By Alphajor Bah.
To their credit, the ruling APC Party have been the first political party in the country to select (not elect or appoint) their Vice Presidential candidate ahead of the March 7, 2018 elections.
The SLPP 2018 Presidential candidate, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio is still in the process of consultation. But, the pressure is mounting on him to name a Running Mate now, all be it, in consultation with the party.
It appears from the look of things that, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio is not in a hurry to name his Running Mate. After all, he has up until January 2018 to do so.
Two prominent names have featured greatly in SLPP circles for the post of Running Mate. They are Alpha Timbo and Dr. Alpha Wurie. The question to be asked is: what value will any of the two add to Brig. Bio’s Presidential ticket?
Alpha Timbo is, undoubtedly, a household name in the country. He was a high school teacher and trade unionist. He later became a Politician and a Lawyer.
In 2011, Alpha Timbo contested but lost the flag bearer election to Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio.
In 2017, he pulled out of the flag bearer race and threw his support behind Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio. At that time, Maada Bio really needed such an endorsement from a prominent flag bearer candidate.
Alpha Timbo has both Fullah and Temne background. He speaks both languages fluently. He is well known in the country.
The problem with Alpha Timbo is that, he is a very ambitious man. His ambition knows no bound!
Many Presidential candidates normally fear over-ambitious Running Mates. They don’t like to be overshadowed by their deputies.
Dr. Alpha Wurie
Dr. Alpha Wurie is a fine gentleman. He has always been known to be a University Lecturer.
He shot to political fame in 1996, when he was appointed as Minister of Education, Youth and Sports by the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. He is rated as one of the best Ministers of Education Sierra Leone has ever had in the past twenty years.
He contested the flag bearer election in 2011 but he polled only one vote. Yes, only a single vote. That was seen as a total rejection by the Party of Dr. Alpha Wurie.
He has very few friends and he is seen as a man who hardly mingles with the grassroots support base of the SLPP party.
Dr. Alpha Wurie does not speak any of the local languages except Krio. He is dubbed “Larobi”. Whenever he speaks, people have to interpret for him, either in Fullah or in Temne. Many people are asking: What value will such a man add to the Presidential bid of Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio.
Outside The Box
Many people believe that, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio should look outside the box and appoint someone as his Running Mate who would add value to his Presidential bid.
Many people believe that, he needs a blue-blooded Temne Politician that hails from either Port Loko district or Tonkolili district to be his Running Mate.
Any Running Mate from Bombali district will not be in the interest of the SLPP. After all, the APC Presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara hails from Bombali District. Even though Dr. Samura Kamara is a Loko by tribe, he carries himself as a Temne.
The bottom line is that, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio should look outside the current box and appoint a Running Mate that will be fit for purpose.