2017-07-04

Kanthe’s Footnote – APC Party 2017 Convention, the Importance of a Diaspora Conference

When the news about the APC party Secretariat Press Conference broke on June 2nd, 2017 curiosity took over the Sierra Leone Press. It happened like a sprint event, like an athletic competition among the Sierra Leone Journalists as they flock their way to the APC Party Headquarters. With curiosity they listened to the Honourable National Secretary General of the APC as he rolled out the blue prints for the APC National Delegates Conference in September, 2017. Reporters were tempered down as they enjoyed the very cool air condition in the hall of the party. It was a day of high humidity. Freetown media houses had no option but to discard their news content for the next day and replace it with stories of APC National Delegate Conference.

At the APC National Headquarters, the APC National Secretary General, Honourable Ambassador Alhaji Osman Yansaneh, and his team were well positioned to serve the event of the day. The press briefing was carried out with precision. As of writing, the debate and prognosis about the APC and its leadership succession continues and the media landscape has been consumed by it. Today, every newspaper has the APC as a front page Story. What is this story? Has every part of the story been told? It is a story about a group of men and women (citizens) who wanted to fine-tune the gains of self-government wherein the grassroots people can feel represented in state governance as opposed to a party agenda designed and delivered by pious elites who harbored tendencies of their predecessors, the colonial masters. Why would these elites want to continue with SLPP? (Photo: IBRAHIM BADAMSI KAMARA, Grandson of Sammy Sarata, Pangana, (KNANA KANTHE, QUEBEC, CANADA)

The Story about the APC will remain incomplete without mentioning the party’s Diaspora. Today, many APC party stalwarts including friends from the Diaspora have been gravitating towards various aspirants. Strategists are meetings during dark hours and at closed doors. Social media pundits are busy. Aspirants are promoted religiously through social media. As the judgment day comes closer, there will be sleepless nights for the various contestants and their teams. 

What will assure the APC of a confident victory in the 2018 polls is the harnessing of its huge Diaspora base. Such a viable constituency must be activated, energized and put to use. The APC Diaspora remained one of the greatest assets that are available to the party and our victorious margins in the 2018 polls will largely be predicated on how much our party utilizes this very important auxiliary.

As noted from leadership quarters of the party, the Diaspora inclusion as an organ of the party   will be a historic or normative achievement for the present administration. The mainstreaming of the Diaspora will also vindicate the current administration as a body of visionary men. Kudos to President Ernest Bai Koroma and the APC Party Executive - By virtue of this development many stalwarts may also hope to see increased Diaspora representation in various layers of the party such as the National Advisory Council, the National Executive and ad-hoc committees. Also, many Diaspora would like to witness more Diasporas obtaining party symbols for the 2018 Parliamentary and Local Council elections.

Furthermore, the Diaspora expects to choose its own representatives. In the process, we should also strive to avoid power struggle and the creation of a super structure at the same time. Instead of having a traditional executive body, Diaspora leadership representation can be divided into committees with specific mandate in the form of shadow committees which will assist the party and the administration on case specific. For example we can have committees on Political Affairs, Committee on Education, Committee on Health, and Committee on Housing. Committee on Water Resources, etc… Each Committee may have its head.

A Diaspora conference will help solidify the gains that are being put forward by the leadership of the party. Since these normative developments are at a striking distance it is important to call for a Diaspora conference to address many issues affecting these organizations. Maybe it will be good to consider additional set of norms or positive rules that will foster positive interaction and interactions that are in compliance with a given scope.

As party stalwarts in the Diaspora what must we do when we encounter some of these instances of elasticity? What should our response be? A humble plea for assistance… Long Live the President, the Chairman and Leader of the APC; Long Live the Deputy Chairman and Leader of the APC, Long Live the National Secretary General, Long Live National Advisory Council (NAC) and Long Live the APC!

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent The New Rising Suns editorial policy.

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IBRAHIM BADAMSI KAMARA, (KNANA KANTHE, QUEBEC, CANADA)