Chairman and Leader for the Alliance Democratic Party ADP Mohamed K Mansaray declared his assets ahead of the 2018 election. Audio Credit: F.M 98.1 Radio Democracy
Chairman and Leader for the Alliance Democratic Party ADP Mohamed K Mansaray declared his assets ahead of the 2018 election. Audio Credit: F.M 98.1 Radio Democracy
Amazing supporters of the formidable Alie Kabba Campaign drive, fellow SLPP members, my beloved country women and men:
I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for giving me the humbling opportunity to present my vision to you and pursue my national aspirations to lead Sierra Leone.
Our Party convention has now ended. The Flagbearer elections have been concluded in a free, fair, transparent and democratic process.
Now we have to accept and respect the verdict of the delegates and come together to move our Party forward to victory.
To this end, I want to warmly congratulate my brother Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio for a strongly fought campaign and clear victory.
I also want to congratulate all other contestants for being part of the competitive struggle to sell our ideas and try to represent our Party in the national elections to be held on 7th March 2018.
I must solidly salute all the participating delegates for exercising their inalienable rights to once more re-assert the inviolable maxim that “ultimate power comes from and belongs to the people — and only the people!”
Every SLPP member has to be deservingly proud of the overall conduct of our Party and the fact that we were able to overcome every challenge and achieve victory in unity.
Come what may we need to stay together and work together to achieve final victory under the leadership of our newly elected Flagbearer.
Of course I was working and hoping for victory at our just concluded national convention but, as a true democrat and proud SLPP member, I have always prepared to accept any verdict of our Party delegates and to support whoever emerges as winner.
I have constantly maintained that the fight has never been about Alie Kabba; it has always been about the people! The fight for the suffering 99% did not start yesterday and it will not end today.
The vision that I have so passionately articulated and so consistently championed is a vision to make our country a far better place for all of our people — a shining light on the hilltop of Africa!
As long as the root causes of dehumanizing poverty, widening social inequality, mass unemployment and corrosive corruption are not tackled in our beloved Sierra Leone, I will be relentless and steadfast in our quest to build a more just and prosperous society.
In the words of the late US Senator Edward Ted Kennedy, “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”
Let’s maintain peace and unity in our Party as we vigorously campaign over the next few months, in all corners of the country, to take SLPP back to State House with a decisive majority in Parliament.
Along with my supporters at home and in the Diaspora, I plan to put all my organising and mobilising talents at the service of our Party to defeat APC in the first round.
Forward to Victory!!!
One Country, One People!
Everyone in, No one out!
Everyone up, No one down!
Your Humble Servant,
ACCEPTANCE SPEECH FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION OF THE SIERRA LEONE PEOPLE’S PARTY 2017
By: Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio
Ladies and Gentlemen
Five years ago, I stood before this august body after I was accorded the honour and privilege of entering into a new service for our Great Party; the service of being its Presidential Candidate for the 2012 Presidential Election. Then it was a new beginning for me. Today, it is an essential continuum. I have again been bestowed with the honour of serving our Party for a second time as its Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Presidential Elections.
In 2012 our Party’s victory was stolen as blatantly as it had been done in 2007. In 2007 the ballot in 477 polling stations was cancelled when there was in fact no law in existence to permit it. In 2012 the Presidential Election results were declared whilst counting and recounting of votes in a number of electoral districts was still in progress. The SLPP, as a Party that is supremely law-abiding, allowed those rigged results to stand in 2007 and 2012 only because we believe in the maintenance and preservation of peace, stability and security in our nation and we did not want to see our country degenerate into violence and anarchy.
This time around, for the 2018 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections, we want it to be clearly understood that NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, short of free, fair and transparent democratic elections shall be acceptable to the SLPP. All of us therefore, government and opposition parties alike, bear full responsibility to ensure that credible and democratic elections are held in an atmosphere completely devoid of intimidation, interference and violence. And the National Electoral Commission (NEC), whose primary legal duty it is to supervise and conduct such credible and democratic elections, bears the greatest responsibility. Accordingly, all political parties, whether in government or in opposition, must know that they have a sacred duty to respect the independence of the NEC.
In recent political narratives a great deal has been said and written about the notion of “Putting the Country First”. I agree wholeheartedly. And as the Presidential Candidate of our Great SLPP Party, I challenge any Presidential Candidate of any other Party to come forward and demonstrate how they have promoted or protected the interests of this country more than I have.
