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APC-NA, Washington DC inaugurates First female president and team

APC-NA, Washington DC inaugurates First female president and team

APC North America has inaugurated the first woman president of its Washington, DC metropolitan chapter, Mrs. Yabom Thalsim Sesay-Koroma, in a ceremony full of pomp, pageantry and class at a packed Hampton Conference Center in Landover, Maryland.

Chairman Aziz Turay, leader of the APC in North America administered the oath of office. In a symbolic gesture that mirrors the coronation of the Queen of England, the new Washington, DC chapter leader was also crowned with a golden crown which brought thundering applause from the festive crowd covered in a sea of red.

The frigid temperatures and competing parties and dinners in the area did not deter the hundreds of APC supporters from all over the United States and Canada who filled the center to capacity. After party members and supporters doused themselves in homemade Sierra Leonean food, sodas, and beer for some, the hall broke in a thunderous applause as the name of the new president echoed on the four walls. Adorned in an immaculate red gown with a million dollar smile, the gorgeous vibrant lady of the hour, flanked by her cabinet, entered the hall dancing to slow melodious music as scores of cameras flashed on her ebony face and ivory teeth continuously. The crown burst into a louder applause when the chairlady was joined by her husband, Mr. Koroma.

In a stark difference from the elections which brought Ms. Sesay-Koroma to power which was marred in controversy, unity, respect and moving the APC forward to victory in 2012 was the theme of the night. After the preliminaries, Chairman Turay stepped on the podium to administer the oath of office to the President and her cabinet. In his remarks before administering the oath, the national chairman called on all APC members in North America to work together to reelect President Koroma and the APC in 2012. He admonished members that since the election for the Washington, DC chapter was over a few months ago, they all had to work together to support the new leadership. After that he administered the oath of office which called for loyalty to the APC and people of Sierra Leone.

Yabom Thaslim Sesay-Koroma and admirers

In her acceptance speech, the new President wasted no time to pledge her loyalty to the party and its leader, President Ernest Bai Koroma. The normally soft spoken professor and Nurse Practitioner lighted up when she spoke about her new role of uniting the chapter. “I know this new kitchen is going to be very hot,” she declared, “but I am willing to stay in the kitchen even if it is one hundred degrees hot.” The new leader promised to bring a holistic approach to leadership, dealing with members financial, health and other issue to ensure their well-being. She also promised to work relentlessly to bring accountability and stability to the chapter which is the largest in the United States. The new President has both the education and training to succeed. She holds a Masters degree in Finance and Credit from Odessa University in the former Soviet Union and a Masters in nursing specializing as an Advanced Nurse Clinician from the State of Virginia in the United States. She also owns a nursing school where she teaches nursing and manages its daily operations.

If being surrounded by a professional team is the mark of a successful leader, the new Washington, DC APC leader has all it takes to succeed. Both her Vice-President, Alhaji Koroma, and Secretary General of the chapter, Professor Michael Sesay are not only academicians, but loyal supporters of the president after they both lost their bid for the leadership position. The new leader also has the staunch support of party activists like Mohamed Fornah (Pa Yamba Lawyer) who was a campaign manager, Ali Kargbo and his wife Mary who are both cabinet members and former APC Chairman of North America, Mr. Osman Conteh.

As happens in many Sierra Leonean gatherings, Janet Laga-Bona, a sixth grade Sierra Leone Beauty Queen from Alexandria, Virginia warned the hearts of both Sierra Leoneans and Americans when she sang the Sierra Leonean National Anthem without a flaw, and topped that by singing the Star-Spangled Banner, America’s National Anthem.

This was no ordinary gathering. It showed how the APC has taken over the Washington, DC area after years of domination by Tegloma, the organization that bankrolled the opposition SLPP for the past decade. What the APC North America needs to do is to build on the enthusiastic support for its new leader in Washington to recruit new members and raise funds for the 2012 elections. Judging from the speeches I heard, and knowing the APC’s commitment to win the next elections, I am sure the party will unite not only to win the 2012 elections, but to gain more seats in Parliament.

By Jacob Sax Conteh, USA.

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