APC-North America Convention, 2010

6 February 2010 at 03:47 | 716 views

By Arolyn I. Koroma Washington, DC

The convergence in Ohio State on Jan 15, of all the APC rank and file from all walks of life underscore the itch which was in the air for this particular day to come for the election of a new chairman.

Bravo to the newly elected vibrant, interested and intellectually sound Chairman of Hope and Peace Mr. Al Hassan Aziz-Turay. He was elected amid a chaotic period in the life of APC N/America. Thanks to the dynamic, pragmatist and invigorating former Chairman Osman Conteh for his distinctive service to the unique branch. And hurrah to the experienced, passive, humble and soft spoken outgoing interim leader chairman Leslie Edward Allen for guiding the troubled fort. Each of the aspiring candidates for the chairmanship recognized the need for peace and unity in the N/America branch. “This is a job which will occupy most of my administration’s agenda,” reiterated the new chairman among many burning issues in his ‘to do list.’

The flawless convention of the APC N/America Branch held in Ohio State in the United States on Jan 15-16, 2010 qualifies the host Branch’s unique members and President Mr. Rashid Bangura to gloat. The host branch’s preparation and performance during the entire two days were exceptionally awesome and beyond criticism. In his address the host president Mr. Rashid Bangura welcomed the convention attendees for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to the convention. It was a move which manifest their commitment to the party, and to move the North America Branch and the parent branch to the next level. He praised the President Dr. Ernest B. Koroma for his excellent work at home which made it possible for us to be proud of our country today. He shared the success of the convention with all the presidents and members of the branches in the union.

Known for its inclusiveness, tolerant and adherence to democratic principles, the convention moderator’s heeded President Dr. Ernest B. Koroma’s call for attitudinal change. The free and fair election mandate was embedded in a document penned by the dynamic and able APC Secretary General Mr. Victor Foe on behalf of the party’s hierarchy in Freetown. The document was handed to the party’s most senior official in North America, the fine and experienced H.E. Ambassador Bockarie K.Stevens who set in motion the wheel of a clean, free and fair chairmanship election 2010.

Synonymous with political elections gerrymandering, there were ranting and venting episodes after the voice of the Accreditation committee chairman strongman Col Idrisa Kamara (rtd) echoed in welcoming party members, delegates and lay down the election modalities in the jam packed Ohio Whitehall Parks and Recreational Center. In his opening speech Col. Idrissa Kamara (rtd) welcome and thank all the members for coming out during frigid temperatures, which are a manifestation of their commitment rooted from the progress and continued facelift of our country, which our able president is embarked upon. He pleaded with every party member to concentrate on bringing our party back to power in 2012. at which stage he received a very long thunderous round of applause.

Indeed N/America Branch election campaign was raised to higher height, a level never experienced before. But in the end party’s interest superseded and business went on as usual. The out going interim chairman Leslie Allen laid a catalogue of achievements during his tenor which included among others increased membership and resuscitating the Washington D. C., APC Women’s Wing. He immensely commended the president for his exceptional job of working harder to improve the standard of living of our populace.

H.E. Ambassador Bockarie K. Stevens, the election commissioners Hon. E. T. Kamara, Mr. Ahmed Kanu from Ohio chapter and Ms. Nanette Thomas, Convention Registrar from Texas, will no doubt be remembered and shall go into history for their endurance, courage and skills. This is a team with the right ingredients who are capable of conducting any elections.

The newest chapter in the Union, Minnesota State Branch members while a little disturbed due to By-laws technicalities, they were equally able to exercise restraint and returned home quite pleased with the outcome of the two-day convention.

Day two of the convention could as well be referred to as the candidates most defining moment as their hopes upon hope could be shattered and punctuated by the most miniscule error. The tempo of activities was further elevated by a stupendous production of a Sierra Leone Cultural dance group (goboi) followed by Branch officials Peace dance initiated by the By-law committee chairman Abu Baibureh Bangura, Washington, DC.

There was a mesmerizing silence after the second in command Vice Chairman

Sallieu Conteh of Boston, Massachusetts (NE) was declared a winner. A win which signaled trouble and caused turmoil at some quarters, and there were brief moments when the constants experienced both the thrill of triumph and the agony of defeat. At which point tremors were felt in the convention hall, while an earthquake was felt in the entire APC NA Chapters. And the epi-center (fault-line) was at Washington, DC. A seismic power shift of an unimaginable proportion has taken place. The APC N/A Branch crown jewel has high-tailed to the Arizona desert.- Owaii Osaii

There was a brief second of black-out in the filled to capacity Whitehall Parks and Rec. hall, a darkness which represented the 7 months of darkness in the chapter and then suddenly there was light representing the anticipated peace.

After the elections came the killer announcement of winners:

Al Hassan Aziz-Turay-Chairman-Arizona,

Salieu Conteh, Vice Chairman-Boston Mass (NE).

Hassan Kamara, Secretary General- Washington, DC,

Asst. Sec. Gen. Samuel Dilito Turay, PA.

Joseph B.Kamara, Financial Secretary-Washington, DC,

Abie Bangali Mansaray, Treasurer-Washington, DC,

Eddie Bangura, Organizing Secretary-Ohio.

Asst Org. Sec. Brima Bangura, - NJ.

Victor K. Simbo, Fundraising Dir. NY,

Ibrahim Sie-Public Relations Officer -Ohio.

Brima M. Turay, Asst. PRO,-AZ,

Alusine S. Lovel, Compliance Officer., PA -.

Abdul Fofanah, Asst. Compliance-WA