Flag bearer hopeful for the All Peoples Congress Party, Hon. Ambassador Alimamy Philip Koroma popularly known as “PETITO” has called on members of the Party to remain loyal and exercise discipline in the run-up to the APC selection / election of a flag bearer to contest the forthcoming general elections in March 2018.
Speaking in a rare interview at his Collegiate Road residence, the diplomat and former Member of Parliament recalls his experiences as a loyal party member, representing the Party in Parliament in the heady days of the Party’s struggle to recover from a period on inactivity and internal implosion that saw many who had served the Party in government leaving to join or form other political parties. He stated that during those times, it was an uphill struggle to regroup and restate the Party’s presence in the Sierra Leonean political landscape. He recalled the sterling efforts of the Party’s Chairman and Leader , Dr Ernest Bai Koroma as they left no stone unturned to re-engage people from across the country to come back and support the APC. Those days “are now like pages in the history of the APC,” he declared.
Turning to the present, Hon. Alimamy Koroma called on all those seeking elective offices in the coming elections to observe the decorum and guidelines laid out by the Chairman and Leader of the Party and also the dictates of the NAC. He intimated that “unless those who aspire for the Presidency and other top electoral offices hold on to a higher level of discipline, they would fail to lead by example or indeed gain the trust of the people that they are responsible enough to be leaders for this great nation.” In the event, he called on all aspirants to refrain from malicious gossip, spreading of false news and false rumours against each other or to that extent to desist from negative campaigning and character assassination. He recalls that he himself has been the subject of malicious gossip and false information spread out to the public. These stories against him had alluded to bad blood between himself and President Ernest Bai Koroma to the extent that President Koroma would refuse to choose him even if he was the most popular candidate. Most people assert that the bad blood had emanated from his sacking as Minister of Works, Housing and Infrastructure. Ambassador Koroma stated that it is important that people know the truth that as a Christian, he had never felt any animosity towards the President, a man who he has always considered to be a friend and elder brother in all his political life. He accepted that his position as Minister was always at the President’s sole prerogative and that he was serving at his pleasure. The release that announced his dismissal from the Ministry pointed to the Ministry not having the confidence that the President required for meeting the responsibilities in performing its functions. In the event, the Minister and the Head of the SLRA were both relieved of their duties accordingly. Ambassador Koroma restated his displeasure in those who continue to spread rumours about his relationship with the President who is also Chairman and Leader of the Party as unfounded, misplaced, unsubstantiated and baseless. Such sentiments belie the very good friendship that he shares with the President and the trust that the President reposed in him when he was appointed as this country’s ambassador to the Peoples’ Republic of China and other Far East nations.
Ambassador Koroma made the call to all who are involved in the race for the APC Flagbearer position “to remain calm and keep within the bounds of civilized behaviour.” The APC, he stated, “is a family party and all who are members should watch out for each other. It is better for us all to work for an APC Government in place after March 2018,” he concluded as he calls for “unity in building a ONE NATION political environment under the APC ,” mentioning that “those who seek high office should be seen to be controlling their followers.”