25th April 2018
NGC will not Support APC or SLPP but Co-Founder Prefers SLPP in the Run-Off!
By a press release (22/03/18)
The National Grand Coalition NGC will officially remain neutral during the March 27 presidential run-off election between ruling APC and SLPP.
This report was confirmed in a press statement issued yesterday by the NGC party - the party that came third in the March 7 general elections - disclosing that they will remain neutral in the run-off between the ruling APC party led by Dr. Samura Kamara and the main opposition SLPP party led by Julius Maada Bio. (Photo: Some NGC hierarchy L-R: Chairman Dennis Bright, Julius Spencer, 3rd, Running Mate Andrew Keili, 4th).
It remains to be seen which of the two political parties APC and SLPP, widely considered to be 'evil parties' will benefit from the NGC neutrality in the March 27 elections. Below is the NGC statement confirming its stance:
NGC STATEMENT OF POSITION ON THE 27TH MARCH 2018 PRESIDENTIAL RUN-OFF
The National Grand Coalition Party received its final certificate authorising it to operate as a political party in October 2017 and contested the March 7, 2018 elections at all levels. De-spite its brief existence and the preponderance of irregularities directed at our party before and during the elections, the party (according to official figures released by the National Electoral Commission) emerged as the third force in the presidential election and won parliamentary and local council seats.
The leadership of the party wishes to thank all the members, supporters and sympathisers of the party all over the world who, through their hard work, made this achievement possible.
We also wish to thank all those who had enough confidence in us to vote for our candidates. We assure you that your confidence was not misplaced and that over the coming months and years we shall prove to be worthy of your trust.
The NGC entered the political agenda in Sierra Leone because its founding members believe a different Sierra Leone is possible and with the right leadership, the destiny of our beloved country can be changed and set on a path to prosperity.
We therefore intend to continue the struggle to achieve fundamental change in the Sierra Leone body politic in order to dras-tically improve the lives of all Sierra Leoneans.When a government wins power through free, fair, and credible elections, it enjoys the le-gitimacy and support of all citizens, even those who did not vote for it, thus contributing to peace and stability, and creating a strong foundation for democratic development.
Howev-er, due to the alarming evidence of irregularities uncovered by the NGC and confirmed by other political parties, our party has instructed its legal team to advise on the best course of action to take.
It is noteworthy that the leadership of the NGC, since the 9th of March had sent at least three letters to the NEC detailing its concerns and requesting recounts. In addition, we at NGC randomly analyzed 24.5% (2,728) of the 11,130 Result Reconciliation Forms (RRF) nationwide.
Here is a summary of what we found:
- Of the 2,728 (24.5%) RRFs analyzed, 813 possible irregularities and malpractices were identified including over-voting, miscalculation, missing signatures, unstamped forms, altered forms and wrong numbering of constituencies;
- The results of 616 polling stations (of the 25% analysed) were in effect compromised by possible election malpractices.
Despite our grave misgivings about the electoral process thus far that has resulted in a planned presidential run-off between SLPP and APC on March 27, 2018 and current legal challenges to the electoral process, the party embarked on widespread consultations with its members across the country with a view to taking a position on the runoff.
The message from the overwhelming majority of NGC members and supporters is clear: NGC should not endorse either APC or SLPP or enter into a coalition arrangement with either party. Rather, the NGC should concentrate on providing an effective opposition on behalf of the people of Sierra Leone. The leadership of the NGC endorses this position.
In the light of the above, the leadership of the NGC urges all its members and supporters to put Sierra Leone first in making their own individual decisions.
The NGC notes the increasing emergence of tribalism in the politics of the country and urges all Sierra Leoneans, particularly the leadership of the APC and SLPP to make all efforts to bring this to an end because it bodes ill for national cohesion and is leading our nation on a path to self-destruction. In conclusion, the NGC would like to assure all Sierra Leoneans that as a political party, we are here to stay and it intends to be a robust opposition in and out of Parliament.
We will hold the government to account for its actions or inactions and will champion the cause of ordinary people. This is in line with our vision to create a free, fair and just society.
We firm-ly believe real change is possible and we intend to be the driving force behind that change.
