The Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Movement (KKYM), the campaign outfit seeking to elect former UNIDO boss Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as flagbearer of the opposition SLPP in the 2017 Presidential election seems to have suffered a major setback in the southern city of Bo amid reports of quiet discontent among supporters.
According to reports, campaigners for the former UNIDO man are worried that they have not been able to make a breakthrough in their attempt to convince party supporters to accept Dr. Yumkella as an SLPP stalwart, let alone as the ‘fittest man’ to lead the party.
That ‘fittest man’ gimmick by KKYM campaigners has not cut ice with party supporters many of whom still believe Dr. Yumkella is not even a registered member of their party. “Dr. Yumkella has said he is not a member of our party, so why is he thinking of contesting”, an SLPP stalwart queried.
What has made matters worse for the campaigners is the recent publicity stunt which has boomeranged in their face. KKYM has been claiming that Dr. Yumkella donated US$500,000 of his own money to government of Sierra Leone to fight the Ebola scourge. However, the truth is that Dr Yumkella only received the said money from OPEC on behalf of WHO to fight Ebola in West Africa, not his personal donation to fight Ebola, contrary to newspaper reports.
The former National Chairman of the SLPP, John Benjamin added his voice to the supposed contribution in recent newspaper report and reiterated there was no such money from Dr. Yumkella to the government of Sierra Leone as claimed by his supporters.
Mr. Benjamin who was chairman of the SLPP for over four years has also confirmed in an earlier newspaper interview, that the man he brought into politics in their NPRC days has never registered or contributed to the party he wants to lead.
Meanwhile in Bo recently, sign that the KKYM has been defeated in the southern region came when the chief campaigner in the region, Jobson Momo was himself physically beaten publicly at the popular Obama Restaurant.
Jobson, the aggressor, was floored after hitting an SLPP Councillor, Francis Koroma with whom he had an altercation. But for the timely intervention of the proprietor, Mohamed Macauley, Jobson would have been sent packing for a first aid treatment.