By Ragan Conteh
Many Sierra Leoneans, especially the general membership of the All People’s Congress (APC) party have expressed concern over the manner in which its Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) is clandestinely going about reviewing the 1995 Constitution of their party.
Many have perceived the CRC process as still lacking transparency in the process of reviewing the party’s constitution, a development they believe would deter the voting rights of members of the APC.
Quite recently, a member of the National Reformation Movement in the Constitutional Review Committee of the APC resigned from the process which has given an insight that the process is not fare to members of the APC.
Rumors doing the rounds within the corridors of APC have it that the selection clause in the constitution of the APC has been replaced with consultations, a move many party supporters and stakeholders have described as “an old wine in new bottle”.
Ibrahim Paul Suliaman Sesay said their constitutional mandate expired for over a period now, but the CRC has still not made the constitution accessible to members of the APC and the general public.
He continued that thousands of people are ready to either defect or join the APC, but waiting for the authorities of the CRC and the APC to remove the selection clause from their party’s constitution before they finally decide to join.
He said many will not join the APC if authorities still hold on to the selection clause, “the selection clause has subjected many people to be afraid of the APC because it disenfranchises them during the award of party symbols.
The visit of former President Ernest Bai Koroma to the APC Headquarters past Friday, according to some members, is a clear manifestation that the old days have again resurfaced within the party and that many have started asking questions as to whether former President Koroma is ready to make changes to the CRC report to punch-out that selection clause in the constitution.
NRM members have reiterated that the selection clause must be removed from the constitution to give a clear chance to eligible voters to express their political franchise.
NRM members recently said the delay by the CRC have clearly shown that the process is not credible as it aims at still retaining the selection clause that will put the APC into a permanent political exile.
They said if the CRC fails to expunge the selection clause from the constitution, there would be a likelihood of breakaway members within the party.
Many said the CRC will either lead to the APC reform against or become a vibrant political party or permanently deform as a result of retaining the selection clause.
By Ragan Conteh