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Page added on October 24, 2012
Residents in the eastern city of Kenema today declared the city the “stresshold” of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the “stronghold” of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC). The declaration was made at the Kenema City field where supporters of the APC retired after a successful rally through the streets of Kenema to receive messages of hope and development from the Vice President and other party dignitaries. (Photo: All red in Kenema city)
Kenema has in the past been considered the strongest hold of the SLPP and this was manifested in the last general elections in 2007, which the SLPP won all eleven parliamentary seats and all local councils seats, including the Mayor and District chairman a year later. Supporters of the APC in that district have vowed to deliver Kenema to President Koroma in the November 17 polls.
Speaker after speaker made that commitment and one notable politician from the district Abdul Wahab Wann boasted to the visiting party executives that “we know that Kenema has been considered the stronghold of the SLPP for years, but today we are declaring this city the stresshold of the SLPP and the stronghold of the APC.”
He went further “Mr Vice President, please tell the President that we are united here in Kenema and we will surely deliver this district for him this time. We are broke and do not have money to import anyone from anywhere. The crowd you see here are all from within the Kenema township.” he concluded.
Wahab’s promise to deliver Kenema district to the President was also embolden by both Joseph Bandabla Dauda and William Juana Smith who both are respectable stakeholders of the APC from that district.
Some political observers who witnessed Maada Bio’s rally in the city few weeks ago confirmed that the APC has made inroads in the district. One was quick to point out that “the turnout here today is even more than Maada’s crowd. It is all red in Kenema, something the SLPP did not accomplish when they had their rally even with Maada.”
Another jumped in quickly and said ” Ernest is not even here, what would the city look like when the President visits?” he asked.
President Ernest Bai Koroma is indeed the man many in Kenema wanted to see and one resident wasted no time to make it known when she said “I just want to see the President and thank him for saving my life and my son’s through his Free Healthcare Initiative.”
The stories were very similar from all the residents in this city once dubbed the most remote regional headquarter in the country. Even songs that the local residents danced to here today, like in many parts across the country were full of praise for the President’s achievements so far in developing this country.
The Vice President Alhaji Abubakar Sidikie Sam Sumana thanked the people of Kenema for the turnout and urged them to continue supporting the President so that he can continue to do more for this country. He highlighted some of the President’s human rights records and urged the voters to vote for the President in the November 17 polls, but this can only be possible when there is peace and stability in the country.
The Minister of Internal Affairs who doubles as the Presidential Campaign Committee Chairman, Musa Tarawallie, assured the people of Kenema district and the entire nation of their security before, during, and after the elections and assured all that they are safe and secure to vote for candidates and parties of their choice without fear or intimidation.
President Koroma is expected to campaign here a few weeks from today and residents here have promised to come out even more to paint Kenema city red for President Koroma.
Sidie Yahya Tunis – reporting from Kenema City
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