APC calls on membership to boycott national census
SIERRA LEONE, Freetown: The All Peoples Congress (APC) has in a press conference on Wednesday said that they have communicated with their supporters and sympathisers not to take part in the December 10th national census, as well as those that have been employed not to be part of the census.
The Secretary General Alhaji Osman Yansaneh averred that since they have exhausted all possible remedies aimed at prevailing on the President Bio led SLPP government to cancel the proposed Mid Term Census; and since the government has failed to even heed the wise counsel of the European Union and other Development Partners; they have therefore resolved that all members of the APC both at home and in the diaspora must not participate in the Mid Term Census and must not make themselves available to be counted.
Secondly, that all members and supporters of the APC countrywide must withdraw their services and decline to serve in any capacity in the conduct of the said Mid Term Census. The APC calls on the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP) and well-meaning Civil Society groups nationwide and in the diaspora to join this clarion call and help save the beloved nation from the claws of tyranny and dictatorship.
“We are critically reviewing the situation and all reasonable and legitimate measures at our disposal and shall revert to our membership in due course. We wish to also state categorically that from all indications, this proposed Mid Term Census serves no useful purpose other than to fuel the unfortunate desire of the President Bio led SLPP government to unconstitutionally create more districts and constituencies; distract the populace and international community from the burning issues plaguing our beloved nation; undermine the timing and credibility of the scheduled 2022 and 2023 elections; and further risk plunging this country into insecurity and anarchy.”
Alhaji Osman Yansaneh noted that the international partners of European Union, ECOWAS, MRU, AU, World Bank and UNTPA have all advised the government to cancel the mid-term census, but the President and his government refused and they have decided against all odds to continue with the process that is flawed, and the creation of three Districts in the South East – Ronieta, Panguma and Bandajuma as well as increasing the constituencies so that they will get more MPs in Parliament as they try to delay the 2023 elections.
“Members of the public would recall that the APC has exhausted all possible reasonable avenues at our disposal to draw the attention of the SLPP government and its cohorts to the fact that this proposed Mid Term Census has not followed due process as provided for in our 1991 Constitution; has not respected due process as required by international best practices in the conduct of Censuses and even the Statutes of Statistics Sierra Leone and is a wastage of valuable national resources.”
He said the entire process is poorly planned; unprofessionally executed and shrouded in secrecy. The Statutory Instrument was not properly laid in Parliament and the entire process breached relevant procedures enshrined in our 1991 Constitution.
The Secretary General made it very clear that the mandatory Technical and Advisory Committees that were to be set up and made functional to superintendent the process and ensure that all key stakeholders were a part of the process were not properly constituted and were never a part of the process. It is appalling to note that even the report of the Pilot Census is yet to be made public and popularized.
“A cursory look at the breakdown of Enumeration Areas by district already presents a worrisome picture about their attempt to distort the demographic landscape of the country in their dastardly attempt to skew the statistics in favour of the South and Eastern regions of the country. Furthermore, the citizenry is yet to be fully sensitized about this ill motivated Mid Term Census. It is therefore clearly an exercise in futility.
The Secretary General averred that since President Bio took over State House, he has demonstrated disrespect for basic provisions of our 1991 National Constitution and other laws and has consistently defied wise counsel with unprecedented arrogance and the leadership and members of the APC have this time decided to challenge this reckless impunity and are calling on their members countrywide not to participate in the proposed Mid Term Census.
“As we the APC are a member of COPPP we all have decided not to be part of this unconstitutional census and very soon the leadership of COPPP will come out with their own statement as they too are tired with the illegality demonstrated by this government for the past three and half years. We all will uphold the rule of law but shall resist every unlawful attempt to undermine the peace, security and democracy that we have all fought so hard over the years to nurture and sustain.” AT/2/12/2021