By 2007 when the APC had gained momentum towards regaining governance after years in opposition, it took the Party extra strength, strategies and commitment to have won.
There was a general desire for change, and a readiness on the part of the people to have an APC led government, with an ever charming and likable character serving then as the face of the Party- then Opposition Leader, Ernest Bai Koroma. He effectively provided robust, astute and all round leadership in Parliament as the country’s Opposition Leader, eventually winning hearts and minds, thus him becoming the country’s president.
Signs of victory for the APC started off with an overwhelming parliamentary win in the Western Area which, strategically is a determinant force when it comes to who forms the next government. The political rallies of the APC at the time, coupled with the youthful exuberance of those under 20 voters who were having the first experience in casting political votes, all became winning factors. The APC was eventually to have a great deal of victory in the Western Area (Rural-Waterloo and Urban-Freetown).
The people wanted a change; they were tired with the political rhetoric of the then government- with huge unmet promises!
I lived at Kissy for over a decade. There was a loud name in the SLPP political circle, in the person of Med Kay (Mohamed Kamara) a well known figure with huge respect within that community, a strategic player during the Berewa presidential candidacy and was the SLPP Chairman, Freetown East. There was a time when in Kissy, you talked of Med Kay(Mohamed Kamara) you likely were getting close to discussing SLPP. Indeed, SLPP was him and in him, was the Party. Bottom-line, he was a major player! Today, that is history with him becoming a member of the APC. Very historic!
Make no joke, political defection is itself strategic, in the art of partisan politics. It involves conviction; it often only occurs when one sees the party he is about to join as having a promising future, with huge chances of meeting people’s expectations.
Defection also comes when there is an effective leadership in the party one is about to join. And the moment it occurs, it helps in breaking the moral standing of the party left. The moves taken by the former SLPP bigwigs prior to the 2012 elections were as a result of what they had seen in the APC and especially with the overall leadership successes.
Astute leadership within a party’s structure also counts!
Med K’s decision to join the APC is one move that could not have come at the right time. This is dawn of an era and a sign of more things to come for the main opposition. This factually will help in fortifying the strength of the governing party in the Western Area and in positioning it as a party that stands the test of times when it comes to winning elections and ensuring national development.
Western Area has always given victory to the APC; thanks to the party leadership. The defection of the SLPP Freetown-East Chairman tells a lot about the success stories of the APC Western Area leadership.
Captain Allieu Momodu Pat-Sowe’s Western Area executive will go down in history books as one that worked so diligently in strengthening the Party in the Western Area as seen with the transfer of an SLPP bigwig; they deserve a pat for such a political goal.
Med K is a household name in Kissy; good at mobilizing support, always ready to help, something he is known of across the kissy community. His only disadvantage over the years was his link with the opposition since Western Area is APC stronghold. This latest punch against the opposition is a masterpiece political goal. Politics is a game of numbers. Med K’s departure has definitely fractured an already dying opposition party and only time will tell as to the platform they would stand on, especially as elections approach.
The need for the APC to remain united cannot be downplayed. Unity ensures strength and where there is strength there always will be the determination to pursue a common goal! The common goal in politics is gaining political power, through the ballot box.
The need for supporters of aspiring flag-bearers to see each aspirant as member of the same family is also crucial. Victory depends even on how supporters disagree to agree on issues. The opposition should not be allowed an opportunity to undermine the very successes the party has made over the years. A one term period of the opposition in governance would mean decades of undoing the gains made in a decade!
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.