In Constituency 050 APC Chairman protests
The erstwhile All People’s Congress (APC) Chairman of Port Loko District, Mr. Sanpha Kabia, has expressed his disappointment and frustration over the vehement refusal of the APC Chairman in Constituency 050, Marampa Chiefdom, to accept his application for the party symbol to contest the pending parliamentary election.
It could be recalled that Constituency 050 in the Port Loko District was declared vacant by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) after the President late last year nominated the parliamentary representative, Hon. Isata Kabia, as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
According to the former APC Chairman of Port Loko, Mr. Sanpha Kabia, when he applied for the party symbol to the Chairman of Constituency 050, Mr. Paul Santigie Sesay, he refused to accept his application on the grounds that the party had already chosen a candidate to contest the parliamentary bye-election.
Mr. Kabia said when his application was refused outright by the constituency chairman, he formally wrote the current District Chairman, Hon. Ibrahim Rasin Bundu informing him about how his application for the party symbol had been turned down by the constituency chairman, let alone be invited for an interview.
“I found it very strange when Santigie told me that the party had already chosen a candidate and that he would not accept my application as if I was a stranger in the APC,” Mr. Kabia fumed, adding that, “It was during my tenure as district chairman in Port Loko when I made Santigie constituency chairman, but he rejected my application as if I didn’t play any role in bringing our party back to power.”
He maintained that “I’m protesting because the constituency chairman has no right to have refused my application,” noting that “I was expecting the District Chairman to either make a report on it, query the Constituency Chairman or to bring the issue to the notice of the Central Executive which he failed to do.”
Mr. Kabia said according to his understanding, the Chairman of Constituency 050 submitted the names of three aspirants to the National Secretary General of the APC, Ambassador Osman Foday Yansaneh, for the attention of the Chairman and Leader of the APC, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
“I want the party executive and the general public to know that what has happened in the award of APC symbol in Constituency 050 is the wrong way f doing things,” Mr. Kabia charged, adding that, “It is very unfair to select only three aspirants for the party symbol when many others that are bonafide members of the party had also expressed interest to aspire for the symbol.”
Hear his allegations: “My investigation in Lunsar was that the Constituency Executive had been bribed Le30 million and the money had been rolled out to the District Executive.
According to Mr. Kabia, “We expect the Executive to show maturity by making sure they uphold the principles of the party, but that is not happening. I’m a very senior stalwart in the APC they are trying to marginalize. I’m therefore asking His Excellency to make sure he looks into the allegations I have levied against the Executive of Constituency 050 and the District Executive to make sure they keep to the rules and regulations of our beloved party.”
Mr. Kabia said he returned from London in 2002 and contested the parliamentary election in Marampa Chiefdom under the District Block System the same year, but said he lost because his name was placed number seven on the list.
He said in 2007 when he was supposed to contest in Constituency 050 in the Marampa Chiefdom, he decided to step down because he was the APC Chairman in Port Loko District.
“As District Chairman, my responsibility was to win all the constituencies and wards in my district and I delivered,” Mr. Kabia said.
He added that during the November 2012 multitier elections, he was supposed to contest the parliamentary election in Constituency 050 but his cousin’s daughter, Isata Kabia, also came to contest in the same constituency.
“But naturally, it wasn’t possible for me to vie with Isata Kabia for the party symbol in that her mother assisted me a great deal when I was studying in London; so I had to give in,” Mr. Kabia disclosed, adding that, “Now that she has moved to another level, I think this could have been the most appropriate time for me to contest in that constituency but unfortunately, they chose to marginalize me like a new comer.”
He said after his tenure as District Chairman ended, he brought onboard an initiative to ensure that the APC avoided a run-off in the November 2012 presidential election.
“I founded the APC National Support Group as Chairman with functioning Executives in all the fourteen districts in the country that campaigned vigorously nationwide to avoid any run-off in 2012,” adding, “All these Executives are awaiting the result of the symbol award in Constituency 050 and I get telephone calls everywhere because they are interested in knowing the outcome of the process.”
Chairman Sanpha said he returned to Sierra Leone in 2002 specifically to represent the late Hon. Alhaji Musa Kabia with whom he worked assiduously to implement some development projects in the Marampa Chiefdom.
“During the death of Hon. Alhaji Musa Kabia I was in London but in order not to deceive the people, I left my family and all the privileges I had in London to return home and continue with what we had started with the late man,” he said.
Mr. Kabia said during the time of the late Hon. Alhaji Musa Kabia, they implemented a lot of development projects such as the construction of schools, mosques, health centres, roads and bridges in various towns and villages in the Marampa Chiefdom including Malowa Mamasa, adding that he coordinated all those projects, including the construction of the community bank.
“My purpose was to return home and continue with the development strides but the people of Marampa are surprised that things are not going the way they should go,” he lamented.
On qualification, Mr. Kabia said he has the acumen to hold any public position of trust as a certified Engineer with years of knowledge and experience in engineering.
Chairman Sanpha said he trained as an Engineer in Marampa and held the position of Acting Head of Mining at DELCO and the Marampa Mines.
“Geology, Survey and Planning were under my care, as well as the earth-moving equipment and dredge,” he disclosed, adding that, “My area of speciality is drilling and blasting.”
Mr. Kabia said while he was working at DELCO and the Marampa Mines, he was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to study in the United Kingdom, adding that he holds a City and Guides Final, ONC and HND Mining, Management and Tile Making under Commonwealth.
“I think I’m very responsible to hold any public position in this country,” he reiterated.
By Nelson Johnson
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