From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

APC Gets Final Peace in Sierra Leone
By Sayoh Kamara
Apr 5, 2007, 22:26

The five years of litigation which had characterized the All Peoples Congress (APC) party, has finally been declared ended by both litigants, who are all members of the party. This was made known to the press in a well attended press conference which included members of the ‘dissident faction’ held at the party’s ‘We Yone’ Headquarters in Freetown yesterday.

Ernest Koroma and one of the former dissidents

An official statement read by the party’s National Secretary General, Victor Bockarie Foh, noted that the "unwelcome and unfortunate circumstances" in which the party was embroiled in over the past five years leading to "internal wranglings, misunderstandings and unnecessary court cases" has finally ended and that "the APC now has peace, unity and solidarity".

Jengo Stevens, one of the eldest sons of late President Siaka Stevens prepares to take his seat

The statement noted that the situation over the last five years "resulted in serious disadvantages that impacted negatively on the APC’s ability to mobilize and utilize all its resources-human and financial, to pursue its agenda for the socio-economic and political regeneration of our beloved Sierra Leone."

A former dissident who has now accepted Ernest Koroma as the APC Leader

The statement went on to assure Sierra Leoneans that as a party, the APC is now reinvigorated and firmly united in its quest to provide all Sierra Leoneans with "strong leadership and good governance" which the statement emphasizes "had been lacking in the current administration" of Sierra Leone.

Eddie Turay, a former dissident speaks

The statement expressed appreciation to all those individuals and institutions such as the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the Elders of the APC party and UNAMSIL, which have in diverse ways helped in addressing the APC problem.

The full hall which overflowed into the streets

Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma, who for the first time in five years was responsibly referred to as "Leader of the APC" by all the former dissidents, said in his remarks that the day marks the start of the APC’s return to power and that with the unity, he was confident that the party will sweep clean the votes that will empower it to form the next government for Sierra Leone.

Eddie Turay, Ernest Koroma and Birch Conteh

Eddie Turay affirmed, "We are firmly behind the Leader, Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma for the APC to take back the governance of Sierra Leone after July 28th."

Eddie and Ernest

Dr. Jengo Stevens remarked that they that were involved in the litigation against Hon. Koroma and the party have conscientiously agreed to let bygones be bygones in the interest of the unity of the APC and to ensure that the party "under the leadership of Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma wins the July 28th Presidential and Parliamentary elections."

Victor Foh, the Secretary General reads out the prepared statement

Dr. Moses Dumbuya also affirmed his acceptance of Hon. Koroma as the APC leader and assured that "with one voice and one vision, the APC under the leadership of Hon, Koroma will not stop at nothing order than winning the July 28th elections."

APC Members (Old and New Generation)

Only one of the main dissidents was conspicuously absent at the loaded high table, in the person of M.L.Dumbuya. According to Lawyer Osho Williams, Mr. Bangura is firmly in support of the statement and that he was absent because of ill health.

Birch Conteh says this is the "final peace"

However, many APC supporters who Awareness Times talked to after the meeting expressed doubt as to the holisticness of the agreement as highlighted in the statement. They maintained that until M.L. Dumbuya expresses similar sentiments like that expressed by Eddie Turay, Dr. Jengo Stevens, Osho Williams, Dr. Moses Dumbuya, they are not as confident that the peace, unity and solidarity expressed in the statement is a fait accompli.

Lawyer Cecil Osho Williams who was a former dissident now proclaims Ernest Koroma as his Leader

Jengo, Eddie, Ernest, Birch, AKK and others at the high table

Abdul Karim Koroma (aka AKK) assures of "everlasting peace"

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.