-Dr. Kandeh Yumkella declares
November 14, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Presidential candidate for the National Grand Coalition (NGC) has stated that his decision to contest the March 7, 2018 presidential election is to work for the people and make their lives better.
Dr. Kandeh Kelleh Yumkella was on Saturday, 11 November duly elected as presidential candidate by the party’s Interim National Trustees Council at their maiden conference in the southern city of Bo, with 55 out of 69 votes available.
His election as the NGC’s standard bearer for the 2018 polls would not come as a surprise to many who regard him as the brain behind the formation of the party to topple the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).
Dr. Yumkella told hundreds of his supporters during the official launch of the NGC at the national stadium in Freetown last Sunday that, it was time for change in the politics of the country.
“The people need change now. The NGC is the new face and direction for Sierra Leone. This election is for the youths. I believe we all need to work collectively to provide jobs for the youth, build hospitals and improve the education sector,” he told thousands of ecstatic supporters.
The former top United Nations diplomat noted that Sierra Leoneans are still suffering, with little or nothing done by the two main political parties that have ruled the country since independence to change the condition of the people.
He said majority of the country’s youth have been unemployed for the past three years, citing the lack of pipe-borne water in the city, and loss of respect and dignity as part of the malaise his presidency would address.
“This country is for all of us. Every Sierra Leonean should be equal and benefit from the country’s resources. We believe the power of the almighty God,” he noted and blamed the APC and SLPP for the backwardness in the country.
He promised to build, amongst other things, good hospitals all over the country when he wins the election while urging his supporters and Sierra Leoneans to take the message of change to voters across the country.
“Our walk to State House starts today. I urge you all to take the message out there and convince people to vote the NGC. We need two million votes to win the elections at the first ballot,” said Dr. Yumkella.
He concluded by urging his supporters to stay away from violence throughout the period of electioneering.
While launching the NGC earlier, Interim Chairman and Leader Dr. Dennis Bright said: “We are reporting for duty to bring real change in this country. We are still experiencing the same problems and conditions since independence. The people are tired with APC and SLPP. They need something different.”
Thousands gathered at the national stadium for what was the maiden political rally of the newly formed NGC. The atmosphere was festive as the jubilant crowd danced to live performances by hip-hop star Kao Denero and Lansana Sheriff, both of whom have joined the bandwagon of change.