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Kanthe’s Footnotes: The APC 2017 convention and the importance of a diaspora conference

22 June 2017 at 21:23 | 1686 views

Commentary

By Ibrahim Badamasi Kamara, grandson of Sammy Sarata Pangana, Quebec, Canada.

When news about the APC Press Conference filtered on June 2nd, curiosity took over the press.

It was like a sprint event (a competition) among media practitioners as they flocked at the APC Party headquarters. They listened to the Honourable National Secretary General of the APC as he rolled out the blue print for the APC National Delegates Conference in September, 2017. Reporters were tempered down as they enjoyed the very cool air conditioning in the hall of the party. It was a day of high humidity. Freetown media houses had no option but to discard their lead for the next day and replace it with story of the APC National Delegates’ conference.

At the APC National Headquarters, the APC National Secretary General, Honourable Ambassador Alhaji Osman Yansaneh, and his team were well positioned to serve the event of the day. The press briefing was carried out with precision. As of writing, the debate and prognosis about the APC and its leadership succession continues and the media landscape has been consumed by it.

Every newspaper in Freetown had the APC as a front page story. What is this story??? Has every part of the story been told? It is a story about a group of men and women (citizens) who wanted to fine-tune the gains of self-government wherein the grassroots people can feel represented in state governance as opposed to a party agenda designed and delivered by pious elites who harboured tendencies of their predecessors, the colonial masters. Why would these elites want to continue with SLPP?

The story about the APC will remain incomplete without mentioning the party’s diaspora. Today, many APC party stalwarts including friends from the diaspora have been gravitating towards various aspirants. Strategists are meetings during dark hours and behind closed doors. Social media pundits are busy. Aspirants are promoted religiously through social media. As the judgement day comes closer, there will be sleepless nights for the various contestants and their teams.

What will assure the APC of a confident victory in the 2018 polls is the harnessing of its huge diaspora base. Such a viable constituency must be activated, energized and put to use. The APC Diaspora remained one of the greatest assets that are available to the party and our victorious margins in the 2018 polls will largely be predicated on how much our party utilizes this very important auxiliary.

As noted from leadership quarters of the party, the diaspora inclusion as an organ of the party will be a historic or normative achievement for the present administration. The mainstreaming of the diaspora will also vindicate the current administration as a body of visionary men. Kudos to the President and the Party executives of the APC. By virtue of this development many stalwarts may also hope to see increased diaspora representation in various layers of the party such as the National Advisory Council, the National Executive and ad hoc committees. Also, many in the diaspora would like to witness more of their members obtaining party symbols for the 2018 Parliamentary and Local Council elections.

Furthermore, the diaspora are expected to choose their own representatives. In the process, we should also strive to avoid a power struggle and the creation of a super structure at the same time. Instead of having a traditional executive body, diaspora leadership representation can be divided into committees with a specific mandate in the form of shadow committees which will assist the party and the administration on case specific issues. For example we can have a committees on Political Affairs, on Education, on Health, on Housing, on Water Resources, etc. Each committee may have its head.

A diaspora conference will help solidify the gains that are being put forward by the leadership of the party. Since these normative developments are at a striking distance it is important to call for a diaspora conference to address many issues affecting these organizations. Maybe it will be good to consider additional set of norms or positive rules that will foster positive interaction and interactions that are in compliance with a given scope.

As party stalwarts in the diaspora what must we do when we encounter some of these instances of elasticity? What should our response be? A humble plea for assistance.

Long Live the President, the Chairman and Leader of the APC!

Long Live the Deputy Chairman and Leader of the APC!

Long Live the National Secretary General!

Long Live NAC and Long Live the APC!

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