• September 24, 2023

Why Blame Dr. Samura Kamara?

Why Blame Dr. Samura Kamara?
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By Cornelius Oguntola Melvin Deveaux

Party members and supporters doubt whether the much anticipated Commonwealth-led mediation that may overturn the June 24 presidential election result and cause a rerun of the election will go ahead this week.

Whether it holds or not, many question the rationale why the de-facto leadership has not made public details of the framework for the mediation.

Assumptions are that the reasons why the de-facto leadership decided not to petition the presidential election result do not form the basis of the framework for the expected mediation.

What is certain is that the framework for mediation will principally anchor on the Commonwealth-brokered peace pledge of May 25, 2023, and that the de-facto leadership of the All Peoples Congress party is aware the outcome of the proposed Commonwealth-led mediation will not uphold any of its stances presented in the June 30 and July 3, 2023 press releases.

After betraying his presidential bid and churning a plethora of propaganda to clear the dirty pool, the de-facto leadership now seeks to blame the National Leader and 2023 presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara, and to vilify his close associates for the inability of the party to justify its claims of an electoral theft thus dashing the hopes of a good number of party members and the public that there will be a rerun of the elections.

To hush up their conspiracy in strangling what was supposed to be an outright win for Dr. Samura Kamara, the de-facto leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party used propaganda based on falsehood and untruths to mislead members and supporters and incite hate against right thinking party members and our main political counterpart, the SLPP.

To a worrisome extent, holding on to this belief of an electoral theft and incited by hate, some members and supporters, including the public, have been killed, arrested, and imprisoned in their determination to challenge the so-called electoral theft, while others are in exile.

Even at the onset, the de-facto leadership knows very well that none of its calls for non-participation at all levels of governance, the resignation of the ECSL commissioners and other heads of certain government institutions, the ECSL to publish disaggregated results by polling stations, a travel ban on senior government officials and officers of the SLPP and a rerun of the elections within six months is plausible and realistic.

It is almost three months, and the falsehood and untruths are crumbling like a pack of cards. The truth now stands naked for all to behold.

None of the ECSL commissioners or heads of government institutions has resigned, and the ECSL still stands on the provisions of electoral laws and the national constitution relating to publishing the results.

The ice on the governance boycott is melting away. Two Members of Parliament and some councilors have subscribed to the oath of office, while the elected Mayor of Freetown represents the local government at international events. Many more MPs and councilors are determined to subscribe to the oath of office.

Contrary to much-touted propaganda, the high-profile engagements of the presidency and the government at UNGA78 ascertain the recognition and legitimacy of the Julius Maada Bio presidency should no longer be questionable.

Even the Commonwealth-led mediation does not lend hope for an overturn of the presidential election result and a rerun of the election.

But to further cover their tracks, the de-facto leadership and its henchmen have launched an attack of calumny against Dr. Samura Kamara and his close associates. They brand them as being responsible for the inability of the party to defend its claim of an electoral theft.

I read on social media and heard from within the ranks how people describe Dr. Samura Kamara as weak and indecisive.

Some say he is not the go-getter type. He seems not determined to succeed and cannot deal with difficult situations. Some demand he retire from politics. Others are anxious to invoke Article 47(a)(IV), which provides that where the National Leader fails to be elected President of Sierra Leone, he shall relinquish the position of National Leader six months after the final declaration of election results.

These criticisms emanate from the misconception that Dr. Samura Kamara, in his capacity as National Leader of the party and presidential candidate, is the Chief Executive Officer of the party.

Ironically, Dr. Samura Kamara is not the primus inter pares of the party, as the new APC constitution makes the National Leader a lame duck, especially if he does not win the presidential election.

The National Leader only performs functions and powers ascribed to him by the National Delegates Conference and the National Advisory Committee, according to Article 47(a)(III).

Indeed, Article 47(a)(II) of the constitution charges the National Leader to promote and defend the party’s integrity, policies, and programs.

Regrettably, the powers to carry out this provision to the letter are by constitutional provisions bestowed on the National Chairman and not the National Leader.

The constitution in Article 47(c)(III) similarly charges the National Chairman to promote and defend the party’s integrity, policies, and programs. It further bestows the National Chairman with the powers to carry out this responsibility.

The National Chairman is the highest-ranking officer, according to Article 46, which places the National Leader after the National Chairman and Deputy National Chairman, and according to Article 47(c)(I), which states that the National Chairman is the Chief Executive Officer of the party.

Consequently, the National Chairman is superior to the National Leader.

The National Chairman presides over meetings of the National Delegates Conference, the National Advisory Committee, and any other party meetings where he is present.

The party constitution puts the National Chairman and not the National Leader as the custodian of the decisions of the National Delegates Conference and the National Advisory Committee.

According to Article 47(c)(IV), the National Chairman must ensure that all organs and bodies implement the decisions and operate within the party’s policies, principles, and philosophy.

The National Chairman is also the primary custodian of the party constitution and is required to provide firm and effective leadership.

Article 47(c)(VI), states the National Chairman is to provide firm and effective leadership and direct party activities under the overall supervision of the National Advisory Committee and the National Delegates Conference.

It is also important to note that the National Leader does not report to the party.By Article 47(c)(VII), the National Chairman shall present a comprehensive statement of the party and the general political situation to the National Delegates Conference.

Given these powers and responsibilities of the National Chairman, it is wrong to blame Dr Samura Kamara for the seeming inability of the party to prove that the party’s candidate won the presidential elections and to actualize its demands for an election rerun.

The National Leader and presidential candidate is simply a commodity of the party in a presidential election.

As a commodity, the presidential candidate does not act on its own. It is the duty and responsibility of the National Chairman, as CEO of the organization, to market, promote, and defend the commodity and actualize the party’s intentions.

To those who say Dr. Samura Kamara should call and lead a protest, I beg to differ as he does not have such powers within the framework of the party constitution.

It is the National Chairman who should call and lead a protest.

The National Chairman carries the blame for the seeming inability of the party to defend its claim of electoral theft. The National Chairman is the problem when the party becomes dysfunctional.

It is also clear that the National Chairman has failed to provide firm and effective leadership.

The tactics of the de-facto executive hinges on Article 47(a)(IV), which provides that where the National Leader fails to be elected President of Sierra Leone, he shall relinquish the position of National Leader six months after the final declaration of election results.

They eagerly wait for the six-month grace period to expire in December to reposition in pursuit of the long-acknowledged 2028 agenda. The sad reality the de-facto executive seems oblivious to is that they will go together with Dr. Samura Kamara.

In another piece, I will deal with how government institutions, particularly the judiciary and PPRC, are aiding the de-facto executive in making the party dysfunctional, even before the 2023 elections.

In conclusion, there is no better time for right-thinking members to rise to the challenge of rebranding the APC than now. There is visionary leadership on the horizon.
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