25 February 2002

Sierra Leone: APC Convention: Ekutay Backs Ernest Koroma

Freetown — The APC convention is scheduled for next week and party stalwarts are rallying to select Ernest Koroma as flagbearer to challenge SLPP's Tejan Kabbah at the polls.

APC top man Egarton Tamba Kamara who once served as its Admin Secretary is the arrowhead of this campaign.

However, Kamara's reputation is far from clean in that many allege he, under the aegis of the Binkolo Ekutay ethnic group, promoted the policy that alienated other ethnic groups during the Joseph Momoh regime.

A party insider told Concord Times that other key subgroups like the Sellas, the Bafodias, the Tonkos were all excluded from the power block in that regime.

However, some notable figures now rooting for Koroma include, WNS Conteh, PC Alimamy Dura, Momodu Birch-Conteh, Kemoh Sesay, Abdul Karim Koroma and Vincent Kanu of the National Petroleum..

These people see Koroma as "our son" given the fact that his mother hails from Kamabai, near Binkolo.

Koroma is relatively new in politics but he is already seen as a viable successor to J.S. Momoh in consolidating the Ekutay hegemony.

It is also mooted Lawyer Serry Kamal is being prevailed upon to step down for Koroma who is perceived as having a good link with the young generation of party members.

An aide to E.T. Kamara maintained that the man is now merely a party elder with no clear-cut loyalty to any of the aspirants. "Kamara is not a fool. What is crucial now is to unify the party and present a strong personality to challenge the incumbent. Thus maybe a compromise candidate may be the solution and that is the quest at the moment," the aide affirmed.

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