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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

In support of VP Sam-Sumana…

Kono youth may quit APC

By Mohamed Massaquoi

The debate about President Ernest Bai Koroma’s planned tenure elongation is still raging in the eastern district of Kono, where youth have emphatically stated that they will quit the ruling party if Vice President Samuel Sam-Sumana was not given equal opportunity to contest the presidency in 2018.

During recent visits to Tankoro, Gbense, Kamara, Tombodu, Nimikoro, Njaiama, Nimiyama and Sewafe chiefdoms – all in the Kono district, youth expressed their consternation about the controversial third term bid campaign being trumpeted allegedly on behalf of President Koroma. Many young people this reporter spoke to said they supported the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) in the 2012 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections because of the vice president, their kinsman, and that any attempt to ditch the latter in favour of another candidate to contest for presidency under an APC ticket would leave them with no option but to denounce their APC membership.

During group interviews in all the above chiefdoms, Kono youth raised serious concern about the continued political and economic backwardness of the district despite being one of the bread baskets of the country, which they blamed on perennial disagreement among political leaders in the district.

A youth leader in central Kono, Alhaji Usman Fasuluku, told Concord Times that they supported President Koroma in the 2007 and 2012 elections because of “our brother Chief Samuel Sam-Sumana” and that they hold the president to great reverence but hoped the vice president will be accorded equal opportunity to challenge for the flag-bearer position of the ruling party.

“We are of the opinion that as party members, we should all have equal opportunity and responsibility for the development of our party. APC belongs to all of its membership and I see no reason why the vice president should not be given the opportunity to contest for the highest post in the land.

“This is not the time for politics, but we have some people who feel that the only way to make money is to be sycophantic to our leaders. Ernest has said he is not interested in a third term, so why is it that people are making mockery of our democracy is,” he questioned and added that APC politicians should know that the vice president has a very strong support base among the youth and elders in the district, a key reason Kono residents supported the party overwhelmingly in 2012.

Another youth leader from Sandor chiefdom, Sahr Kambay, revealed that they have intimated youth in the chiefdom about the current political infighting among political leaders in the district.

He said that almost all the promises made by the government for the development of the district are unfulfilled due to lack of unity among Kono politicians, and implored indigenes of the district to rally behind VP Sam-Sumana to become president in 2018.

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