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COCORIOKO » 2002 » September

Archive for September, 2002

APC has accepted change as a political reality -Ernest Bai Koroma

Saturday, September 28th, 2002


Opposition leader, Mr.Ernest Bai Koroma, said today
that his party has accepted change as a political
reality and the APC was now on the verge of
re-inventing itself.



Delivering the keynote address at the launching of the
New Jersey Branch of the APC at Franklin Township,
Somerset in New Jersey this evening, Ernest Koroma
affirmed that with change and re-invention by his
party in mind, the APC will be going into the 2007
elections to win and bring back “good leadership” to
Sierra Leone.

Amidst rapturous cheers from Party stalwarts , Mr.
Koroma said that the APC has accepted democracy as one
of the realities of change in Sierra Leone . The APC supports the
concept of Multi-Party Democracy , within the vortex
of change in Sierra Leone . Change and democracy

have been adopted by the party and the APC was now
ready to provide inspiring governance for Sierra
Leone, he went on .The APC, he asserted , was now
participating within the parameters of the democratic
framework of Sierra Leone.He described the SLPP as
undemocratic and declared that the APC was the only
democratic party in the nation.

Outlining the achievements of the APC, Ernest Koroma
said that most of the infrastructure in Sierra Leone
were constructed by the party. He also said during the
APC rule, the party kept the nation intact and
cohesive and everybody was given the opportunity to
participate in government.He declared that the APC was
the only party of the people and encouraged everybody
to climb onboard.

Mr. Koroma said Sierra Leone got into problem because
the people were economically and socially
marginalised. He promised that when his government
comes to power, it will seek the interest of the
Sierra Leonean people.

The APC leader lamented Sierra Leone’s ignominous
position at the bottom of the U.N development index,
and the fact that 60 percent of the people lived under
the poverty level, while only 30 percent had access to
clean water.He regarded these as very serious problems
which he called on all Sierra Leoneans to work
together to address. He said that certain social and
economic programs must be put in place to alleviate
the suffering of the common man. He stated that only
the APC was poised to provide leadership that will
improve the lot of Sierra Leoneans.

Ernest Koroma spoke about donor fatigue and said that
if Sierra Leone must develop, Sierra Leoneans
themselves must must provide initiatives for national
development.He promised that the APC will provide the
environment for the success of these initiatives.

Mr . Koroma rocked the hall with laughter when he
recounted a telephone conversation he had with a
Sierra Leonean in the U.S. who complained that he was
tired of living in America and urged Koroma and the
APC to go back to Sierra Leone and develop the country
so that he would return.He indicated that the person
did not understand the new dispensation and that the
responsibility to develop Sierra Leone rested on every

Ernest Koroma was cheered off by the huge crowd.



Seek the interest of the people — Editor urges Sa. Leone politicians

Saturday, September 28th, 2002



Saturday September 28, 2002

The Editor-in -Chief of the COCORIOKO newspaper
and the founder  and also Pastor of the American Fellowship
Church, Rev.Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu , today urged
Sierra Leonean politicians to seek the interest of the

Rev Kabs-Kanu was officiating the Christian part of
the launching ceremony of the New Jersey branch of the
APC at the East Somerset Fire House in Franklin
Township this evening.

Taking his message from Psalm 138 : 6, which reads :
“For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly”,
Rev. Kanu said that God is very mighty and powerful
and he is high up there, but he still has regard for
the lowly. God, he went on, wants men who achieve
power and “get up there” to adopt the same attitude
and have regard for those at the bottom.

He said that the wilful disregard of the poor was one
of the factors responsible for the parlous state of
our nation today. If our past leaders had promoted the
interests of the people, he lamented, Sierra Leone
would not have fallen into ruin.He charged APC leader
Ernest Koroma to seek the intersts of the poor as one
of the leaders of Sierra Leone and called on the
opposition to lift up the interests of the masses in

Reverend Kanu , in keeping with God’s admonition to
Christians to lift the name of their leaders in prayer
, prayed for Opposition leader  Ernest Koroma and

President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and his SLPP
government . He asked God to
provide wisdom for President Kabbah to govern the
country according to the makers’ will and to accept
the will of the people , if they no longer required
his party’s services any more in 2007.

He told the opposition that they were in parliament to
seek the interests of the people , not their own
desires.He admonished them to become a more vibrant
and viable opposition in Parliament.

Opposition APC escalate rhetoric against SLPP in New Jersey

Saturday, September 28th, 2002

Coverage of the launching of the New Jersey Branch of the APC Party at Somerset, New Jersey  by the COCORIOKO Newspaper Limited. 



By Wilfred Leeroy Kabs-Kanu


Saturday September 28, 2002


The All People’s Congress (APC) escalated it’s

rhetoric against the ruling Sierra Leone People’s

Party (SLPP) today during the launching of the New

Jersey Branch of the party at Somerset , New Jersey.


In a Grand Ceremony graced by the presence of the

leader of the party, Mr.Ernest Bai Koroma; his running

mate at the last elections Mr.Dauda Kamara and many

top members of the party both in Sierra Leone and the

U.S., APC members blew their minds about what many of

them described as the mismanagement of the country by

the SLPP and the APC’s strong plans to return to power

in 2007 .Party leader, Ernest Koroma charged that the

SLPP cheated at the last elections , but the APC

decided to accept the results in the interest of peace


and reconciliation .

