After the formation of a Progressive Alliance at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown by the leaderships of the SLPP and NGC in the recent past, certain steps have now been put in progress to give meaning to it as well as actualize it.
It was against that backdrop that at the Wizard Complex on Dambala Road in Bo City on the 13th May, 2023, Executive members of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) and the ordinary membership of the party endorsed the alliance their party leader, Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella (KKY) recently formalized with the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party, SLPP, ahead of the 24 June elections.
At a well-attended meeting of executive and registered members of the party from Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Bonthe, Pujehun, Bo, and Moyamba Districts and the national executive members, the leaderships of the two parties gave a final confirmation message where President Bio reiterated his reasons for supporters to follow and support the alliance.
The leader of the NGC, Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, while addressing his supporters on why he decided to enter an alliance with the SLPP, recalled how he and President Julius Maada Bio worked together in the days of the NPRC regime with a clear focus on developing Sierra Leone.
“President Bio and I did not enter politics because we are happy. It is because we care about Sierra Leone. So, when President Bio told me to return to the SLPP party to join in the transformation of our country, that open invitation was genuine, even though other sectors of the public were thinking otherwise.
“The only thing we have been talking about all this time is how we are going to consolidate our peace, increase hope and sustain national coherence in our beloved country. We are worried. We have lately seen division, where some people have started preaching hate, malice, and violence.
“We are here today not because of politics but to discuss how to develop Sierra Leone. Politics is not about fighting but about how we can develop the country. Everything we have been working towards is the unification of this country. On that note, I am pleading publicly with all NGC members nationwide who have decided to run as independent candidates in the June elections to withdraw their candidature. Our focus now is to ensure President Bio wins the elections with no runoff.”
I am not vying for president. Our alliance is one that is progressive and will transform this country. I only have one presidential candidate, which is President Julius Maada Bio, and his Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh. So, all NGC members nationwide, I am calling on you to put your support behind them and ensure the election is over with a massive vote for no-runoff,” Dr Yumkela urged.
His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio described the ceremony as a very beautiful occasion that was geared toward demonstrating what they had done in Freetown during the formation of the strategic alliance between the SLPP and the NGC parties.
“Leadership is about shaping the people. The sacrifices Dr Yumkela is making to let go of his own leadership ambitions are a result of the long-standing relationship that existed between us as far back as 1993/94. Any decision taken in the interest of national development rather than personal interest is what a good leader is made of.
“We agreed to come together to put our human resources together not only to win the elections but in order to govern and deliver what the people of Sierra Leone want. We are coming together to look at the enormity of the task and complexity of the situation of our national issues ahead and find solutions to addressing them as a team,” President Bio informed.
The President also called on all SLPP supporters to embrace the NGC supporters, assuring that “I believe that most of them are not strange people. We know almost all the NGC supporters. Our focus now should be to put Sierra Leone first. We have realised that no single individual can develop the country more than a teamwork will.
“So, as leader of the SLPP, I want to confirm to all of you here present that this is the decision we have taken in Freetown, and it is one that is in the interest of the people. We are, therefore, calling on both SLPP and NGC supporters to support our decision. I am formally welcoming all NGC members to this alliance. I am happy to see you, and the fact that the alliance is formed means that our focus should be on how to transform the country with the alliance,” the President reiterated.