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In Sierra Leone, Using Official Government Issued Jeep...Ex-President Kabbah Solicits Support for Maada Bio
By Michael T. Kamara & Augustine Samba
Sep 20, 2012, 17:18
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The Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and International Statesman, Dr. Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah has called on the people of Kambia district to support the Presidential aspirant of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Mr. Julius Maada Bio and his running mate Dr. Kadie Sesay in the November 17 polls.


The ex-president made this call on Sunday 16th September 2012 at Gbolon Village in the Kambia district, where he escorted Mr. Bio, running mate Dr. Kadie Sesay and senior SLPP stalwarts at the helm of a conducted regional tour. Although the President did not go beyond Gbolon village with the SLPP entourage, his presence at the commencement of the tour set the pace for what ended up to be a good tour of the district.


Addressing the people in his compound he built at Gbolon, the ex-President Kabbah called on the people of Kambia to vote in Maada Bio and Dr. Kadie Sesay as their President and Vice President in the November 17 2012 elections.


He referred to Mr. Bio as a leader in the making, whilst further stating that Mr. Bio has contributed to the development of this country.


The former president went on to say that years ago, Mr. Bio left this country to further his studies in the Diaspora and that he has returned with knowledge to help build Sierra Leone and its people.


He called on his audience to support the partys running mate, Dr. Kadie Sesay and give Sierra Leone its first female vice president, whom he said has served in his own government judiciously. He said Dr. Sesay is one of the women of this country that gave their time to bring democracy to Sierra Leone.


Responding to former President Kabbahs message, Maada Bio thanked him for being supportive to his ideology and for serving this country judiciously during his tenure as President of this nation.


He assured former President Kabbah that he will not forget the people Gbolon Village in particular and Kambia district in general, whilst noting that they are also his people.


Mr. Julius Maada Bio stated further that, the purpose of their tour was not to campaign, but to thank supporters and members of the SLPP for electing him as their flag bearer and presidential candidate for the November polls.


Mr. Bio went on to say that SLPP is the party that brought affordable education, infrastructural development, peace, and democracy to Sierra Leone and assured his audience that when he is voted in as president of this country, he will continue from where his boss, former President Kabbah stopped in upholding all these areas.


He said the SLPP is the only political party in Sierra Leone that has respect and dignity for women, which is why according to him the party has a female running mate.


Mr. Bio also called on his audience to be supportive and vote for their SLPP Members of Parliament, District Chairpersons and Councilors.


The SLPP running mate, Dr. Kadie Sesay also called on the people of Kambia district to lend their support to the SLPP and vote them into State House come November 17 this year.


She assured that with the SLPP in State House, living conditions will improve in Sierra Leone and that there will be affordable cost in the prices on basic goods and commodities.


She promised that the prices of rice, pepper and palm-oil, among other basic commodities will all be brought down to meet the pockets of the citizens.


The tour was successful as dozens of supporters turned out to listen to the message from the party stalwarts. This was particularly so in the constituency which hosts the only opposition SLPP parliamentarian in the whole of Kambia. In many of the villages of that particular SLPP-dominated constituency, people lined the streets waving palm leaves and singing out songs as they gave a heroic welcome to the entourage.


However, outside of those areas, the reception was nothing to write home about. For example, in Madina and Mambolo, the turn-out could best be described as paltry and not worth mentioning.


What our five days in Kambia district however proves is that Julius Maada Bio and the SLPP will definitely scoop a chunk of votes from that district especially in areas surrounding the constituency which has an SLPP parliamentarian. For example, from our observation, there is not much significant presence of the ruling APC in Gbolon, the home village of the former President of Sierra Leone. The place is all green and SLPP.


The ruling APC should also pay attention to serious disgruntlement over the choice of the APC candidate for Kambia District Council. Many of the youths in Kambia told this press that they will readily vote for President Koroma but will reject the APC candidate for District Council. A lot of intra-APC reconciliation needs to be done. If not, an astute SLPP could capitalise on the disgruntlement to increase their votes from Kambia district. All in all, from our observations, the majority of the hearts and minds of Kambia district belongs to the ruling APC and President Koroma but the SLPP has a strong foothold especially in the Bramaia axis which could be built upon, causing some surprises.


Meanwhile, there has been some questions raised over the use of at least one Government vehicle to campaign for the opposition SLPP in Kambia. A brand new silver-white jeep bought by the Government for the use of the former President, with registration number AHE 181 was very visible on the opposition campaign trail in Kambia. It even had campaign stickers of Julius Maada Bio on it. This has raised eyebrows. Photographs of the Jeep and other photos of the SLPPs Kambia tour will be published subsequently.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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