By Hassan Bruz….
The adage that members of the ruling All Peoples Congress [APC] Party has well over ninety-nine  patterns to win an election and can disagree to agree in a bid to achieve a common goal, is now at play as the process for 2018 General Elections commences in earnest . The Party has not only reactivated its National Coordination Unit for Elections, but has also reappointed Hon. Leonard Balugun Koroma as National Coordinator. He is perceived to be the brain behind the resounding ‘Four for Four’  victory in the 2012 General Elections.
Barely a week after his reappointment as National Coordinator for the pending General Elections, he has kick-started the process of mobilising legible voters to opt for the Biometric Voter Registration. The Team which comprised his Deputy- Hon. Claude Kamanda who is also the Chief Whip in Parliament, and a Presidential Aid in the person of Mohamed Adikali Kamara, has been to the Sister Districts of Kambia and Port Loko for consultative talks. It is worth knowing that Kambia and Port Loko are the Districts whose Party Chairmen have recently been relieved and replaced by their Deputies. Ambassador Alimamy Philip Koroma aka ‘Petito’ and Hon. Ibrahim Rassin Bundu were relieved from their capacities of Kambia and Port Loko District Chairmen of the Ruling All Peoples Congress [APC] Party in a bid to avoid what many say, ‘ a conflict of interest or the over lapping of functions’. For all we know is that, both men have opted to become Flag bearer Aspirants of this great Party.
The general perception was that such a decision would cause some cracks as is often the case in most Political Parties in this Country. The swift move by the Coordinating Team of the 2018 General Elections could not have been less wishful. It was therefore not a surprise for the good turnout, in spite the short notice for the meetings. In Port Loko, the meeting was chaired by the then Deputy to Hon. Ibrahim Rassin Bundu and now the just appointed District Party Chairman- Hon. Benneh Bangura. He expressed delight over the turnout and praised all for availing their presence. He said now that he has assumed office as District Party Chairman in Port Loko, the pattern wherein Party Meetings are hardly summoned will soon be a thing of the past. Hon. Benneh Bangura said, Members should not only be informed on the operations of the Party on regular basis, but must be conferred with on issues that bother on the development of their Localities. He said Port Loko is an APC Stronghold and he is committed in ensuring that it remains as such.
Expanding on the theme of his visit to the two Districts, the National Elections Coordinator for the APC Party said the pending biometric voter registration is the sure way through which any legible person will exercise his or her democratic right as a Sierra Leonean. He said it is that particular card which guarantees the right to vote for Presidential, Parliamentary, Local or Town Council Elections. While urging his audience to ensure that legible voters register in huge numbers, Hon. Leonard Balogun Koroma said, the 2018 Elections are bound to be crucial largely because they are transitional. He used the opportunity to catalogue some of the achievements of the APC Party, which he described as ‘unprecedented infrastructural developments’. He cited Energy, Education, Agriculture, Health and Governance, as conspicuous yardsticks the APC will take along to the 2018 Elections. He therefore urged all to register massively in order to be able to vote solidly and for the Party to win at a single go. While speaking on the outstanding role of women and Youths in such an undertaking, the National Elections Coordinator stressed the need for Members of Parliament, Ward Councillors, Youths and Women to work together. He informed them about the 12 Constituencies and the 319 Registration Centres Port Loko District has now been partitioned and encouraged Members to endeavour to familiarise themselves with those Centres. He said APC intends to conduct training for the recruitment of 2 Party Agents in each of these Centres. He therefore urged the District Executive of the Party to prepare a budget on that and submit it within 48 hours. The National Elections Coordinator said, Teachers and School going Pupils are however exempt from the proposed Training of Party Agents. He went further to admonished all to tell their Friends, Households, Community, Ward, Chiefdom, Constituency and Region to take a few hours from their Farm, Work, Market and other forms of engagement to register and qualify themselves to vote. He said they should put aside all their differences, unite and speak with one voice for the achievement of the desired goal.
Ambassador Alhajie Dr. Alpha Kanu is one of those aspiring to become the Flag bearer of the APC Party. He buttressed the fact that Transition Elections are crucial. He said voter registration is a national obligation that requires the involvement of Traditional Authorities in the sensitisation process. He further suggested for a Planning Committee Meeting as he pledged the sum of 10 million Leones to kick-start the process in the District. It was Hon. Komboh Kamara who allayed the fears of the National Coordinating Team with regards the sensitisation and mobilisation of legible voters in Port Loko District. He said the newly appointed District Chairman of the APC in Port Loko- Hon. Benneh Bangura is an indefatigable person and one that is determined to showcase a unique pattern of leadership. On behalf of the Members of Parliament from Prot Loko District, he disclosed plans to reach out even the most inaccessible Communities in a bid to ensure that there is massive turnout for the voter registration. Similar determinations were made by Hon. Nicholas A. Kamara and Hon. Abie Kalokoh.
Meanwhile the Deputy National Elections Coordinator- Hon. Claude Kamanda has directed that Members of Parliament and Ward Councillors concentrates on their current Wards or Constituencies until when a clear mandate is made on the proposed boundary delimitations, while the Presidential Aid- Mohamed Adikali Kamara urged people to cultivate the principle of volunteerism on which the Party was formed instead of focusing on financial rewards. Below are pictures obtained at this well attended meeting which was held at the Conference Hall of the Port Loko District Council