Suffice it here to give just three notable examples where my actions have exemplified my commitment to putting country above self. The first time I demonstrated this was when I willingly submerged my personal ambition in favour of protecting the paramount interest of this country. No love for country can be greater than subjecting one’s life to the defence of one’s country against external aggression. I believe today I am the only Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Elections with a proud record of military service when I defended this country from armed attack by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, aided and abetted by external forces in 1991. The second time I sacrificed self for country was when, as the head of a military government in 1996, I voluntarily handed over power to an elected civilian government following the General Elections of that year organised under my watch. The third time was in 2012 when as the Presidential Candidate of this Party, I agreed not to challenge the rogue presidential elections of that year. How much more can anyone sacrifice his personal ambition for the good of his country?
Delegates, today, our Great Party, the SLPP, stands at the brink. Its democratic credentials have been displayed beyond all doubt by conducting free, fair and democratic internal elections not only to elect a new National Executive to run the affairs of the Party but also for deciding who amongst us should lead it to the 2018 Elections. Despite the many divergent views amongst the honourable contenders for the Party’s flag, the vast majority of our Party’s membership have again expressed confidence in my leadership to take our Party back to State House on 7th March 2018 and transform this great nation.
Distinguished delegates, for this singular honour you have bestowed upon me I can’t thank you enough. I feel deeply humbled that for the second time you have elected me as the Presidential Candidate of this great and historic Party for the 2018 Presidential and General Elections. I also thank the Almighty God for making this possible.
Today, I call on all of you, whether you voted for me or not, to join me to commit and rededicate ourselves to work even harder for the Total Unity of this Great Party, for through Unity our collective strength will be revitalised and our victory to State House will be assured.
Therefore, allow me to take this opportunity to commend all my former colleagues, flag bearer aspirants, for their generosity, graciousness and the exemplary value they have added to our Party throughout the peaceful and mature flag bearer contest. Because of you, our internal democracy is stronger; our Party’s Constitution is respected; the Rule of Law is firmer and yes, because of you, we have had a free, fair, transparent and democratic internal election and not a Selection or Coronation. The delegates have spoken loudly, clearly and without equivocation that democracy shall always prevail in our Great Party. I now wish to appeal to all my former colleague aspirants and to all our supporters to come together in Peace and Unity and be part of the engine of democratic transformation of our country.
Delegates, for the confidence you have reposed in me and for the hopes of millions across this country you have rekindled, I hereby humbly accept your Nomination as the Presidential Candidate of our Great Party for the March 2018 Presidential Elections.
Let there be no mistake about it, the 2018 elections will be different. We shall WIN and WIN decisively. Nothing more nothing less. We shall win both the Elections and the Results. Our elections management and monitoring will be the most robust and our polling agents shall be ever more vigilant. No one, I mean no one, dare attempt again to Rig Elections against the SLPP in 2018. This time around our march to State House is unstoppable.
Conference, the Elections of 2018 shall be the most important in a generation. The stakes have never been higher and the expectations have never been greater. For the sake of the general welfare and wellbeing of ALL the people of this country, whether you are a supporter of the SLPP or not, you have no option but to vote the SLPP into power under my leadership if you want this country to regain its respect and dignity and replace the fake development, which running the country like a business in the last ten years has brought about, with real development under an administration that will operate with speed, efficiency and effectiveness and work in the best interest of ALL Sierra Leoneans and not just for a privileged cronies.
Conference, for any mistakes I might have made in the course of the flag bearer campaign, I want to say from the bottom of my heart and with an abiding sense of humility, I am deeply sorry. Also, I want to say sorry to any aspirant for any position in our Party or any party member who might have suffered any molestation or humiliation from fellow party members for my sake. As a Party we eschew violence, lawlessness, indiscipline and intimidation as absolutely abhorrent and I want to assure you that under my leadership these shall have no place in our Party.
And to all those who have left us, today I want to plead with you to return to the Party where you truly and really belong. The SLPP is your natural Home and there is no place like Home! So, let us heal the wounds and rekindle a new spirit of Unity that will light the torch to take us to State House.
By the same token, let me take this opportunity to make it abundantly clear that you have elected me to be the Presidential Candidate of this Party and to take this Party to State House in the 2018 Presidential Elections. I shall be a Leader who will fully recognise the worth of everyone and the contribution of everyone. My leadership shall never be divisive; on the contrary it will be all-inclusive and all embracing. Essentially this means no one is out, everyone is in and no one will be marginalised or ostracised. The campaign roadmap I shall design and run will embrace all these fundamentals and without exception. In implementing it I shall approach my campaign in a way that will embrace and not divide. I hope everyone will recognise this and find the necessary accommodation to guarantee electoral success. Above all, no private agendas will be allowed.
