “whoever perpetuates violence is wrong. It will go round.”

Rounding up, KKY said that as an opposition politician, he would continue to stand for the core democratic values of freedom of expression, constitutionalism and the rule of law. Whilst maintaining a neutral political stance, he said, he will practice constructive opposition as well as support the government to develop the country.