From APC-NA to APC-USA: What Next?
The fifth branch of the All People’s Congress (APC) party in the United States of America (USA) on Saturday, December 7, 2013 made another milestone by signing a communiqué that is expected to bring a lasting peace in the long time branch disputes. The 13-man delegation headed by the Honorable Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray lavishly gave their time and energy to bring together a profound resolution that many believe will bring a lasting peace. They unceasingly exhausted all the rifts that drastically estranged the branch membership which brought it to become unpopular in the eyes of the party leadership in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Keynote speaker, Alhaji Minkailu Mansaray with the microphone)
The branch, since its inception was called All People’s Congress North America (APC-NA), it has now changed to All People’s Congress USA (APC-USA). The change was an attempt to exclude Canada and other branches across North America according to the communiqué signed by the delegates and all stakeholders of the branch. Even though detailed explanation about the name change was not thoroughly addressed by any of the speakers, however, many members who witnessed the meeting accept it as is.
APC-USA is now administered by representatives from every chapter as an interim body supposedly holding power for an indefinite time. The delegates, by the power vested in them therefore, washed away the old regime that has been overdue and handed over to an interim headed by Mr. Ibrahim Kamara and 27 others.
As is branch custom, the outgoing chairman, Mr. Al Aziz Turay hands over the reign of his administration to his successor if convention/elections take place, but at this time around, Mr. Aziz handed the baton to an interim leadership agreed upon by all chapter presidents who signed a communiqué to take care of the branch until general elections are conducted at no specific date.
The keynote speaker, Honorable Alhaji Minikailu Mansaray, who is also the party Vice Chairman delved into the virtual value of togetherness and team spirit, which according to him is part of the Agenda for Prosperity. Many believe that it is simply felt that political and social togetherness can take the edge and of course the reason why we were all there. The leader of the delegation identified discipline in the membership responsibility to stay attached, and is a core political value represents the most enduring predisposition lying within the political party of APC. The discipline, as he cited is that the APC party should not be the subject of contempt and ridicule by using profanity words against each member in the social media. He stressed that members of the party in the branch and the HQ in Freetown should not neglect their responsibilities.
Honorable Minkailu Mansaray accepted fault on their side as the party’s home-based leadership for not doing well in their responsibility to collaborate with the branches in the Diaspora, but he also cast blame on the USA branch for not being able to conform in harmony to a collective responsibility to achieve the party cohesive goal. It is branch responsibility to build up a coalition that will bring a sustainable peace if conflict prevails, he said.
The delegates’ speeches signified some basic values tantamount to the following four stages of forgiveness process so that whether it was the fault of the party secretariat in Freetown or the fault of anyone in the branch to forgive and let it go:
- Uncovering the anger. Members of this noble party should not reflect negatively in an attempt for retribution.
- Deciding to forgive. Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another, therefore, letting go of grudges and bitterness to move forward.
- Working on forgiveness. Some people are not happy over the enormous constrains in what they believe was disappointing for not accomplishing the main goal in the so called convention; however, many have let it go and are working on forgiveness to all and sundry.
- Discovery and release. The fact that many of us have gained a lot of wisdom from the wonderful speeches in what I can describe as a “preconvention,” we have the right and obligation to forgive and move forward as the former Vice Chairman, Mr. Salieu Conteh maintained.
One big journalist, Joseph Sherman of Salone Monitor online newspaper has already stepped forward to demonstrate the four stages of forgiveness. He said that, he has eradicated all his anger in his mind about other member’s behavior and attitude. He believes he was inspired by the high powered delegation, hence ready to work with anyone in the branch and all other members in the APC worldwide with no preconditions.
Following the journalist who has decided to forgive and forget, the great Texas chapters Dallas and Houston have also acceded to the peace accord that was relentlessly put together by the high powered delegation from Freetown. The two chapter presidents, Sheik Daboh and Rtd. Major Mathew Kamara are now working together to continue their plans in holding the next convention in Texas. They are determining to continue their consultation to convince the interim as well as the secretariat to hold the first APC-USA general elections in the State of Texas.
Peace is imminent as was evident in the keynote speaker’s test strategy whereby he asked members to shake hands and embrace with the slogan clamoring the hall, “Let there be peace.” Another evidence of peace, in my observation, was the behavior and attitude of the candidates aspiring for the position of Chairman. All of them seemed to be content and profundity. After that meeting, I discovered that candidates Unisa Kanu from Georgia and Joseph Kamara from Washington have been calling people expressing their appreciation for making it to the preconvention. Even when they know some people are not on their side they still demonstrated their friendliness because, according to Mr. Unisa Kanu, he believes in the principles of democracy.
Peace has come! No more fighting. The next solution is to correct with rules and regulations. The forum is meant to interact, share knowledge, and communicate to each other rather than used for fighting. It is the responsibility of the moderators of all forums to penalize whoever is abusing it to create a conflict. There must be forum rules and regulations which will guide members from flame or insult of other members, abuse or encouragement of abuse of the reputation, etc.
As the keynote speaker clearly stated, the APC should not be subjected to contempt and ridicule by using profane words against members in the social media.
By Sanpha Bobson Sesay, Texas Chief
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