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As Sierra Leone speedily approaches her decisive 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, one political heavyweight of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) who was earmarked by former Vice President Solomon Berewa to serve as his running mate in the 2007 democratic elections, Dr. John Sandy (in photo) has on Thursday December 29th, 2011 switched over to the ruling All People Congress (APC) party.
The SLPP heavyweight officially made his declaration at the APC National Headquarters along Old Railway Line in Freetown. Dr. Sandy maintains that his decision to pitch tent with the APC is devoid of any form of coercion or tendency to bag a job, but out of his personal admiration for the leadership style of President Ernest Bai Koroma. The newly APC convert stressed the development strides President Koroma has taken to alleviate poverty and match up postwar Sierra Leone to other progressive countries in the world.
Dr. Sandy commended the APC flagbearer on the grounds that he has used his academic prowess to turn Sierra Leone around for the better. Dr. Sandy pointed out that unlike his predecessors who apparently failed the electorates, President Koroma deserves a second term that will enable him accomplish his promises to actualize consistent and affordable supply of electricity, heightening infrastructural development, advancing agricultural production and advancing health facilities through his Free Health Care Delivery initiative, among others. He advised that for Sierra Leoneans to achieve the rapid socio-economic and political progress they desire, President Koroma must be unreservedly voted for in the coming elections. He admonished that it is against this background he resigned from the main opposition SLPP, where he has served as patron for decades, to join the APC.
On what his move could profit the APC, Dr. Sandy assured that apart from financial contributions, he will provide his new party the edge to command votes in Bo, Kenema District and other SLPP strongholds. He concluded by swearing that he will remain APC for life as long as President Koroma’s legacy continues after his second term.
Welcoming Dr. Sandy, the Administrative Chairman of APC, Momodu Birch Conteh said that the ceremony heralds an impressive political inroad since plenty of opposition political big-wigs will soon contend traditionalism to emulate Dr. Sandy’s bravery to join the APC. He commended the new convert for acting on his conviction that the APC is a party to reckon taking this bold step and assured him of all rights and protection the party offers with better political virtues, culture and philosophy. The Administrative Chairman mandated members of the APC to give their new comrade the necessary support he deserves.
Introducing Dr. Sandy prior to his declaration, Ambassador Bockarie Stevens described him as a disciplined personality who possesses tremendous political clout. He said Dr. Sandy’s democratic tendencies are not only ubiquitous in his public dealings, but also form part of his family life. He said despite the fact that Dr. Sandy was a diehard SLPP member, most of his close relatives including his wife are registered APC members. Despite this partisan dissimilarity, Ambassador Stevens disclosed that Dr. Sandy had long since demonstrated respect for other political beliefs, thus empowering him to join plenty philanthropic organizations like the Sierra Leone Arc of Hope.
In his contribution, the APC Secretary General, Hon. Victor Bockarie Foh expressed his delight over Dr. Sandy’s resolution to join the APC. He emphasized that the overwhelming welcome given to Dr. Sandy demonstrates that the APC membership is open to all, regardless of regional, religious and tribal origin as alleged by those he termed as detractors.
The firebrand Secretary General said that witnessing a brother, hailing from the South-East, declaring for the APC assures him that Sierra Leoneans through President Koroma’s tenure as champion of the New APC have started comprehending the true nature of the party.
He called on Dr. Sandy to feel at home and called on him to exploit his political expertise in assisting President Koroma realize his ‘Agenda for Change’ vision.
In her statement, the APC iron lady, Madam Nanette Thomas described Dr. Sandy as a precious political asset who must be fully utilized for the party’s victory in the forthcoming elections. She divulged that Dr. Sandy is a decent personality whose engagements in the Diaspora cuts across boarders. This innate character of Dr. Sandy she engendered should be viewed as a timely blessing for the party. In another development, Madam Thomas advised female party members to register in their masses as this is what will legalize them to exercise their franchise. She asserted that women should move from the backyards of decision making, regalia parades, and other gender biased assignments to play a key role to politically decide the fate of Sierra Leone.
Photos from declaration event click individual photos to view
By Momoja Lappia
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