By Yusif Moiguah
Politicians of the embattled main opposition, All People Congress (APC) should be up their guards now, mobilise their supporters and try to win more members into the fold, irrespective of challenges confronting the party.
Challenges are everywhere in as much as the survival of the APC party is concerned being vigorously embattled by the powers that be. From day one, APC has in the last two and half years come through several hurdles in the hands of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).
The hurdles, despite their enormity, should not in any way continue to cow APC members and their supporters in silence.
The challenges include deaths of senior comrades like Birch Conteh, Linda Koroma, Minkailu Bah, Sheik Sillah, and now Chairman Momoh Konte who we pray for their souls to rest in perfect peace.
It should be emphasised that the deaths of the party stalwarts does not mean the end of the road to APC victory.
For some party loyalists, all is not lost as they will always continue to toil for victory in the struggle of the APC amidst growing political intimidation from the ‘New Direction’ Government.
Like it was during the exit period of late President Alhaji Dr Ahmed Tejan Kabbah who ruled with so much tolerance, it is not the same now as the ‘Paopa’ hegemony under the new but rather old and misled direction does not want to see APC alive and survive the day light.
So for it alone, all APC members and supporters should have been placed in a dungeon by now till its final demise.
Yet, the party continues to struggle for survival even in Parliament under the rule of a military dictatorship under the guise of democracy.
Moreover, APC parliamentarians were forcefully removed by armed police personnel from the well of Parliament on the day of the elections of the Speaker of the House.
The forceful removal was followed by several undemocratic acts meted to APC members, almost everywhere in the country.
The brutality unleashed by the ‘New Direction’ depicts clearly that it would not be an easy ride for the main opposition this time round.
That alone should have prepared the minds of APC politicians coming through these turbulent periods during which they must not relent at all.
APC MP’s were in the majority, and they actually deserved the post of the Speaker of Parliament which was forcefully grabbed from them by the minority SLPP.
Then came the politically motivated petitioning of ten APC MP’s whose parliamentary seats were “illegally” turned in to selected SLPP representatives who have proven their incompetence in debates through court petition verdicts simply because they lack the requisite capacities to serve in positions they hold now.
Those actions were collectively taken against the APC and not an individual flag-bearer aspirant right.
Talk less about the commissions of inquiry all meant to bury the APC party which should serve as enough lessons.
The APC must halt these individualistic tendencies of past flag bearer aspirants and certain ill-motivated people in the party who are at it again with the propensities of spoiling the chances of the APC so soon if it is not quickly nipped in the board now before elections are here.
For the ruling SLPP, the more APC becomes disintegrated, the happier they become and prepared to rig elections.
Thus consolidation in the APC party is a must for the general good.
Besides, added to the predicament of the main opposition party are list of politically motivated issues ranging from the arrest and detention of APC party members including Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, former Defence Minister Rtd. Major Paolo Conteh, former Mayor of Freetown City Council, Herbert George Williams, Abu Bakarr Daramy and Sergeant Amadu Koita who are on trials for crimes the state alleged they have committed. Thank God for Paolo Conteh who has been cleared of treason by the Sierra Leone Judiciary and hope and pray that fair trials and judgements prevail in the remaining cases of other APC members and supporters behind bars.
All of these are enough challenges for APC members and supporters to be on the same page for the progress and victory of the party.
It is therefore unreasonable that in the wake of all these difficulties, some senior APC party members and supporters are always almost become strange bed fellows with deep divisive tendencies at the very detriments of the party, which is not good for the future of the political organization.
Lest we forget that there is hope for the party to bounce back to power, and it is somehow expected of all that, at a moment like this when the failed SLPP is bent on fighting the APC.
Now is the right time for members and supporters round the globe to consolidate strongly behind one strong candidate put or elected by the party to unseat the SLPP come 2023 if the opposition APC really means business.
The flag-bearer position should not be seen as the one and only seat or job in the party.
It however does not end there at all with the bigger picture right on the board which is the replacement of the present dispensation with a better option which the only political institution in Sierra Leone to offer that is the almighty APC.
Therefore, all APCers must step up now, put on guards and be fully ready for the main fight at the ballot box come the next elections.
With that firmly in minds and hearts of all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans, the calls are all yours to take the onus now and prepare yourselves very well by consolidating the party do away and dissolve all petty camps and form coalitions that can defeat the ruling SLPP at first ballot.
It does not matter who takes the lead, as far as the traditional APCers are concerned, even if the flag bearer position is given a goat or sheep they will vote him/her to effect the needful change as long as the party win which is concern then all other redresses will be handled later.
By the look of things, it seems as if the APC now have the right chance to capitalize on the massive failures of President Julius Maada Bio and his bunch of inept diaspora workers and comfortably defeat the SLPP come the next elections.
As such, there is not much to showcase by the ruling elites and as a government in waiting, the APC must be serious to liberate the people of Sierra Leoneans from these messy state of affairs under the Bio led administration.
One thing APC members and supporters should always be mindful of is the fact that their last regime of former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma left lasting legacies with solid foundation.
In all sectors across the governance structure which is being destroyed by the government, the only way to resurrect such enduring legacies is the re-election of the APC party to power come 2023 which needs the support, cooperation and relentless effort of all and sundry at that higher strata of the party.
Time for personal gains by past flag-bearer aspirants are over and far gone.
This is the time the APC needs to redouble its resources and effort to reclaim benefit of its past hard work otherwise they would end up in the wrong hands.
The appeal to all APC party members especially former flag-bearer aspirants, the trials and tribulations are not for any one party members but the entire part membership.
The message to you all remains simple and clear which is consolidation for constructive democratic reforms to better position the APC party to take over governance soonest.
The call for consolidation means they should all rally behind one candidate no matter the tribe, region, district and social status.
The aim should be ensuring a winning of the APC party at the end of it all which will continue to give respite to standing members of the party going forward.
Once more the watch word is internal consolidations for the general good going forward!