NEW YEAR STATEMENT 2024
SAMURA MATTHEW WILSON KAMARA
Flagbearer and Presidential Candidate for All Peoples Congress
Fellow Sierra Leoneans As we stand at the threshold of a new year, it is a time for reflection, and also a time for looking forward. The past year has been one of significant challenges for our nation. The aftermath of the June 24th multi-tier elections, and the events of November 26th have tested our resolve, our unity, and our commitment to democracy.
However, amidst these challenges, we have also seen your strength as well as your resilience. We have witnessed acts of courage, unity, and an unwavering belief in our nation’s untapped potential. We are all connected, and what unites. us is our common humanity and nationality as Sierra Leoneans, rather than our political, regional and tribal lineages. It is this spirit that must guide us as we step into the new year.
As flagbearer and presidential candidate of the APC, I am fully aware of the responsibilities that lie ahead of us. It is crucial that we, as leaders, listen more, engage more, and collaborate more for the betterment of our nation. Our focus should be on building bridges, healing divisions, and creating a more inclusive, liberal and democratic society.
In 2024, we stand together at the precipice of a new year, with a new beginning, and another defining moment in our times. Amidst the echoes of our nation’s collective voice, I address you tonight with a message of renewed hope. perseverance, and unwavering determination to work towards a brighter future for each one of us.
Paving the way for a brighter future demands a collective commitment to working together harmoniously, and encouraging leaders to transcend the common tendency of engaging in a blame game. Emphasizing the need for collaboration recognizes that our strength as a nation lies in forging alliances, transcending political, regional and tribal differences, and pooling our resources towards common goals. It calls for constructive and forward-thinking discussions, to lay the foundation for a more resilient and adaptive approach to problem-solving. It acknowledges that shared determination and a unified spirit are pivotal in the journey towards sustainable progress.
I want to extend my deepest appreciation to so many Sierra Leoneans, at home and abroad, for your trust, confidence, loyalty and steadfast support to me as presidential candidate of the APC party during the 2023 multi-tier elections, which by our 2022 party constitution, also made me party leader. The ride has been a very rough, tough and many a time, an unfair one. Notwithstanding, we must remain hopeful that there will be a fair resolution to the myriad challenges facing us, both as a party and as a country.
To the women of Sierra Leone, without your support, my political strides, as well as our national post-conflict recovery effort so far, would have been very marginal. Your interest and enthusiasm, especially over the past months, were extraordinary, and for that reason, I commend each and every one of you.
To the youths of this land that we love, Sierra Leone, I thank you all also. You are the future of this land, and we need to know your worth. You are young, brave, fearless, intelligent, and ready to learn and grow, but please, remain focused and aim for higher grounds, as Sierra Leone and the wider world are your Oyster, and let no one steal your future.
To the men of Sierra Leone, my deepest gratitude goes out to you. Let us together build a bigger and better nation, that would be, our legacy, when we are no more,
To members of my esteemed Party, the APC, I would like to thank God for being our Helper and Director. God has favored us. I implore each member to stay loyal to the party. In this connection, let me, as a law-abiding citizen, state that I strongly respect our party’s constitution, and I have no intention to breach any part of it. And so must you all. Let me however admonish each one of us, that in this day and age, back-stabbing, back-biting, and hypocrisy, which are seemingly the norms in our national body politic, will get us nowhere, and they will never go unrevealed and unpunished. It pays therefore for us to stay united and see the wonders we can put together. In all things, let us bear in mind that peace, unity and hard work will help us get to our goals.
These times are indeed challenging, but they are not without hope. Regrettably. we find ourselves in the midst of the gravest crisis in our country’s history, precisely when our service as the main opposition party is paramount. Over and above that, it goes without saying that, today, Sierra Leoneans, hold the APC as the anchor for saving the country, and for restoring hope for a brighter future. Yet, our focus is consumed by debates over Party Leadership, a title that is only an adjunct to the elective position of flagbearer and presidential candidate. We have thus retreated into division, when unity is crucial. We have formed factions. when what our country requires of us, is for our party to function as an effective opposition, and the only viable alternative to government. In this critical moment, we must show the country and the wider world that the APC is ready to take over governance, once again. As a party, our effectiveness is at its peak, when we stay united, focussed, and collaborate to achieve the objectives that are of utmost national interest.
Let me also extend a very special appreciation to our development partners and the international community for championing our development endeavours, as well as our quest for strengthened democracy, human rights and social justice.
Let us as a country make the year 2024 a Divine breakthrough in the course of our mediated cross-party dialogue process, through which we commit to restore the democratic will of all Sierra Leoneans, who are seeking electoral justice, an end to extremism, and an improvement in economic welfare.
