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Blame it on Kandeh Yumkella if SLPP Loses the 2018 Elections? 

By Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Apart from being a mainstream Journalist, I am also a researcher, and an accomplished one at that. So most times I conduct surveys and investigations into issues in order to get a deeper insight into them. 

So when recently Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkelka (pictured) finally left the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and founded the National Grand Coalition (NGC), which I heard he is going to be it's presidential candidate for the 7 March, 2018 General Elections, I decided to conduct what we call in research parlance, spontaneous free flow sampling. 

This is a sampling in which you just meet people at random and ask them questions, without first preparing their minds.

In this survey I asked the people two simple and straight questions.

They were (1) Will the defection of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkelka from the SLPP to the NGC have any negative impact on the SLPP, and (2) If the SLPP loses to the All Peoples Congress (APC) on 7 March, 2018, will they blame it on the defection of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkelka?

I sampled about one thousand people from all five regions, sixteen districts and two hundred and twenty four chiefdoms.

The findings were very instructive. While about seventy five percent of the respondents surveyed were of the opinion that the defection of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkelka from the SLPP to the NGC will have a very negative and telling impact on the SLPP, the remaining twenty five percent said that his defection will not have any negative impact on the party. 

In fact they maintained that they were very happy that he left the party as his presence there was making the party lose support.

In category two, while about forty five percent said that they the will blame him if the party loses the elections, the remaining fifty five percent opined that the SLPP will not blame him if they lose the elections because they were of the opinion that the SLPP is very notorious in preparing the conditions for them to lose elections.

They cited the 1967 debacle in which two firebrand politicians, the late Taiama Lawyer L. A. M. Brewah and popular Kenema businessman and chieftain, Kutubu Kaisamba were refused party symbols, they went ahead and stood as Independent candidates, won the elections in their constituencies, cross carpeted to the APC to break a tie, a move that brought Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens to power and ousted the Prime Minister Sir Albert Margai.

They also cited the 2007 fiasco in which the less popular Vice President Solomon Ekuma Berewa was hoisted on the party instead of the most popular Charles Francis Margai, which forced Margai to form the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC), a party that seriously eroded the SLPP support in the south east of the country which cost them a shattering defeat from which they have still not recovered.

It now appears that a majority of Sierra Leoneans are very conversant with the mistakes that the SLPP always makes which always gives the APC victory at the polls.

In order to get their own thinking on this issue, I talked to over one hundred members as well as executive officers of the SLPP who do not want me to state their names.

They all told me that they were very sure that they will win the elections. They however stated that if for any reason they lose the elections to the APC they will not blame Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkelka, because as far as they are concerned, he is of no significance to their party. 

They even boasted that the defection of Yumkelka is a blessing to their party as they are now receiving hundreds of people from other parties, especially those defecting from the APC, right across a country.

They say they are even very hopeful that most of those who left with Yumkelka to join the NGC will return to the grand old party and Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio will win the Presidency at first round ballot.