United We Stand
We Stand United
Dr. Julius Spencer
National Campaign Manager
National Grand Coalition (NGC)
KKY MOVEMENT CO-FOUNDER AND NGC FOUNDATION MEMBER FODAY M. DABOH ENDORSES JULIUS MAADA BIO AS THE NEXT PRESIDENT MOMENTS BEFORE THE NGC PRESS STATEMENT:
The NGC is faced with the dilemma of choosing between the governing APC and the main opposition SLPP in a runoff election on March 27, 2018. There are some in the party who believe that the NGC should not participate at all by way of endorsing either of the two parties.
As a cofounder of the KKY Movement and a foundation member of the NGC, I believe that the survival of NGC depends on which of these two parties occupies State House after the runoff. I will proffer ten reasons why I believe NGC voters should vote en masse for the SLPP ticket. The NGC does not have to be in the cabinet to influence policy changes. The NGC could use the moment to push the SLPP to agree to certain policy changes without asking for ministerial positions for fear of collective responsibility.
Here are ten reasons why we NGCers should vote for the SLPP candidate on March 27:
1. The problem KKY faced in the SLPP was engineered by the APC in collaboration with some SLPP executives. The APC believed that KKY would be a far more formidable threat as flag bearer of SLPP than any of the other aspirants. While President Kabbah used his powers to strengthen the opposition, EBK used his to sow discord within the main opposition. The APC will, therefore, be reaping what they sowed if NGC paid them back in their own coin.
2. NGC is angry, and rightly so, at the brazen corruption of this APC administration and we believe that the APC should not be rewarded with a renewed mandate. That’s why we ran in the first place. Staying neutral or sitting on the fence will ensure an APC victory, and this is not an option. This brings to mind the famous quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”. I am not, of course, in anyway implying that the SLPP is a mouse.
3. The APC government is not done with Dr Yumkella just yet. It still has a case pending in the Supreme Court disputing his citizenship. The APC will not entertain someone like Dr Yumkella in parliament. His presence in our parliament means he will be always talking about corruption and embarrass the kleptocracy on a consistent basis. With a renewed mandate, assuming they won, the APC will not hesitate to instruct a corrupt judiciary to rule against Dr Yumkella, thus kicking him out of parliament.
4. The NGC got most of its votes from the Northwest and Northern Regions, a stronghold of the APC. The APC would leave no stones unturned in ensuring that they destroy the NGC to stop any threats posed in future elections. They could achieve this through bribery, fraudulent legal challenges and physical violence of key NGC members.
5. During the one and only presidential debate, the SLPP presidential candidate admitted diasporans weren’t treated fairly, and the SLPP manifesto promised to address the issue. It is necessary first step to push one of our key campaign issues for diasporans to vote overseas by next general elections in five years.
6. Staying neutral and having the APC reelected to another five year term will put State House further away from the NGC. The NGCs chances would be far better to face a five-year old SLPP administration than a fifteen or twenty year uninterrupted APC misrule with its concomitant advantages of more cash, a coerced judiciary and the security forces to use at their beck and call.
7. The NGC makes a better argument against Alhassan and Alusine when after a five-year slpp administration; we could point to the lapses of the slpp. As it stands, the only record of the slpp available is a good one with Late President Kabbah. Dr Yumkella himself referred to President Kabbah as father of Sierra Leonean institutions.
8. A renewed mandate for APC would be rewarding them for all the ills they have caused our country and her people. As a Muslim, I was horrified at the treatment meted out to fellow Muslims during the Hajj-gate. I don’t peddle in conspiracy theories, but the way the government handled the Ebola crisis was grossly inefficient and made it the pandemic it became that claimed thousands of lives. The mudslide that also killed over a thousand people is another example of the ineptitude of the APC. NGC believes in holding politicians accountable and I believe we should hold APC accountable by kicking them out of office.
9. Dr Yumkella has always reiterated that the country risked returning to a one party dictatorship if the APC continued beyond two terms. If a governing party struggles in an election, forcing a runoff, with state resources and security forces at their disposal, it indicates that the mood of the electorates is for change. NGC will not falter to help bring that regime change.
10. The APC presidential candidate has been part of our nation’s economy for more than 30 years. He claimed before the whole world that his government failed in making the lives of our people better in the only presidential debate. Yet he claimed EBK has done great things for the country and he would like to continue on the same trajectory.
For these reasons and several more, I would like my fellow NGCers who truly would like to see Dr Yumkella become president and see NGC as a viable political party to vote against APC and for the SLPP ticket. With these few words, I hereby endorse Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio as our nation’s next president in the March 27 elections.
Courtesy: Foday M Daboh is Cofounder KKYMovement Foundation Member of the National Grand Coalition.