From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

In Sierra Leone, FBC Presidential Hopeful Speaks Out
By Sayoh Kamara
May 24, 2010, 13:52

First ever female candidate for the presidency of the Fourah Bay College Studentsí Union, Ms Frances Marke has spoken out, saying she is just a popular choice of students of FBC, in spite of political insinuations by detractors that she is being sponsored by the opposition Sierra Leone Peopleís Party (SLPP).

"I am neither SLPP nor APC. I represent the interests of majority of the students on Fourah Bay College campus, especially female colleagues who are in full support of me. Recognising my formidable support on campus is what may have sent chilling waves through blood streams of my detractors," Miss Marke confidently opined.

Miss. Markeís emergence as a candidate on FBC has rattled the current pro-APC S.U. regime on FBC campus who have resorted to character assassination and other forms of political intimidation to dwindle her popularity and near 100% chance of clinching the SU Presidency.

The Great Francess Marke

"I am not bothered by their flimsy insinuations. I believe in the cause of student unionism. I believe in the cause of fostering peace and unity among students. I believe in true democracy as a way of giving students the free chance to express their will as to who is fit to champion their cause and pursue their collective interests," she said, noting that it was high time students of Fourah Bay College imbibed a sense of decency and civilized politicking.

She said she would beat her opponent, the current Studentsí Union Secretary-General, hands down, and as she put it, "I am used to beating him in class."

She expressed gratification for the expressed concern of Head of FBC campus, Dr. Yormah when he called on national politicians last week to hands off studentsí politics on campus.

"We notice with dismay that politiciansí influences, directly or indirectly has been the reason for violence during SU elections in recent times since the opposing camps rely on their respective national supports," she lamented, noting that she is not aligned to any party.

"No politician is supporting me so it is wrong for them to malign prominent SLPP politicians as being involved in our FBC politics as no SLPP politician has even hinted to me that they were interested in our studentsí campaigning let along be backing me," she said.

She assured that if elected, the S.U. would not be involved in national politics but only relate to political powers on matters having to do with the interests of students. "On my team, we are orientated towards loving one another, and it is a philosophy that my colleagues and I strongly hold on to," she said.

Miss Marke last Friday totally outshined her opponent in a Presidential debate at Mary Kingsley Auditorium, and by her performance has won over ex-followers of her opponent and fence-sitters. Many students interviewed after that debate have vowed to vote for Frances Marke not because she is a woman, but for her intellect, finesse and courage.

"With her as S.U. President, she will motivate more women to go for positions within the S.U.," Miss. Tarawally, a Mass Comm. Student remarked to this press.

In history of Sierra Leone, only one other woman has been able to achieve the feat that Francess Marke is all set to clinch. That was in June 1994 when the Publisher of this newspaper, Dr. Sylvia Blyden became the countryís first elected female S.U President at University of Sierra Leone.

"Francess has all the qualities needed to lead so she has my full support and I wish her all the best," Blyden told this writer.

Many women express similar sentiments.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.