The decision by the National Advisory Committee of the All Peoples Congress party to expel Alhaji Sam-Sumana, serving Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, from the APC political party has sparked nationwide skepticism over the manner of his expulsion.
By Malcolm Rice
The action by the NAC, according to most people, is unwarranted, immature and lacks substantive reasons for the expulsion of the VP from the party and presently the vice president now has people from the various political parties, religious leaders and legal luminaries sympathizing with him.
For some of these people, certain members of the APC party want to use the VP as scapegoat to continue to meddle with the democratic processes in the party.
“This is nothing new. They have again started the manipulating game,” an angry APC member claimed.
“All what the NAC said the VP committed are unfounded and deliberately planned to tarnish his image. That is why they raise the ‘religious allegation’ because they thought the public, which is majority Muslim, will see him in bad light,” he said.
This is a bad moment for the APC and an unfortunate decision by the NAC and thus causing the public to look at the men and women machinating these actions as taking the nation back to the olden days of bad politicking.
Sahr Mathias Bendu, an indigene of Kono, among many other people, said the decision taken by the APC National Advisory Council (NAC) to expel the Vice President from the party was stage managed and outright betrayal.
The action isn’t new because some people in that party have been trying to see his back,” he said disappointingly.
“We know for long they are coming up with SI Koroma pattern,” Bendu claimed, reiterating “This is betrayal by the party”.
Sierra Leone’s Vice President Sam Sumana was expelled from the ruling party on Friday as he spent a sixth day confined to his home under Ebola quarantine.
According to a press release by the APC, signed by the National Secretary General, Ambassador Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh, after receiving spates of complaints about indiscipline and anti-party activities perpetuated by certain members, including the vice president, an investigation committee was set up on November 13, 2014 by the National Advisory Committee (NAC), the second highest organ in the party structure.
“Over a period of three months, the Committee extensively interviewed and also received audio-visual evidence from complainants, accused and witnesses to back up the process. Following the submission of the report of the investigating Committee to the NAC, the National Advisory Committee on March 6, 2015 convened a meeting to discuss the report”.
The NAC, according to the press release, unanimously decided to expel the vice president from the party pursuant to Article 8 of the 1995 Constitution of the party for anti-party activity, fermenting violence, deceit, false statement amounting to fraud, inciting hate, threatening the personal security of key party functionaries, flouting of rulings and decisions of the party, carrying out anti-party propaganda, and engaging in activities inconsistent with the achievements of the party’s objectives.
However, according to legal luminary, Alieu Iscandari, there was a lack of due process.
He said article 8 of the 5th December 1995 Constitution of the APC party, address the discipline of members of the party and that ‘Subsection 8.1.2 (iv) states in pertinent part: Every member shall have the right to a fair hearing in all matters that affect him with regards to discipline.
“It is my understanding that Sam-Sumana was not present at the last meeting of the NAC of the APC and that his absence was due to the fact that he was on a self-imposed quarantine…” he said.
The action by the NAC has just proved how popular the VP is in the country and had they known the pronouncement will create a backlash would have thought otherwise. Unfortunately, the NAC went ahead without giving him the opportunity to respond to the claims and publicly lambasted him with such fiendish accusations.
It is probable the APC will succeed in taking him off his seat but then the action might prove the worst decision the APC has ever taken.
The Vice President has proven to be a positive statesman throughout the many public challenges he had faced with and the recent action by the NAC is nothing new and causing most Sierra Leoneans to be angry and disappointed over the decision. His recent response after the sad news was a positive show of his demeanor when faced with such challenges.
The NAC should have patiently waited until the VP comes out of the quarantined situation he is presently in before making the pronouncement but their decision smells of a ‘concocted plot by some people to kick out the VP and install someone of their choice; even if using unorthodox means!”
This is why the people are angry and disappointed.
The APC political party should understand that the vast majority of the people in the country are not registered members of any of the political parties but rather voting on the bases of region and tribe. The party should also understand that the majority of the population comprises of young people who are liberally minded and want a change in the economy. They should also understand that that thought of ‘regional block’ for the majority political parties should not be taken for granted any longer because things are changing; they are changing and may haunt the APC in the coming Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Therefore for any decision that will create hiccups in the successes of any political party in the country should take into consideration the views of the wider public because they are the ones that will make their presence felt in the polling day.
The majority of the people are dismissing the claims being made by the NAC and carelessly referring to the decision as ‘unwarranted’ and uncalled for’.