By Maxwell Conteh
After winning the last sets of historic by-elections with the widest margins, the All People’s Congress (APC) party ever saw, especially while in opposition, this modest and reluctant warrior recoiled back to his Limba corner and continues with his usual seamless leadership skills that has marveled many in the APC and elsewhere.
The by-elections victories landed a humiliating defeat to the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) government as it gave the majority in parliament back in the hands of the APC party.
During the National Voter Registration process, this peace loving and skillful leader of the APC party came in with a different approach of ensuring the objective of registering more voters in the APC dominated areas of the country is met. His approach was viewed by political fanatics and sociopolitical obstructionists as unconventional and was unwelcomed by many who are accustomed to the usual politics of mistrust, confusion, suspicion and choas; he was hailing the Election Commission For Sierra Leone (ECSL) for taking on such a task to the best of their ability at the time when others, especially those who have zero respect for the government were attacking him and the ECSL, at the end, more people were registered in areas deemed as APC strongholds.
This was a huge success given the fact that Chairman Alfred Peter Conteh inherited a party that is financially broke and without any proper functioning units in the internal party structures. In essence, he was cash-strapped with the sole aim of crippling his administration, but 9 months into it, he is still standing tall.
The District Block System or the Proportional Representation System wildly known as the PR System that was borne out of a discredited Midterm Census was also handled with exceptional maturity by Chairman Alfred Peter Conteh of the APC ITGC. Chairman Alfred Peter Conteh was approached by senior lawyers of the APC to be the lead plaintiff by virtue of his position in filing a lawsuit on behalf of the APC party, but again without delay, he recused the APC party and subsequently himself from doing so. His justification was simple; he doesn’t think they will win, and besides, he saw it as the premise the ruling party could use as justification for extending their term in office by asking the ECSL to make right their procedural mistakes. This means the Sierra Leone Supreme Court could have issued an injunction against the ECSL while deliberating on the matter or the Supreme Court could have asked the ECSL to make the necessary corrections in line with the questioned procedures. This is what the high IQ leader saw and declined the request of the APC lawyers. As usual, the outcome was as he thought it would be, the man was right again!!
This result oriented leader seldom makes public appearances, but whenever he does, crowds of people will be there to welcome and cheer him up. He has not declared for any position in the APC party, but his speeches and popularity points to a formidable candidate that could win any position in the APC if he chooses to run. His tour videos in some parts of the country left other politicians within the APC nervous, to say the least. Again, the meek and humble Chairman of the APC downplayed it on his social media pages by referring to them as the silent majority.
Bai Bureh Hall in Port Loko town was packed full and overflowing to the streets and compound many present at the event lamented that it looks like an APC National Delegates Conference (NDC). Kono and Kambia Districts to name a few were also overloaded with superb crowd of supporters who welcomed the change the Chairman has brought to the APC.
But humbly as he continues to lead the APC party, many who used to crucify him and blackmailing his person has today realised that Chairman Alfred Peter Conteh is the saviour they have been looking for and the man they can rely on to gain their rightful place in the APC. As a perfectionist in making decision, some of his proposed ideas to transform the APC to a modern day political hub, would have sold out the party’s tickets to many who are still on the fence, albeit it was thwarted by hate and blatant disregard for his leadership, he pushes on unabated. Apparently, Chairman Alfred has not only showcased his leadership mantra, but has also made the rest of the APC membership to realise that the APC is not owned by few. It is empirically evidential most of the ideas proposed by Chairman Alfred would have today put the APC at par with the ruling SLPP. Like one writer once said, to go into such elections with the SLPP government, the APC needs a radical leader with the requisite skills as seen in Alfred Peter Conteh. But the question in everyone’s mind, as this gentleman continues to be silent about his intention is; why isn’t he running?