From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

No Contender against Margai in Sierra Leone
By Abu Bakarr Munu
Jan 16, 2007, 23:46

It has emerged from the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) party that March 2nd, 3rd and 4th this year, would be the dates for the holding of its first National Delegates Conference where the leader and flag bearer of the party is expected to be elected and that Lawyer Charles Margai is so far the sole contender for the leadership position.

This was disclosed by the Interim National Chairman of the Media Committee of the party, Bamidele Thompson who spoke to Awareness Times in an exclusive interview yesterday, Monday 15th July during which he positioned that this disclosure should finally quell media speculations that the PMDC interim leader was going to face a challenger at the upcoming Delegates conference.

PMDC Interim National Chairman Media Committee, Bamidele Thompson assures Awareness Times that the media speculations of infighting in the PMDC are all false.

Mr. Thompson said the party is not as at yet too concerned with the leadership issue but that the party was currently on the move putting structures in place across the country in readiness for the elections.

"What the party is preoccupied with at the moment is the holding of elections for executive positions in the constituencies, districts and regions across the country", he said, stating that the process has already been completed in the Western Area and the Southern Province. According to him the Eastern Regional elections would be held next week to be followed by the North.

Asked to confirm speculations about the expressed interests of Mr. Emmanuel O. Grant and Dr. Sorkor Kabia, son of the late PC Madam Ella Koblo Gulama in the leadership of the PMDC, Mr. Thompson replied; "When I read the articles, they were news to me because neither of the two names have ever been mentioned in PMDC quarters as possible contenders".

Awareness Times Senior Reporter, Abu Bakarr Munu, interviewing PMDC 's Bamidele Thompson.

He however noted; "As I speak, I want to tell the people that the PMDC has only one aspirant for the leadership and that is Mr. Charles Francis Margai".

According to Mr. Thompson the leadership and all other national executive positions within the PMDC "are open for contest by competent party members across the country for as long as they meet the set criteria of the party".

Speaking on the same note, the PMDC interim National Chairman, Alhaji Bai Bai Kamara who also spoke to Awareness Times, referred to the speculations as "propaganda by detractors with the aim of straining the good working relationship existing between Mr. Margai and the two people.

"What I want to make clear to these detractors who may not know what is obtaining within the PMDC is that Mr. Emmanuel Grant and Dr. Sorkor Kabia are fervent supporters of Mr. Charles Francis Margai and are bent on seeing him not only lead the PMDC, but for him to become Sierra Leone’s next President", he said.

PMDC's Interim National Chairman Media Committee, Bamidele Thompson and the Interim National Chairman Alhaji Bai Bai Kamara speaking to Awareness Times yesterday

Alhaji Kamara indicated that that the PMDC is not going to the national delegates’ conference to "rubber-stamp Mr. Margai", but to "seek the approval of party members as to who they want as their party leader".

"Our is going to be as transparent as it should be required with an equal opportunity for every party member to express his or her right in a free and fair manner", the PMDC Chairman assured.

Additionally, Bamidele Thompson asserts that if no other contender comes up now and during the delegates’ conference, it would not mean that the delegates would automatically endorse Mr. Margai but that he would still have to win the majority of the votes.

"By so doing would confirm that the PMDC is democratic and indicate that the chosen candidate was popular among party members and stands to satisfy their political expectations as a leader and president", Mr. Thompson ended.

The PMDC also informs that the proposed National Delegates Conference will be held in Bo Town this March 2nd to 4th.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.