Delegates, today we are here for something bigger than our individual selves. We cannot allow the next decade to be like the lost decade of APC bad governance and visionless leadership that has reduced our resource-rich country to the very bottom of the international development ladder as the most corrupt, the poorest of the poor and the most miserable.
Examples of such bad governance are palpable everywhere. The many preventable deaths from man-made flooding and mudslides and Ebola; the Hajj scandals; the rampant corruption; the raping of our National Constitution; the high youth unemployment; the supersonic rate of deprivation and hardship suffered by ordinary people who cannot even afford a decent meal for their families; the abuse and misuse of power; the reckless management of our economy; the high inflation; the devalued currency; the exploitation in the mining sector; the bottomless poor standards of education and healthcare systems, are all testimonies of the extraordinary extent to which the APC has failed this country and the people. So much is this the case that the name APC which in yesteryears meant the All Peoples’ Congress has now acquired a new meaning: ‘Agenda for Poverty and Corruption’! Enough of this bad governance because the People of Sierra Leone deserve better!
In Proverbs, the Scripture says: where there is no vision the people perish. My vision for this country comes from the heart and it is a very simple one: a united, peaceful, progressive, confident, dynamic and happy nation where the people have access to jobs and the basic necessities of life like food, energy, education and health services and good drinking water, and where there is justice and equal opportunity for all. These are not just words from my lips; as your President they will be the verifiable products of my policies and hard work.
Another mantra currently in vogue is the word “Progressive”. To me, this is not just a mere word; it is an obligation. That obligation is to transform Sierra Leone into a progressive and prosperous country. This objective will be expounded in our Party Manifesto which will give the key to every citizen to open the door to realising their aspirations.
As I have stated I have always put my country first. Now I want to put you, the people, first. As your President, we will build a country where no one is left out and no one is left behind; a country where the world will no longer look at us with pity but treat us with respect and dignity.
Together, we will build a country of compassion, faith, generosity, love, hope, creativity, shared values and limitless possibilities and opportunities for all.
As your President, I will restore trust and credibility in that solemn Social Contract between the people and their Government. And where we offer the ladder of opportunity, we will also demand responsibility. I pledge to you that responsibility will start from the top.
Let me use this opportunity to appeal to all other political parties. Let us use the 2018 elections as an avenue to unite our country and not for division; let us make the elections a contest of ideas, policies and programmes and not for personal attacks; let us use these elections to promote patriotism and not tribalism and regionalism; let us use these elections to reject hatred and bigotry and embrace love and truth and let us use the elections to restore our pride as a nation and not to make our democracy a mockery.
In the last few weeks, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has come under the spotlight. I want to remind the Commission that they have a constitutional mandate to conduct free, fair and credible elections which is a pre-condition for sustained peace and stability. I am aware of the intimidation and threats from both the Executive and the Legislative arms of Government and even the APC Secretariat.
I would like to appeal to the Commissioners and staff of NEC to stay resolute in the discharge of their sacred constitutional duty. Continue to stand up for the truth and do what is right. I and my Party are not asking for any special favours from NEC. All we are asking for is a free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process to strengthen our fledgling democracy.
In the coming weeks, our Party will engage the Electoral Commission on the role of party agents in voter identification on polling day and electoral results management. Also, we request for the participation of Political Parties in drafting rules and regulations that will complement the electoral provisions in the National Constitution and the Public Elections Act 2012.
Additionally, for the 2018 elections, we demand that Political Parties be privy to the distribution of ballot papers to various districts. And we want answers to the following questions:
• Who prints our ballot papers?
• How many ballot papers are printed?
• How many ballot papers are distributed to each district?
• How secure or unique are the ballot papers?
To President Ernest Bai Koroma, let me say that like many other Heads of State before you, opinions will be divided about your stewardship of this country. The Late President Kabbah respected the National Constitution and organised a free and fair democratic elections that brought your opposition APC into power, for which he was internationally applauded for his democratic commitment.
Mr. President, you now have a unique opportunity to write your own history. Allow history to remember you not for the few sycophantic voices of “More Time” or “Extension”. Rather you should strive to be remembered as the President who respected the call of his people to abide by the National Constitution; who supported free, fair and credible elections and who ensured a peaceful democratic transfer of political power. That is the most enduring legacy you can leave in the hearts of the people of this country.
