Sierra Leone: Former SLPP Chairman joins APC


SLPP Northern firebrand now APC strongman

Former SLPP Chairman and Leader, Chief Alhaji Bai Sherbora Sumanoh Kapen III, is reported to have declared his support for the ruling All People’s Congress Party.

The declaration comes few weeks before the presidential and parliamentary elections to be held on March 7, 2018.

The public declaration on Monday 5th February 2018 of the former SLPP firebrand in the North, especially in Kambia District, has shocked most Sierra Leoneans.

“He was the last of the rock of the SLPP in the North,” said Augustin Kallon, a former supporter of the SLPP now PMDC. “We were not expecting this. Some of us were thinking he will quit politics or at worst join the National Grand Coalition.”

Chief Sumanoh Kapen has been chairman and leader of Sierra Leone’s main opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), since 2013. Previously he was paramount chief of Mambolo Chiefdom in Kambia District.

He served as Paramount Chief of Mambolo Chiefdom in Kambia District from 1989 to 2007. In 2011, he was elected deputy leader of the SLPP party.


Chief Kapen was elected chairman and leader of the SLPP at the party’s 2013 convention held in the southern city of Bo, defeating his closest rival, former Ambassador to Ghana Alie Bangura, in a close race for the SLPP leadership position

Mohamed Gbla, a supporter of the APC, said the reason for the decision of the former SLPP chairman to now join forces with the ruling political party is the progress he is seeing and wants continuity.

“Sierra Leoneans are no longer fools. We will not see good things happening and allow frivolous ideologies to take us back,” he said, adding that the decision of Chief Sumanoh Kapen to join the APC answers the questions of critics.

Unlike other former SLPP members who joined Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella at the NGC, Chief Sumanoh Kapen has pitched a tent with a former political foe, a decision, most pundits, are claiming will destabilize the seemingly strong support of the NGC in Kambia District.



Sierra Leone: Electing our leaders based on Issues and Policies

By John Baimba Sesay
Elections are here again and it is all about winning and forming a government. Removing a performing Party from power can be very challenging and not feasible in the coming elections.
Foreign-Minister-Dr-Samura-Kamara-1As we continue to see, some have chosen to use mendacious political propaganda in a bid to get their way through. The sad reality remains, political mendacity has no place today in the country. This is based on the reality of growth especially the extent to which we have gone with infrastructure, socio-economic and political growth, allowing space for free, open and pluralistic press, ensuring open space for political pluralism, with democratic institutions performing independently. The government still remains popular with the governing Party enjoying populist support across the country.
The recent turnout of people across the country for the nomination process of the APC’s Presidential Candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara, his running mate, the young and energetic Hon. Chernor M. Bah and the party’s Parliamentary Aspirants frankly gave an impressive picture of what awaits us after March 7th from the perspective of the Party winning and forming the next government, eventually ensuring continuity of the legacies of this government.
As a country, we all should work towards a peaceful conduct and all players to the process especially Political Parties should be ready to accept the process. The NEC continues to enjoy an independent platform so far as its Operations could be discussed. That they even ruled against the APC in a petition case against a candidate of another Party in Kambia shows how the government has ensured an independent NEC.
It is, therefore, not surprising that our development efforts continue to enjoy global support, especially that of global economic players like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and even players like the African Development Bank. This is true, given that with just a month to elections, they have renewed their full support to the country IMG-20180126-WA0099.jpgand have NOT SUSPENDED or STOPPED ANY FUNDING to our growth processes.  The International Monetary Fund and World Bank must be impressed with the progress we are making, acceptably though, there still remain challenges. About six months to the general elections in 2007, donor funding to the country was STOPPED/SUSPENDED.  After the then Opposition Party (APC) had won the elections, it had to, for a period, manage state affairs based on what the revenue mobilizing institution- NRA was collecting in the form of taxes.
Therefore, recent reports by Africa Confidential (AC) that donors have SUSPENDED funding to the country are not only false and misleading, as clarified by the country’s finance minister, they also, in my view, are aimed at undermining government’s efforts and bringing into disrupts the sound ties of cooperation between the country and their donor partners.  An objective reporting would have sought the reaction of government before publication. The AC failed to do so and based their report purely on anonymous sources. The news release by the IMF and even the prompt response by the country’s finance minister were all helpful in correcting the erroneous report by AC.
But of strategic and apt attention, is the way some opposition outlets have taken the issue, though not too much of a surprise knowing the events ahead- elections. For some, suspension of donor support makes a great deal of Political usefulness if they should defeat the ruling Party. That even an increase in the price of commodities like fuel and rice may sound politically expedient. But they should at least go beyond their want of Political votes, self-satisfaction,  and take into account the interest of the masses. A Party that cares for the masses will view an issue like price increase on fuel and rice from a rational perspective. That the SLPP had problems with donor funding six months to the 2007 elections when they were a ruling Party should not see them wish same for the country now. Just no!
Partisan interest on one side, there should also be the bigger picture- the country and people. The Opposition should not ignore that crucial aspect. In a recent piece, I made the case that the country would need, as a leader, after President Ernest Koroma, someone that knows her challenges and one that has contributed practically and immensely in every shape or form, to her growth process. The ruling Party still enjoys popular support and Dr. Samura Kamara has been a strategic player locally and in institutions like the World Bank and IMF. His years of experience in International Economic Cooperation are grounds for him to make a huge impact after his election as president. His involvement in formulating growth policies for the country has also given him a better standing amongst other candidates. We would agree, the aspirations of all candidates is for a better country but the package for such to be achieved is what makes a huge difference. Dr. Samura Kamara has got better plans and better policies.
These elections should be beyond political/partisan falsehood. Rather, they should be about the real issues at hand, like plans for a better country, plans for the youthful population, women and the vulnerable groups in society. They should be about the economy, education, water and about other social services, about governance, the health sector, energy and about our security sector.
Dr. Samura Kamara’s (APC’s) commitments to the above issues are what make him stand out from others. He is committed to expanding access to health facilities, sustaining the country’s free health care for pregnant women, suckling mums and children under the age of five. He has spoken of the need to promote private sector investment in housing, Afro-processing and in tourism, in a bid to grow the economy. We are a proud people today given our achievements and more, we shall get when the APC is returned to governance.

Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr’s passion for the country’s capital

John Baimba Sesay

Increasing the number of women in decision making positions at both national and local levels remains core to President Koroma’s years in governance. Successfully, his government mainstreamed gender in the public sphere, demonstrated by his appointment of women either as ministers or heads of departments or agencies.


The decentralization process was, amongst other reasons, to ensure effective service delivery as well as directly involve people in determining their development. Such drive by government led to an unmatched increase and flow of funds to councils from central government, with the devolution process accelerated across the country.

Women are vital in promoting local governance. The 2004 Local Government Act makes provision for the appointment of at least five women as members of each Ward Committee, according to Section 95 (2). Such Ward Committees are, amongst other functions, to “(a) mobilize residents of the ward for the implementation of self-help and development projects; (b) provide a focal point for the discussion of local problems and needs…”

The decision by the All People’s Congress to put Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr forward as Mayoral  Candidate for Freetown Municipality is not only wise and timely, it also has placed the Party in better standing, when it comes to discussions on implementing reforms and policies geared towards reducing gender inequalities and improving the status of women in society.

Madam Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr not only has great passion about Freetown, she has passion about the growth of the whole country. When given the opportunity, by voting Aki-Sawyerr, you are voting for a person who can definitely provide the City the leadership it takes to effectively manage her(City) affairs. She knows the issues, and above all the challenges the city is faced with.

With women making a major component of the country’s capital given their engagement in trading activities, and being the only female aspirant, she can be better placed to also promote gender related issues.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyer can make a good Mayor. Her recent engagements with stakeholders and especially market women across the capital have helped her get a better view of the core issues in ensuring a well planned and managed city.

Beyond the gender factor is her experience, which will also be very instrumental in her role as mayor when elected in the coming weeks .

Given her “over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, risk management and project management in the public and private sectors,” as well as being a Chartered Accountant, her roles in the various institutions she has served and the results she has proudly produced makes her the best choice  amongst all other candidates for the job. She is smart, result- oriented and one that can articulate issues and policies effectively.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyer needs no further introduction. She has, in diverse ways, supported disadvantaged children and young people in the country, through Sierra Leone War Trust (SLWT), a charity she co-founded in April, 1999. She was Investment Director of International Development Enterprise Associates Ltd (IDEA), owners and developers of the Hilton Freetown Cape Sierra Hotel, where she helped “raise international financing for IDEA projects and for local stakeholder management.

Her role in ensuring international awareness of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was outstanding. She   later served as Director of Planning at the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC).  It was “in recognition of her contribution to the Ebola response efforts, Yvonne was awarded an Ebola Gold Medal by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone in December, 2015, and was made an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by Her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom in January 2016.”

She also worked as Delivery Team Lead for the President’s Recovery Priorities, “the second phase of a multi-stakeholder programme to drive sustainable socio-economic transformation in Sierra Leone post Ebola.” She is reported to have played a decisive role in ensuring a blueprint and later, in the execution of “Operation Clean Freetown.” (Source:

Political shock in Sierra Leone as Kenema Paramount Chief declares support for the APC

By Yayah K. Brima

Barely one month after Paramount Chiefs of Kailahun district pledged their support for the flag bearer of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party Dr Samura Kamara and the Party, Paramount Chief (PC) Amara Goway Sama VI of Tunkia Chiefdom, Kenema district has also declared his membership of the APC at a ceremony held at the district regional headquarter town on Thursday November 2nd, 2017.



Dr. Samura Kamara getting a favourable support


People are shocked by the declaration of the PC considering that Kenema District, a major stronghold for the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and hostile place for opposing political parties, is slowly changing course.

Chief Sama told party members that he has no regret for being a member of the APC party. He said: “I will continue to be a loyal member of the APC at all times.”

“Yes I am Paramount Chief, but that will not prevent me from being a member of any registered political party of my choice. I believe in the APC and its leadership because of the development programmes they have undertaken in my chiefdom in particular and the country in general which has motivated me to join the Party,” Chief Amara Goway Sama said.

He called on colleague chiefs to stop enslaving themselves in the name of traditions.


SLPP supporters in Kenema

Welcoming Chief Sama, APC District Chairman Prince Santigie Kamara lauded him for taking the bold step to openly declare for the APC.

Resident Minister, East, Karamoh Kabba described the APC as the only political party that has enormous respect for traditional leaders irrespective of their political and religious affiliations.

The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs retired Major Ishmael Sengu Koroma also commended the chief for his initiative and assured him of his safety at all times.