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Late Hinga Norman’s son declares for APC

By  | 27 August 2015 at 10:50 | 942 views

In what may be viewed as a momentous political decision, the son of the leader of pro-government civil militia forces during the civil war in Sierra Leone Hinga Norman Junior (seen in photo on the left with the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Honourable Victor Foh in London recently) has declared his support for the ruling APC party led by Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.

This is not a very surprising move for political pundits who have been observing the country’s political evolution since Chief Hinga Norman’s arrest, incarceration and subsequent death at a Dakar hospital on February 22, 2007. Before his arrest, Norman senior was Interior Minister in the then Kabbah-led SLPP government.

According to a release from the public affairs unit of the Sierra Leone High Commission in London, UK, Hinga Norman Junior, on Tuesday said:

"I am convinced that the APC holds the future for Sierra Leone because they are the only party that will ensure peace and prosperity in our country." He was speaking at the residence of Sierra Leone’s High Commissioner to the UK, Eddie Turay during a private visit to the Vice President who was then in London for a conference.

Hinga Norman Junior said it took him seven years after the controversial death of his father at a military hospital in Dakar, Senegal, to come up with such a decision because he wanted to be sure that he was doing the right thing.

On behalf of his family, Norman thanked the Vice President and the ruling party in general for the role they played during the incarceration of his father at the Special Court of Sierra Leone.

Vice President Foh described the former civil militia leader of the pro government Civil Defence Force as a hero who made huge sacrifice for Sierra Leone.

"As a political party, we believe Chief Sam Hinga Norman was a hero who served his people very well and deserve not to have gone the way he did," the Vice President said adding that the former SLPP government failed to protect the late man.

Vice President Foh, himself incarcerated and nearly killed by the former SLPP government, described Norman joining the APC as significant and noted that it will go a long way to send a signal to Sierra Leoneans about what the APC stands for.

"We are a party of the people and for the people," he said.

The Late Hinga Norman requested to meet with President Koroma who was then opposition leader early 2007 while in jail and according to Foh, the APC visited him four times in jail before he fell sick and eventually died February 2007.

The Vice President did not discuss details of the party’s meeting with the late Norman, but they were certainly not unconnected with matters of national interest including of course politics.

The Sierra Leone High Commission statement noted that "Sam Hinga Norman’s death sparked wild controversy and confusion within the SLPP and many are still of the view that it was politically motivated taking into consideration the fact that there were huge differences between him and some top guns within the SLPP who saw him as a threat to their Presidential ambition."

Current President Koroma visited Hinga Norman Senior shortly before his (Norman’s) fateful departure for Senegal. He (Norman) allegedly asked President Koroma to look after the members of his civil defence forces which included the Kamajors (south and east), Gbethis( Yoni chiefdom,Tonkolili), Tamamboros (Koinadugu), Kapras (Tonkolili), Donsos (Kono) and the Hunting Society of the Western Area.

It is believed the Hinga Norman issue was a major factor for the defeat of the opposition SLPP in the 2007 and 2012 elections.

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