Our political instability has long been tied to elections. Undoubtedly, the manner of conduct of electoral processes of any country plays a fundamental role in shaping and sustaining the political, social and economic future of that country. The outcomes therefore of our Tripartite Committee dialogue are pivotal to shaping the future of our nation, while recognizing that free, fair and credible elections are the most acceptable mechanism of leadership transition in any given democratic society. It is the only justification for a representative government to be referred to as a democracy, because the legitimate authority of government is derived from the consent and will of the governed.
For 5 years, Sierra Leoneans waited to voice their feelings through their ballots. They didn’t fight or curse. All they had was their votes. And on June 24th, they went out, some with empty stomachs, others with their elderly, frail and sick bodies, just to change their destiny, and casted their votes. Sadly, the only hope they had was taken away from them against their will.
Tonight, I can only urge for patience, perseverance and continued faith in the ongoing implementation of the mediated Dialogue Agreement. Six months are just around the corner. Let us work towards a future where every citizen feels. heard, valued and empowered. To the government, therefore, I would appeal for a committed and mutually respectful partnership with the APC and all other stakeholders toward the full and timely implementation of the Agreement. Let us engage in constructive conversations and put the interests of our nation first.
Permit me at this point to extend our deepest appreciation to our cross-party Co- Chairs of the Tripartite Committee, namely, Dr Kaifala Marah and Dr Emmanuel Gaiama, and their respective team members, for their sacrifice to the nation and to humanity as a whole. We heartily welcome Madam Seraphine Wakana, the UN Resident Coordinator as the third Co-Chair, representing the international partners. Similarly, I wish to extend hearty congratulations and best wishes to my counterpart at the dialogue table, my nephew, Dr David Moinina Senghe and our respective teams for staying the course. The people of Sierra Leone are grateful. and very proud of us all for making Sierra Leone, history.
WHAT GOD CAN NOT DO, DOES NOT EXIST!!
My fellow Sierra Leoneans
The recent security breach and, ultimately, the announced failed coup attempt, on November 26th, was a somber reminder of the fragility of our peace. As we totally condemn this act of violence, we, the leadership, rank and file of the APC party, wish to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the military, police, other security personnel, and innocent citizens who lost their lives during this dreadful act.
As we mourn, we must also reflect on the circumstances that led to these heartbreaking losses. It is a stark reminder of the preciousness of life, and the imperative need for peace, understanding, and the protection of every citizen’s right in our society. It is a call to all of us, as a nation, to work towards a future where dialogue triumphs over conflict, and where the sanctity of life and the will of the people are upheld above all.
We urge the SLPP government to prioritize the peace and stability of our nation in every decision it makes. Decisions, particularly those affecting key figures in our society and political landscape, should not only be guided by legal principles, but also by the potential impact they might have on our national harmony, cohesion and development efforts.
Justice must always be dispensed fairly and equitably. The civil rights of all, including former Chairman and Leader of the APC and former President of the Republic, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, together with all other citizens, including the APC Organizing Secretary, Comrade Bai Mahmoud Bangura, who are currently under police custody and helping investigations, must be respected, and strictly adhered to. It is crucial that any investigation or legal proceedings are conducted transparently, with respect to due process, ensuring that justice is not only done but is seen to be done.
Our nation’s stability, peace, and adherence to the constitution are paramount. As a government and as a people, we must continually strive to uphold these values. ensuring that our actions contribute to the unity and progress of our beloved country. Sierra Leone deserves a combined executive, legislative and justice system that is impartial, transparent, and above all, accountable, and serves the interests of all its citizens.
Finally, as we step into the year 2024, I remain very hopeful and optimistic that we shall also forge a defining moment of transformative pathways for eliminating entrenched negative trends in our country, in particular, political tensions, political extremism and uncertainties in everyday life, while also addressing our socio-economic challenges, especially rampant inflation, a plummeting currency, widespread youth unemployment and drug abuse, ongoing cost of living crisis. and rising poverty.
I pray and urge that in 2024, we enter into a covenant that we shall build a society in which all Sierra Leoneans will walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their God-giving right to human dignity. It is our collective responsibility to strive to build a nation that honors the aspirations of its people and respects the principles of democracy and the rule of law. The unravelling of uncomfortable truths surrounding the June 24th election, marred by irregularities and a lack of transparency and accountability, is unparalleled for the promotion of lasting peace, unity, justice, development and democracy.
My compatriots, let me reiterate that, my interest has always been for you, and it shall never ever change. My People, my country! My Sierra Leone, my responsibility! May the peace of God rest upon each one of us in the New Year, and May good health, Divine Favor, Divine Direction, and Open Doors, be ours in 2024 and the years beyond. May we become beneficiaries of momentous improvement, prosperity and a strengthened bond among all of us.
Happy New Year to you all.
Yours in service, Samura Matthew Wilson Kamara All Peoples Congress (APC)