The signs are very clear on the wall that Ernest Bai Koroma, lifetime and leader of the All People’s Congress, is losing grip on power. The consequence of this is that most of the people he placed in positions of trust will be subsequently removed.
John Sesay, former CEO Sierra Rutile and Campaign Manager for the 2018 elections, has been removed as Chairman ahead of the runoff slated for 27th March, 2018. He has been accused within the ranks for lacking knowledge of the APC Campaign infrastructure and political terrain.
According to the ‘We Yone ‘Edition of March 16th, 2018, Mr. Sesay did not allow himself more room to take a strategic overview of the entire campaign structure. Instead he was waylaid into spending money without proper checks and balances and without proper justification on the added value of such expenditure.
He was accused of presenting a Media and Communications framework that lacked coordination, credibility and effect.
‘’The lack of focus on media and other logistical requirements of campaign operatives on the ground, created room for suspicion that the Campaign Manager was unfit for the position,” We Yone newspaper continues.
The We Yone article accused the APC of lacking any meaningful direction and totally ignoring their alliances in the field, while the Campaign Manager was awarding a lucrative contract worth over US$125,000.00 to a close family member without any value added to the media profiling of the flag bearer or the party’s campaign machinery.
Titus Boye-Thompson also, in his article ‘Getting ready for the faceoff at the run-off’, dated Friday the 16th March, accused the former Campaign Manager of focusing his attention on the flag bearer convoy instead of providing an overarching strategic role to support the campaign across the country.
“He made decisions on spending that obscured the effective resource priorities of the campaign, specifically downplaying media and communications to the extent that mainstream media partners are blaming the party for not being serious at complaining about lack of funds when the opposition were mounting a robust and effective media and communications strategies”, the article went on
Mr. Titus Boye –Thompson furthered that the prioritizing of social media, which received substantial funds via a close relative of John Sesay, was too much spent on something that had disproportionate impact on voting on the ground.
It could be recalled that the ruling party’s media outfit was outsmarted by the opposition SLPP, which eventually took over the local media ahead of the March polls.
The APC had concentrated on the social media, largely taking them on their campaign trails. This created bad publicity for the party, which is on record for appointing the highest number of journalists as Press attaches.
Despite these appointments, the appointees were not able to structure a media strategy that would secure a win for the party as many of them concentrated on securing symbols for the March polls, forgetting their role as spin masters of the party.
It is also crystal clear that there is infighting between the leading media gurus at the party and the blame game goes on ahead of the runoff. They are still to develop a sound media strategy ahead of the runoff even when they have recently dismantled their campaign machinery.
Even what is supposed to be the Government mouthpiece, the ‘Daily Mail,’ is hardly available now on the newsstand.
According to the ‘We Yone’ Editor in his March 16th Edition, he was starved for funds that he requested from the Campaign Manager to have done some admirable publicity and provide a basis for a more structured social media campaign.