From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Francess Marke Calls to Keep the Fire Burning
By Our Correspondents
Jun 1, 2010, 17:20

The aspirant widely believed to have won last weekend’s now-cancelled FBC Students’ Union Presidential Elections has called on fellow students to “stay calm, stay focused and keep the fire burning until the next elections date of June 7th 2010 when we will once again demonstrate the maturity and civility that we demonstrated on May 28th 2010 polling day”.

Francess Marke was speaking to this medium yesterday evening  of May 31st 2010 shortly after the representative of President Koroma on campus, the Pro-Chancellor announced that the college administration had taken a decision to nullify the results of the fiercely contested students elections of May 28th 2010.

“Of course it is very painful to watch weeks of careful campaign work go down the drain but I am confident that if the elections are run a hundred times, I will win a hundred times so all what I need to do now is to keep my fellow students upbeat,” Francess said.

She used the opportunity to publicly thank all the people who had supported her in various ways especially her fellow students, “who placed such an awesome confidence in me and defied all odds to ensure that my campaign reached the peak it has today attained”.

Francess!!: A Woman of Integrity supported by Men of Quality!

Several students who spoke to Awareness Times on campus yesterday expressed serious distaste for the actions of the President Koroma led APC Government in nullifying what they say was a free and fair elections run under the mandate of National Electoral Commission standards, “simply because their APC candidate sensed defeat”.

“It was only recently that the President called on all to support the aspirations of women striving for political and other forms of leadership in Sierra Leone. Now, his Government is supporting the illegal cancellation of the aspirations of a female candidate. I used to be a strong APC supporter but after what has happened this weekend, I assure you that I will not vote for Ernest Koroma or the APC come 2012,” one Jennifer Thomas, an FBC student insisted to this medium. Hundreds of students bunched around Awareness Times reporters to express sentiments similar to Jennifer’s last evening. Many of them are very bitter at President Koroma and made no secret of their disgust for the interference of national politicians into local students politics. It is not an exaggeration to say that the ruling APC party is now deeply unpopular on Fourah Bay College campus as a result of last weekend’s elections cancellation.

Meanwhile, Campaign Manager for Francess Marke, Mr. Ibrahim Sannoh told Awareness Times that the campaign to elect the college’s first female Students Union President in the person of Ms. Marke was now going to go into an even higher gear.

“What our detractors desire is to distract us and disillusion us but we are now even more determined than before to give power to Francess Marke. Examinations are around the corner and many students are focussed more on their academic work than on students’ politics but we did our homework well the last time for the now-cancelled May 28th 2010 elections and we will do our homework well again before June 7th 2010. Francess Marke is the next President of the FBC Students Union,” Sannoh assured.

However, the other camp in support of Francess’ opponent named Mr. Minkailu Koroma and which is made up of mostly ruling party APC supporters, have also insisted to Awareness Times that they would win the June 7th elections re-run. They allege that it was good for the elections to be cancelled and re-run because they claim many of their supporters were disenfranchised during voting. They however could not effectively explain how this alleged disenfranchisement occurred.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.