By Sorie Fofana………………………….
The succession fight in the ruling APC Party is gaining unstoppable momentum. From every indication, it is very clear that, there are more than a dozen flag bearer aspirants in the ruling APC Party.
Those public officials aspiring to succeed President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma in the APC Party have started complying with a constitutional requirement that forces them to vacate office a year before the next Presidential and Parliamentary elections are held on March 7, 2018.
So far, two senior public officials interested in running for the post of flag bearer in the APC Party have left the government to pursue their individual Presidential ambition.
The first to resign from the Koroma administration is the Presidential Adviser and Ambassador-at-Large, Dr. Alpha Kanu.
The next APC big hitter to leave the government is the country’s charismatic Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Alimamy Petito Koroma. He resigned yesterday.
Also expected to tender his resignation from the post of Central Bank Governor is the indefatigable Dr. Kaifala Marah. He is also seen as a favorite to succeed President.
The current Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the ebullient and popular JFK (Joseph Kamara) will not be resigning because he is not affected by that constitutional requirement for public officials to resign one year to the next Presidential and Parliamentary elections. He is also firmly in the race to succeed the APC leader.
The current Vice President, Ambassador Victor Foh (popularly known as the quiet operator) is also not affected. He is so far, the only APC flag bearer aspirant that has emerged from the opposition South/Eastern stronghold. He is also a force to reckon with!
The former CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Sierra Rutile Limited, John Sesay was the first to leave his gold-plated job at Sierra Rutile in order to concentrate on propagating his Presidential ambition.
It is not yet clear, whether the current APC Deputy National Chairman/Leader, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray is also interested in the post of flag bearer.
The former Agriculture and Food Security Minister, Dr. Sam Sesay has also not publicly declared his interest yet. He is still serving as Adviser to the President at State House.
It is not yet known whether the Sierra Leone Ambassador to Iran, Hon. Alimamy Kamara intends to tender his resignation this week to enable him run for the top post. So far, so good! At least, we now know the most serious flag bearer candidates in the APC Party. The rest are mere jokers!
Election Not Selection
We call on the APC Party to maintain a level playing field for all those aspiring to succeed President Koroma in the Party. Anything short of fair ground rules for the contest of flag bearer in the APC will be a disaster for the Party.
President Koroma will definitely have to guide the process leading to the election (not selection) of the APC Presidential candidate. His open support for or endorsement of any candidate will undoubtedly influence the outcome of the APC flag bearer election.
All the candidates that have so far come out openly to declare their interest in the post of flagbearer in the APC Party have their individual merits.
The Serious Aspirants
Ambassador Alimamy P. Koroma and Joseph Kamara are grassroots Politicians. They are both Temnes (the largest tribe that supports the Party). Ambassador Alimamy Koroma hails from Kambia district. Joseph Kamara hails from Bombali district.
VP Victor Foh is another man to watch in this tight race! He hails from the South/East of the country. He enjoys a groundswell of support from the older generation of the Party. He knows the APC politics more than all of the aspiring flag bearer candidates.
John Sesay is a seasoned administrator. He hails from Bombali district. He is a cousin of the President. He is highly respected in the international community and in the business sector.
Dr. Kaifala Marah is a hands-on administrator. He served as Chief of Staff at State House and Minister of Finance during the Ebola outbreak. He hails from Koinadugu district. But the Kono People see him as their son. He is still the Governor of the Central Bank.
As far as the Global Times is concerned, these are the most serious flag bearer aspirants in the APC Party. The rest are mere pretenders!
It will be difficult to write –off the man who calls himself The Apprentice, Alhaji Alpha Kanu. He is an experienced Politician from Port Loko district. He served in several Ministerial positions including Presidential Affairs, Mines and Mineral Resources, Political Affairs and Information and Communications.
We hope that the best candidate will emerge victorious from such a crowded market place.
The fallout from such crucial elections must be properly managed or else the APC Party will implode. Such implosion will lead to an easy election victory for the main opposition SLPP in March 2018.
May common sense win!