The Awareness Times investigative team has learnt that there is growing discontent among members of the All Peopleís Congress (APC) party over who should be the partyís candidate in the forthcoming local council bye-election to be held in the Tonko Limba Chiefdom, Kambia District.
The people of Kamasasa village told the Awareness Times investigators on the ground that the Minister of Internal Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development, Dauda Kamara, is interfering and manipulating the electoral process in that part of the country.
Minister Dauda Kamara is said to have imposed an unpopular candidate much to the disagreement of the people in the forthcoming bye-election slated for 11th¬†December 2010.
Locals at Kamasasa village said Desmond Edward Aziz Kamara, who happens to be a native of Tonko Limba Chiefdom and a graduate of Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) is the most popular candidate, the peopleís favorite.
ďThe Minister forcefully imposed Kekura Kargbo as the APC candidate notwithstanding the fact that the latter is very unpopular in the chiefdom,Ē Salieu Conteh, a resident of Kamasasa told the Awareness Times, adding: ďMost people in the chiefdom have vowed to boycott the elections as a result of the ministerís actionsĒ.
He alleged further that Kekura Kargbo does not belong to the chiefdom, whilst pointing out that the people have called on Desmond Edward Aziz Kamara to contest as an independent candidate rather than backing out of the race.
ďWe are going to support and vote en masse for Desmond Edward Aziz Kamara,Ē he said.
Members of the C.A Kamara-Taylor Foundation in the chiefdom have vowed to teach the Ernest Koroma led APC party a bitter lesson it will never forget if the minister continues in the present trend.
They accused the new APC of diverting from the values of the Siaka Stevens led APC.
ďThe people of Tonko Limba will never support anything that is averse to development in their chiefdom,Ē a member of the foundation told the Awareness Times.
It could be recalled that it was C.A Kamara-Taylor, former Vice President of Sierra Leone under Siaka Stevenís regime, who popularized the APC in that part of the country.
When contacted, Minister Dauda Kamara wasted no time in refuting the allegations against him. ďI have not and will never be part of any election malpractices,Ē the minister said, whilst emphasizing that he was not the one who presented Kekura Kargbo as the APC candidate.
ďThe decision for Kekura Kargbo to contest under the APC ticket was reached by party stalwarts in Freetown,Ē the Minister said.
He explained that there were some disagreements over who was to represent the APC. ďThis situation was what prompted my intervention as it is my duty to intervene and settle problems whenever they arise. Anybody who interprets my intervention as interference is just trying to be mischievous,Ē the minister alleged.
Meanwhile, impending signs are that the APC is gradually losing grip of Tonko Limba Chiefdom and it would not come as a surprise if the APC loses the 2012 local government elections in that part of the country.
¬© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.