With presidential, parliamentary and local council elections over, Organizing Secretary for the ruling All People’s Congress Party Mohamed L Bangura has maintained that the issue of regionalism was started by the opposition SLPP when they [SLPP] were in power.
Reacting to a question posed to him by this press, that the ruling party has been accused of appointing mostly northerners in positions of trust, Bangura said the APC is the only political party in Sierra Leone that abolishes the question of religion, the question of regionalism, and the question of tribalism.
Bangura said, “The whole thing [regionalism] started with the brutal removal of the APC from power in 1992.
When the SLPP came in to office, in the whole of the Southern region of Sierra Leone, there was no Member of Parliament for the APC; everything went to the SLPP. The whole thing called regionalism began in the south…”
Defending his statements, Bangura said the Northern Province and the Western area, where the APC has its stronghold, are the most free areas for political campaign. “No candidate of the SLPP was ever harassed or intimidated in the northern region or in the Western area,” he said. “Think of what happened to now President Ernest Koroma in Bo – there was an attack on him. Think of what happened to him at Swegbema – there was an attack on him, to the extent that he was chased from Swegbema up to Mile 91. But that never happened in the Northern Province or in the Western area. So the question of regionalism is not with the APC, it is with the SLPP.”
Speaking on the issue of appointments made by the President, Bangura stressed that the president has the unquestionable right of appointing people to political positions and “if you at the parastatals, there are Temnes, there are Mendes there are Kurankos, and there are Konos.”
“The issue of winning elections has to do with preparedness by political parties and speaking on the organization of the APC for future elections,” Bangura said. “The APC have had a very good foundation as a political party, mindful of the fact that we are moving towards 2012.” Considering what the APC did in 2007 as an opposition party, Bangura said,
“We won at the polls for the presidential, parliamentary and at the local level. So we have got a firm foundation now to sweep 2012 clean.” By John Baimba Sesay