Ernest Koroma said that from the voters’ registration

exercise , which was a fiasco , to the voting itself,

the APC was cheated at the last General Elections by

the ruling SLPP.He stated that his party would have

rejected the results of the elections, but in the

interest of peace and reconciliation, the APC decided

to accept the results .However, delegate after

delegate remarked that the APC would not tolerate the

same situation in the 2007 elections, which they

claimed that they were going to win.


As a community Elder and reknowned Minister of the

Gospel in New Jersey, I was asked ,

along with Muslim Cleric Alhaji A.S.G.Kamara of Jersey

City , to officiate the religious portion of the



Before accepting the invitation, I reminded

the APC officials that I had criticised

the party and the SLPP a lot in the past in newspapers

and on the internet  but I had realized that the APC

was the only hope for Sierra Leone.  Mr. Dauda Bangura, the

Chairman of the occasion, and the main organizer, Alex

Mansaray ,reminded me  that the “beauty of APC

Philosophy” was that a man did not become the enemy of

the party just because he criticised it.”We accept

constructive criticisms from everybody.We are not like

other parties who hate to be criticised. We are a

democratic party ,” they both assured me , “and so

there is no problem with that”. I told them that the APC

was unique because it was the only party you would criticize

but go all around and find no other party as progressive as

it and return to declare for the party. Mr.Bangura said that

even within the party, members spoke out about things

they did not like. I was to notice this later at the

program when some speakers highlighted things going on

in the party that they did not like.


With this in mind, I went to the ceremony

this evening at the East Somerset Fire House in

Franklin Township where I found an impressive occasion

in the making, with APC red banners and flags

fluttering on the walls and adorning tables.The APC

officials and supporters of New Jersey, many of whom

regularly read my articles, who had arrived and were

in attendance, gave me a rousing welcome and

introduced me to members from other branches as “our

Reverend here”.


Iimmediately felt at ease and I joined those who had

arrived to await the arrival of Ernest Bai Koroma and

his delegation. While waiting, Alhaji Kamara and I

discussed religious issues , another beautiful aspect

about Sierra Leone where the two major religions

peacefully existed alongside each other. I saw some

SLPP members like Muniru Kallon and Brima Alpha and we

hugged each other and also spent some time cracking

jokes and discussing different stuff.


While we sat there chatting , I saw several party

members , to whom I was introduced..Conspicuously

present at the program were the two daughters of APC

founding father Dr. Siaka Stevens. They were

Mrs.Francess Tejan-Jalloh , who is a spitting image of

Pa. Shaki, and Mrs .Mabel John.I also saw sons and

daughters of former leading APC functionaries and

Paramount Chiefs from the North, who have now become

key APC operatives.


One subject of discussion ,which was to even become a

recurring theme at the occasion, was that Sierra Leone

had inadvertently been polarised into two political

parties–the SLPP and the APC. People said that

whether one liked it or not, the last General

Elections clearly showed that there were only two

major paries in Sierra Leone and one was either an

SLPP or APC member.They explained that regardless of

how many other minor parties emerged, the political

dynamics ultimately boiled down to SLPP vs.APC .

Then it was announced that the leader of the party,

Ernest Bai Koroma, had arrived with his

delegation.They came to New Jersey from Washington

D.C.where they had received “encouraging” welcome from

the U.S.Congress and the State Department, under

water-tight protection from the Police.


Ushered in by party officials from New Jersey, Ernest Koroma

and hismen entered the hall, the opposition leader carrying

his usual broad smile.When he saw me, we were both so

animated , not having seen each other since we

graduated from Fourah Bay College (FBC) where we were

both students in the late 1970s. We hugged each other

warmly and remarked about how much we have both

changed. We shared courtesies and said we were

delighted to see each other. Then APC members

overwhelmed him and his delegation with hugs ,

handshakes and embraces.


APC supporters cheered the entrance of their leader and his delegation.

Accompanying Mr.Koroma on what party supporters

regarded as a “historic visit” by an opposition leader

, were Osman Yansaneh, the National Secretary; Alhaji

Abubakar Jalloh; parliamentarians Dauda Kamara, Alfred

Gombu-Smart and Alhaji Rashin – Bundu . Other top APC

members from the American Branch who came in with Mr.

Koroma included the North American National Chairman,

Mr.Raymond Kabia ;Martin Bash-Kamara ; Daniel Koroma

,Alhaji J.Kargbo, Mohamed H. Bangura, Osman T.Conteh ,

Santigie Santos Sesay and Allieu Pat-Sowe. During the

introduction of members, Mr. Kabia lauded the valuable

contribution of other members of the American Branch

who were absent this evening : Lawyer Allieu Iscandri,

Victor Doherty, Mabinti Bangura , Fatmata Shaw and

Limatu Bangura.


When they had taken their seats, it was time for the

program to start.We sang the national anthem and it

was so euphonious and enjoyable that we almost had an

encore, before we were stopped for time

constraints.The Chairman of the program , the eloquent

and impressive Dauda Bangura, former Editor of THE


introduced by Ajibu Tejan-Jalloh, son of the late

President’s daughter, Francess , started the program.

We then proceeded to the Muslim prayers conducted by

Alhaji A.S.G.Kamara followed by the Christian prayers

conducted by this writer( Rev. Kabs Kanu ) , who doubled as religious

leader and reporter.


COCORIOKO will bring you in

series details of the speeches made in the launching

ceremony by Ernest Koroma and other APC delegates, to

break the tedium of a very long , single write-up