To those voters who voted APC the last time, you have another opportunity to make a choice. Unlike the 2007 and 2012 elections, this time around you will have no excuse for making a wrong decision. You have already seen all the bad policies and programmes of the APC government. You certainly don’t need more. And I sincerely hope they are enough to inform your decision.
In the coming weeks, I will inform the nation of my policy agenda for 2018-2023. I promise you that my policies and plans for children, women, youth, persons living with disabilities, parents, teachers, health workers, military and police officers and the working population will represent the needs and aspirations of every citizen. They are not based on text book theories or theories developed by foreign technocrat; rather they will be home-grown and developed out of the prevailing challenges we face as a nation.
Let me also assure you all that my policy agenda for 2018 – 2023 will be guided by five key priorities and these will be:
1. Increasing revenue mobilisation and improving expenditure management as well as effectively and efficiently managing our natural resources with a view to increasing budgetary resources for financing our development programmes.
2. Promoting sustained job creating private sector economic growth through diversification of the economy, improving the global competitiveness of Sierra Leone for investment, financing local entrepreneurship and developing the needed infrastructure.
3. Developing human capital through education and training for our youth, improved health care service delivery and providing for the vulnerable population groups, particularly those living with disabilities by strengthening social protection mechanisms.
4. Improving state governance, particularly in areas of public administration, security, corruption and accountability mechanisms, justice and rule of law, human rights, access to information and press freedom.
5. Developing infrastructure in an efficient manner with a focus on projects with highest economic benefits and high potential to attract investment and promote economic growth.
Delegates, as we leave this Conference let us take with us this message that this Presidential election is about the people and the urgent need to transform Sierra Leone. As your Presidential Candidate, the New Direction will put the people first.
Finally, I ask the people of this country to elect me as your next President. I say from my heart I will be on your side; I will work for you; I will fight for you and I will never let you down. Together, let us put our people first.
May God bless you; may God bless our Party and may God bless our beautiful country.
One Country, One People
One Nation One Destiny
Paopa Salone for Betteh
Acceptance/Conciliatory Statement by Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara; The All People’s Congress Presidential Nominee for the March 2018 Elections.
Makeni -16th October, 2017
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you so very much! Thank you for making history! Thank you for putting party and country first. Thank you for choosing me to lead the great All People’s Congress (APC). For our party and for all of Sierra Leone, you have just made history in the politics of our great country. Yes, the Chairman and Leader of the APC, the National Advisory Committee and indeed, the entire comradeship of the APC have shown tremendous courage and determination; they have demonstrated selflessness and love for party and country, and loudly and clearly, they spoken. I am grateful to our Chairman and Leader and the entire leadership and comradeship of our great party, for the honour and the confidence reposed in me. Words cannot express how gratified I am for this great opportunity to lead in service of my party and my beloved country. I accept this honour with profound humility; inspired even more to confront the tasks ahead of all of us.
Yes Comrades all, history has been made and we have reason to celebrate victory even now, because victory has just been sealed by this historic decision of our party. We have reason to celebrate because our Chairman and Leader has mobilised our support base, because he has enhanced the profile of our APC, and has laid the solid foundation for the transformation of our beloved nation.
Yes, we have reason to be thankful, to rejoice, and to be proud of ourselves, and the wise ‘Conclave’ of the National Advisory Committee, for conducting such a very stiff test to courage, steadfastness and loyalty! Unarguably, this was the most difficult emotional and psychological drilling I have ever experienced; and I am sure my colleague aspirants endured the same anxiety. But in the end, we have shown our critics, our nation, and the world at large, that we in the APC are truly a great and united family!
With the solidarity already displayed by ALL of my comrades, especially those against whom I contested for the leadership of our party; with the overwhelming acclamation being demonstrated by men and women of the great APC; I am confident that we are going into these elections as winners. Yes, with your determination, the APC will win in the first ballot because our party is stronger today than ever before; because our party has been, and will always be, a family of comrades, united for the shared aspiration of building a strong and a better nation. And as a party of Action, of Progress and of Commitment; we must now, and together, take action to cement our victory in the first ballot.
To my family, to my friends, and to everyone who supported me throughout this great experience, I am grateful. I acknowledge that this is not an entitlement, rather; it’s a great honour to be chosen, from among such an outstanding assembly of highly competent compatriots; to take after such a shrewd and capable political leader as President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Let me therefore, at the outset, assure all fellow aspirants, that this is only the beginning of our collaboration. From this moment on, I would need your support to move forward our shared agenda of continuing the transformation of our nation. We are in this together; we started this race together; and together, we must strive to the finishing tape. This is our party; our country, and until we all come together to build our nation, no one else will make our country better for us. The responsibility is ours to imbibe the discipline required to build on the strong foundation that has been provided for us.
