From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Alpha Wurie Ends Nationwide Tour
Dec 14, 2010, 17:20

One of the leading aspirants in the flagbearer race of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peopleís Party (SLPP), Dr. Alpha T. Wurie has concluded his tour of the country to acquaint himself with delegates and sell his candidature.

His last trip took him to Kambia, Portloko, Kenema and Kailahun districts last week where he was heartily received mainly by teachers who pledged their unflinching support to him throughout the race.

Coincidentally, the bulk of SLPP delegates upcountry are teachers of long standing that witnessed first hand the transformation Dr. Wurie brought to the education sector and the respectability he restored to the noble profession.

It was therefore no surprise that they endeavoured to avail themselves at meetings organized by the eminent academic each time he was in their respective districts not excluding the aforementioned.

One thing that came out quite clearly in all the meetings is that the teachers view Dr. Wurieís political ambition as the greatest opportunity to have one of their own at the presidency for the first time in the countryís political history.

As far as they are concerned, several other professionals including Trade Union activists, Medical Doctors, Soldiers, Lawyers, Businessmen etc, have all led the country at one stage or the other so it is now the turn of teachers.  

Although aware that there are other career teachers among the 23 SLPP flag bearer aspirants, teachers have pinned their hopes in Dr. Wurie after having critically analyzed the situation and weighed their chances very carefully.

It was deduced from their pronouncements that Dr. Wurie has a huge advantage over the others for a variety of reasons they systematically advanced.

First and foremost, they believe he is well known right across the country and therefore wonít be difficult to sell when campaigning proper gets underway for the presidency. They are also of the firm conviction that it is only Dr. Alpha Wurie that has tangible achievements to point at in every corner of the country that have positively impacted on the lives of majority of Sierra Leoneans.

Since this is likely to form the basis of the 2012 campaign more than anything else teachers believe it puts Dr. Wurie in pole position to clinch the presidency well before the electioneering period.

Dr. Wurieís exceptional ability to articulate well is greatly admired by teachers. They often refer to him as one of Sierra Leoneís finest orators. ďHe is a brilliant speaker, one of few personalities who can have an audience glued to their seats listening to him with rapt attention,Ē remarked a Constituency Chairman in Kenema commonly known as SLPP Rogee, a teacher.

Dr. Wurieís amazing conflict resolution skills which have earned him the reputation of a unifier is another reason why teachers think he is just the right man for the hot seat. Throughout the tour, teachers reminisced on the numerous tussles they had with him over improved conditions and other issues pertaining to their welfare, appreciating the brilliant manner in which he always rose up to the occasion until things worked out absolutely well for their common good.

Finally, their choice of Dr. Alpha Wurie is particularly driven by gratitude. This was expressed at every meeting. Teacher after teacher spoke highly of Dr. Wurie for doing his utmost to turn their lives around from mere beggars to average life.

They did not only appreciate him for raising their salary to an appreciable level but for personally ensuring that they got it promptly at the end of the month compared to the preceding years under the then nefarious APC when they used to collect their insulting pay packages once every six months.

Some other teachers were appreciative of the opportunity Dr. Wurie created for untrained and unqualified teachers to train and become professionals through the Distance Learning programme that has now gone moribund for the past three years.

Finally, teachers believe Dr. Wurie has the charisma to match President Ernest Bai Koroma.     

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.