The Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and his beautiful wife, Kadia Sam-Sumana have been given a rousing, warm welcome last weekend during their two-days visit to the political indicator district of Koinadugu in the far North of Sierra Leone. The Vice Presidentís entourage included Government Ministers including the Resident Minister North, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries & Marine Resources Jenneh Kandeh, the Deputy Minister of Works & Infrastructure Babagaleh Barrie and numerous Government functionaries. Speaking at a mammoth town meeting held at the Kabala Community Center, members of the VPís entourage repeated over and over again that the 2012 Elections were a done deal with the ruling APC party being all set to clinch a second term in office with no second rounds run-off being envisaged between them and the main opposition SLPP.
Part of the reasons why the VP was in Kabala was to try to make peace between the Koinadugu District Local Government Chairman Peter Bayuku Conteh and his local councillors who are determined to have Conteh impeached immediately citing a variety of reasons for their discomfiture with him. The Vice President held numerous meetings with stakeholders to try to find an amicable solution and it was in one such meeting that the Vice President informed his audience that the ruling APC party had done their homework well and had provided such service to their people that the people of Sierra Leone were sure to re-elect them. As a result, he appealed to the belligerents who were all members of the APC, to put their differences aside as the central APC leadership was all set to clinch the elections and did not wish to be distracted by infighting within the APC as was now ongoing inside Koinadugu amongst APC members.
Similarly, members of the VPís entourage, at the Public Meetings held, cited examples of how the APC had seriously foraged into the Southern and Eastern bastions of the opposition SLPP. Special commendation was given to the Deputy Minister of Labour & Employment, Mr. Moijue Kaikai who is being credited with transforming the former solid green SLPP bastion of his Pujehun home district to a bright red APC support base. The results of the latest Pujehun Bye elections were cited as an example of the works of Moijue Kaikai.
Meanwhile, the Vice President who spent the whole of Friday and Saturday within the district, also paid a visit to the Government Hospital to get a first-hand report of how the Free Medical Care for Pregnant Women and young children was getting along. He also addressed the Youths of the District, the Security Forces, the Traditional Chiefs and all Councillors whilst his wife Kadia Sam-Sumana held consultative meetings with the Women.
Mrs. Kadia Sam-Sumana assured the women of the continuous support of herself and the First Lady Sia Nyama Koroma towards their welfare. She informed of a new Project she was launching all over the country very soon which aims at looking into Womenís issues such as Teenage Pregnancies and Early Marriages. She assured that the 50-50 Group had agreed to be the implementing agents of her laudable project. She asked the women to feel free to communicate their problems to her as her ears were always open to helping the women of Sierra Leone.
The two-days meeting ended on a high note for a Vice President who drove out of the town in a hail of maximum support and loud shouts of supportive words as residents of all ages and gender ran behind his convoy waving goodbye. The VPís visit saw the presence of all the Districtís eleven Paramount Chiefs as well as all the Local Councillors who trooped into the town to pay their respects to the Vice President and his wife.
However, although many APC supporters in Kabala were enthused by the news that the 2012 Presidential and General Elections were supposedly a done deal with no second rounds expected, many SLPP supporters expressed bitterness to this newspaper that the APC was only so assured because they had imposed Dr. Christiana Thorpe on the country, ďto rig the elections for the APC once again like she did in 2007Ē.
ďWith all the hardship and bad governance in Sierra Leone under the APC, how can the Vice President be so confident of winning the 2012 Elections with no second rounds if it is not for them preparing to have Christiana Thorpe rig for them?Ē snorted an elderly SLPP supporter Pa Alhaji T. S. Marah.
There is sharp division in the country over the issue of the renewal of the contract of Dr. Christiana Thorpe as Chief Electoral Commissioner of Sierra Leone with the opposition SLPP and its numerical support base of at least one million people, strongly opposed to the continued retention of Thorpe but the ruling APC party in support of her retention as Chief Electoral Commissioner.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.