By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Renowned Sierra Leonean Lawyer and philanthropist, Lansana Dumbuya, in an address to supporters, party members and stalwarts, declared his intention to run for the All People’s Congress Party’s scribe position at the party’s headquarters on Old Railway Line in Freetown.
Speaking to members of the jam-packed hall, Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya said he has been a long time member of the APC, since the 1980’s, in the days of late Patrick O John, starting in the youth league of the party, adding that he has contributed greatly to the development of the party, sacrificing his time, money and energy to make the party he dearly loves.
‘’Since I became Lawyer in 1999, I have done nothing for my family; I have been working for the APC. From 1999, I started representing the APC. Going to 2002, we stood strong. From 2002-2004 we were one of the moral and financial guarantors in the APC National Youth League. My history in the party is too much,’’ he boasted.
He said that as a member of the party, he took part in all major activities of the party, at the highest capacity, for a long time and that he has shown interest in the party’s scribe position since the days of Amb. Osman Foday Yansaneh, when he was Secretary General of the party, adding that he was asked by the big guns in the party to step down for his senior to continue in that position.
‘’ The big guns in the party know that I have so much respect for everyone. Senior party members asked me to step down when I wanted to run for Secretary General Position. Now when everyone is saying it’s my turn, people are saying bad things about me,’’ Lawyer Dumbuya added.
On his plans for the secretariat, Lawyer Dumbuya said he will turn the APC party into that of the ANC in South Africa, so that when you are in the secretariat, you will know that it’s an APC secretariat, promising that there will be reforms in his tenure as Secretary General.
‘’The first thing I want to do is to begin with the membership. Therefore, we will resort to a digitized-computerized system. It will be in a one day affair. Your application will be in the secretariat, because of the software that we will be implementing. I have already started it. I have people who are experts in Software. We have developed five (5) different types of party cards. They are unique. So, I have started working even before declaring for the Secretary General position,’’ Lawyer Dumbuya revealed.
The scribe position contender added that the party card will be unique, with each member’s card identification number and mark, stating that even if the membership card name is wiped off, the unique identification mark will remain.
‘’ And also with that same software, because you have supplied the secretariat with your information, the day when a member of the constituency, district or region celebrates his birthday, a birthday card will be sent from the party to you. This looks common and funny, but any member who gets a birthday card from his party will feel proud, you will want to pay your membership over and over again,’’
Lawyer Dumbuya revealed that when a member of the party’s membership expires, the new software will send reminders to all party members in order to renew their membership, as it is those funds that are responsible for the progress and running of the party.
Leonard Balogun Koroma said that Saturday’s declaration by Lawyer Dumbuya wasn’t the first time he was doing it, adding that he isn’t a stranger to the party to declare for the position of Secretary General.
‘’The first time he declared they told him to wait, the second time, they told him to bear, this third time, you have said it is his turn. I am running for the position of Deputy National Chairman of the APC. So therefore, I cannot declare for any candidate, but my presence here speaks volume,’’ he said.
Leonard Balogun Koroma was invited by Lawyer Dumbuya to be in his declaration, but said he was not invited by other candidates running for the same position, adding that during the party’s different engagements, he had said that anyone who invited him, he would accept their invitation.
‘’ I am here, I said it in Kambia that any of the two sides that invited me to their declaration, I will honour, and I stick to that vow. I believe that even flagbearers should invite their contenders to their declaration. So therefore, I want to appeal to Lawyer Lansana Dumbuya and Lawyer Ady Macauley not to see themselves as enemies; let them see themselves as brothers. They belong to the same political party. The position of the Secretary General is the most important position in the APC,’’ Leonard Balogun Koroma added.
Koroma furthered that the renowned lawyer has the credential, has a history within the party, giving his selfless service to the party he dearly loves, stating that his kind is what they as a party needed.
‘’We want unity in the party. What we are seeing now in declaration is that we will see certain faces in one declaration, and those faces will not go to the other declaration. So, there is division in the party. There should be no team A. There should be no team B in the APC. There should be team APC,’’ Koroma urged.
Madina Rahman, erstwhile Minister of Health and Sanitation in the Koroma administration, on her part called on women in the party to unite, stressing that women in the party suffer most, and urged them to be cautious when supporting different candidates in the party.
‘’ Do not take any sides, let’s come together and support without making enemies. Power, as you all know, comes from God. Sometimes with all the fighting, it will be won by another person,’’ she urged.
Madam Madina Rahman called on women to vote wisely, as it is they who know what’s affecting them, and know who will sympathize with them.