To achieve that, we must borrow a leaf from our party leadership who, by putting country first, have once again, and beyond all reasonable doubts, demonstrated undiluted determination to secure electoral victory for our party come 2018.
Yes, in Makeni, on Sunday 15th 2017, in the great Enerst Bai Koroma Conference Centre, of the APC Northern Region headquarters, the leadership and membership of the APC have put the interest of our great party and that of our beloved nation first; above individual and other interests.
And yes, this is a resounding victory for Sierra Leone, for our young people, the foot soldiers – the ordinary men and women who make up the foundation and the pillars of the party and our nation. You are the reason the APC continues to grow from strength to strength; and by your sheer numbers, you constitute the present and the future of this country.
And this is why I would not deviate from the vision of our Chairman and Leader in prioritizing the empowerment of women and young people. This is why I will sustain the participation of our Diaspora compatriots in the governance of our nation. This is why I will build on the policy of greater participation, expand on the task of unifying our nation, of consolidating the peace and of strengthening our democracy and the rule of law.
Yes, Comrades all, I believe in that vision. I firmly believe that to sustain and to build on the towering legacy of transforming our nation; it is imperative to continue putting our young men and women in the front and center of our national development. I believe that inclusiveness and greater participation of all categories of people represent a cornerstone in building the human capital of every nation. Those nations that have developed did so because they invested in harnessing their human resources; because they recognized that their people are the most critical component in addressing the bigger tasks of alleviating poverty; and of achieving sustainable development.
Thankfully, that stage has been set, that path has been cleared, and several first important steps have been taken towards achieving our nation’s aspiration of escaping from the throes of poverty. In roads infrastructure, in agriculture, in access to education, energy, pipe borne water, in health services, in good governance and in civil liberties; a solid foundation has been laid.
Our task now is to strengthen the gains we have made, and to progress rapidly to the next level of our nation’s economic and infrastructural transformation. But we cannot achieve national progress by being divisive, by being intolerant of perceived opponents, by refusing to acknowledge the hard work of others, by being unaccountable, by seeking to acquire political power at all costs. If we must expedite our nation’s development; we must not cut corners, we must accept that we are one and the same and we must respect authority, and we must abide by the rule of law. These are the tasks we must collectively pursue, genuinely, and with renewed zeal. And let me assure you all that in pursuing those ideals, as I set to do, there would be no excuses.
This is because, as a nation, we have come quite a long way yet; we still have work to do for our women and for our children. We have a great deal of work to do still for our young people seeking higher education, skills training and employment. We still have ways to go in catering for our men and women in uniform; for our compatriots in trading, in driving, in carpentry, in masonry, in subsistence farming and in entertainment. For those men and women who, in rain or shine, continue to strive hard to put food on the table; we still need to provide more facilities, more access to funds and more training for them to succeed in their chosen vocations. Whether they are motor bike riders, motor mechanics, electricians,; Sierra Leoneans of all vocations still need support to succeed.
Yes, we have made considerable progress in the last ten years but still; there is more we could do to cater for our older folks seeking healthcare and social security. And if we must meet those great expectations, we must all be prepared to accept, and to effectively play our individual roles. As your leader, when elected, I would work harder to further widen the space, to further create more opportunities through sustained and re-energized private sector – led development. I will work harder to increasingly consolidate the efficient management of our natural endowments by insisting on value addition, and by enhancing our power of negotiation with our international friends coming to invest in our country. We can do it; working together, we can move Sierra Leone to higher heights, to becoming a middle income country earlier than we thought.
But to achieve such grand aspirations; to complete the history we have just begun to make, for the sake of moving our country forward; we must all be prepared to shed away our old habits and accede to the attitudes and actions that are akin to national development. These are the resolutions we must renew and the values we must embolden in the chapters of the political history we have just made.
Once again, on behalf my family, I humbly accept this mantle of leadership, this task of building on the great legacy, this great honour to lead our party into electoral victory. Be rest assured that victory, we will have on 7th March, 2018 and then, with your support, Sierra Leone will leap on to new heights of socio- economic development.
Long live our Chairman and Leader, Long live the APC, and may God bless Sierra Leone!
Sheriff Mahmud Ismail
Tel: +232 76 280 641
Office of the President
Freetown, Sierra Leone