Edmonton Supporters Launch First NGC Branch in Canada
By Abayomi Charles Roberts,
Edmonton-based supporters of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) of Sierra Leone on Saturday 02 December, 2017, launched the party’s branch here. It is the first NGC group to do so in Canada.
The NGC became the newest party in Sierra Leone, after presidential aspirant Dr. Kandeh Yumkella transformed his ‘KKY Movement’ several weeks ago. The party is now poised to contest the next general elections in March 2018.
In an unprecedented show of courtesy, the organizers invited key local members of the two biggest parties in Sierra Leone.
Representatives of both the incumbent All People’s Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) were accorded the honour of sitting at the high table. Two of them, both SLPP members, actually took the podium to make respective statements. Ansu Kaikai and Dr. Alfred Saffa each spoke eloquently; reciprocating the cordiality of their hosts.
The event took place at the Northmount Community Center in Edmonton.
Opening prayers were led by Minkailu Kamara (Islamic) and Frederick Williams (Christian). The formal launching was performed by Esther Shyllon and Abu Bakarr Jalloh, women’s leader I and publicity secretary respectively.
Martha Caulker-Mbayo, president of the women’s wing of the Sierra Leone Association of Alberta (SLAA), delivered the keynote address.
Secretary-General Foday Conteh and adviser Martha Sellu were co-MCs. Together, they introduced members of the chapter’s executive committee, with much fanfare. “We don’t have ordinary members,” Conteh noted. “We have honourable members because each of our non-executives belongs to a particular committee.”
In his speech, branch chairman Mustapha Turay called on people to support the NGC’s Yumkella. He also advocated mutual respect in the interest of peace and national unity. “Let us be nice and respectful to each other,” he urged. “Elections will be over and we have to come back together as brothers and sisters.”
Other speakers were the group’s Media Coordinator Dorcas Kargbo, former APC member Minkailu Kamara, and veteran journalist Daniel Oldfield.
A delegation from the Manitoba chapter of NGC flew in from Winnipeg; to attend Saturday’s launching. They brought a special message from their chairman Harold Domingo. Alex Bockarie read out the statement; immediately following a passionate speech by Aruna Bangura.
The Executive Committee:
1) CHAIRMAN: Mustapha Turay
2) VICE-CHAIRMAN: Ibrahim Barrie
3) SECRETARY-GENERAL: Foday Conteh
4) ASST. SECRETARY-GENERAL: John Kanu
5) MEDIA COORDINATOR: Dorcas Kargbo
6) DEPUTY MEDIA COORDINATOR: Angela Conteh
7) ORGANIZING SECRETARY: Edward Karimu
8) ASST. ORGANIZING SECRETARY: Sidiki Kallay
9) FINANCIAL SECRETARY: Abdul Mano Sesay
10) TREASURER: Abi Harding
11) YOUTH COORDINATOR I: Lamin Turay
12) YOUTH COORDINATOR II: Musa Kamara (aka. Captain)
13) WOMEN’S LEADER I: Esther Shyllon
14) WOMEN’S LEADER II: Aminata Nabie
15) FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR I: Foday Gbanabome
16) FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR II: Bangali Fadika
17) FUNDRASING COORDINATOR III: Amadu Bah
18) PUBLICITY SECRETARY: Abu Bakarr Jalloh
1) Martha Sellu,
2) Frederick Williams
3) Dauda Conteh
DELEGATES (from Manitoba, Canada):
1) Alex Bockarie
2) Aruna Bangura
3) Isha Bangura
4) Mohamed Samura (aka Ndanema Baimba)
There were sideshows which included performances by Mohamed Jalloh (aka Wanduni), Sammy ‘Slim Savage’ Dumbuya, and a rap duo of Liberian invitees Darlington Sackor and Erk Barclay.
At the music controls were Derek Walker (Deejay Tweet) and Abdul Kargbo (Deejay Lux).