Declaring his support for the All People’s Congress (APC), the leader of the People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), Charles Francis Margai, has praised Ernest Bai Koroma as a man of “sincerity, dedication, commitment and above all integrity which I cannot attribute to Mr Solomon Berewa.”
Making his statement at their party’s headquarters in Freetown over the weekend, the PMDC leader said their stance to “defend and to align ourselves with Ernest Bai Koroma is in the national interest as we are thinking of the future of our children”.
Explaining about the declaration for the APC Mr Margai stated that, “as I said sometime ago that the PMDC was born out of the desire of the people of Sierra Leone to bring about change… positive change in the political history of our beloved country “
And as the presidential run off, between the APC and SLPP, has been slated for September 8, “so we as a party have decided without any reservation to lend support to Hon. Ernest Bai Koroma leader of the APC in this run off.”
Support, he said, “doesn’t mean dissolution of the PMDC, the identity of the party remains distinct we are determined to lend our support to Ernest”.
The people of the country, the PMDC leader went on, had spoken that they wanted change “and Ernest Bai Koroma stands for change.”
Stressing further Mr Margai said, “during the presidential debate I noted that Sierra Leone had gone through a lot of unnecessarily harm. APC no doubt under Siaka Steven and Momoh did a number of harmful things but I dear say that the APC under Ernest Bai Korma is a different type of APC. I can without any hesitation compare Ernest’s APC to that of Tony Blaire’s New Labour”.
Continuing he maintained that, “I am placing my political life and career as from this moment on the vice that with Ernest Bai Koroma as the next president of this republic. We would all say hosanna. I for one would not stand idly by and see him fail this nation.”
Mr Margai urged all Sierra Leoneans to “put tribalism, sectionalism and regionalism behind us and this is what urged me to appeal to the membership of the PMDC to lend support to APC”.
Adding that, “never again will the North-South/ Eastern divide raise its ugly head in this Republic of Sierra Leone for as long as I live and even long before my death which will be soon.”
The PMDC leader then asked their party’s secretary general, Mr Ansu Lansana, to read a press release which sealed their alliance with the APC.
In the release, it was stated that another reason for the party to declare support for the APC was the spate of intimidations and harassment of their members by elders and traditional rulers which was alarming during the campaign period and as such, “there is no guarantee that should the PMDC lend support to the SLPP, these intimidations and harassment would stop as the SLPP has a poor track record of keeping promises”
Another consideration, the release noted, had been the performance of the APC at the polls as the performance reflected the desire of the people for a change in governance.
During that joint press conference on Saturday, the PMDC’s national publicity secretary, Mohamed Bangura, explained that after a closer look at the other political parties, “we came to the realization that the APC under the leadership of Ernest Bai Koroma together with us we can usher in the positive change that the PMDC is ready to enforce.”
Setting the record straight Mr Bangura explained that, “the PMDC is not a divided party as it is being rumored.
We are calling on all our supporters to come out and support the APC under the vibrant leadership of Ernest Bai Koroma”.
The PMDC national publicity secretary cautioned PMDC members that, “we as a party would like to inform our membership that the PMDC still remains the PMDC”.
In addition, the APC’s secretary general Victor Bockarie Foh started his speech by congratulating the NEC chairperson, staff of the commission and Sierra Leonean who exercised their democratic right during the elections.
Responding to questions posed to him by media practioners about measures put in place to educate people on how to vote, he said this time round APC would do any thing possible to make sure void votes were minimized. Also when asked how prepared they were for the run-off, he emphasized that he had confident that the APC would win even if they went into ten run-offs.
The secretary general appealed to the Sierra Leone Police Force to be non-partisan and allowed people to exercise their rights on voting day.