By: Winstanley. R. Bankole Johnson

What true APC members should concern themselves with now is that as far as the June 24th elections are concerned, they are not yet over. To us, and like I’ve said many times over, the votes are still being counted. What Mohammed Konneh/Electoral Commission Sierra Leone (ECSL) announced that caused the Chief Justice to have sworn Dr. Maada Bio into office as President were provisional results.


So, the initial rather rancorous reactions from sections of the hierarchy and rank and file of the All-Peoples’ Congress (APC) Party to the outcomes of the Bintumani Peace Mediation Dialogue between the government of Dr. Maada Bio/SLPP and the Dr. Samura Kamara/APC Party could only have been informed by either of two reasons:

1. A stark dearth of effective information dissemination and appreciation of the cumulative gains attendant upon the import and full implementation of the recommendations contemplated in “Resolution No. 3”. It is in that scenario that the adage: “…the people will continue to perish for a lack of knowledge…” -(Hosea.4:6) – holds true OR

2. A deliberately mischievous and passionate disgust for Dr. Samura Kamara by his detractors who, already obfuscated by an imaginary “2028 Agenda”, cannot afford to wait for his exit from the leadership in due and regular form.   

 A very good possibility exist too that the dichotomy between the two above scenarios could be very thin, but in their arguments and belligerence they all stick out like sore thumbs, reminiscent of the high level of indiscipline that characterized the APC Party structures following our 2018 Makeni flag bearer conventions.  

Basically, ours is looking like a “deja-vue”, with “Camps” already springing up and further polarizing fraying nerves and sinews within a body seemingly tottering between the proverbial “Devil and the deep blue sea”. All of this is happening at a time when our most predominant wish as a party waiting to assume the reins of regularized governance is a firmly united and impenetrable front, committed the sequential implementation of the Bintumani “Communique” to the letter. 


What APC pessimists should now know is that by subscribing to that “Communique” Dr. Samura Kamara did not auction their lot. If this same Dr. Samura Kamara was not afraid to have penetrated the South-East when the SLPP government made that part of the country hellish for the opposition during the campaign days using the Security Sector and the Political Parties’ Regulations Commission (PPRC), why would he display cowardice now and sell out to the SLPP?

As a matter of fact, it was the APC in fact that emerged heads up from that dialogue. And anyone could discern that from the rather traumatic silence from the usually boisterous opposite camp. Even their local foreign correspondents chose not to amplify the on the potentially disastrous consequences for the SLPP should “Resolution No.3” be fully implemented, when filing their separate international correspondent’s reports.  Neither “fighn!; nor fegnh!!; not even yaing!!!” – was heard of “Resolution No.3” in any of their foreign correspondents’ reports. This was so because they fully know well what’s likely on the cards for their party, should the Investigative Committee come out with the correct recommendations.  I know perfectly well too that for the SLPP to have even consented to the convening of that dialogue was a clear acquiescence that their mandate to govern was stolen from the people by the ECSL and given to them.


To scrutable APC minds however, the “Recommendations and Resolutions” arising from that “Peace Dialogue” are the best post-independence panacea for our national polity. Fully implemented, those expected outcomes are bound to pass public scrutiny and the test of time because by them, we shall see that democratic values and national interests will subsume personal and political party’s interests.  I am happy our moral guarantors will be playing pivotal roles in their implementation with possible attendant consequences to preclude renegation. 

Accordingly, both the SLPP and APC Parties would now do well to cascade the full import, spirit and intent of all those “Resolutions” to ensure a national cross party buy-ins as a way of tempering expectations among their party hawks.   

Speaking directly to the APC family, I believe that instead of lambasting them, those who represented our Party at that dialogue need to be exceptionally commended for doing an excellent job. I am thankful they are unfazed and remain as confident in their trajectory as Falcons in their fight.  And this is where I beg to differ with in-house “hawks” who keep insisting that our elected office bearers should not have resumed their respective seats of office until and unless we have had a re-run of the June 24th elections.  It must be noted that whether they had ended the boycott or not, “Resolution No.3” of the “Communique” will never be compromised by anyone or group.


It is in “Resolution No.3” that is embedded the circumlocutory access to the disaggregated elections results that the SLPP/Mohamed Konneh/ECSL have been stoically refusing to produce, all in their misguided mis-interpretation of our extant laws.  Those results will ultimately emerge following the anticipated forensic investigations into the entire electoral processes starting from the botched Mid-Term Census, through the skewed Voters’ Registration, Printing and Distributions of voters’ ID Cards, Management of Political Campaign Rallies, Polling Day Activities right up to the Results Counting, Tallying on Results Reconciliation Forms (RRFs), Transmission of the RRFs, Collation and the Final Announcements of those results – and in granular forms too!!  

Thus, from as above, implementation of “Resolution No.3” in everyone’s view cannot be achieved if our elected office bearers had not ended their boycott, because the “Committee” as will be constituted will be neither under the supervision or capture of Bio/SLPP nor that of Dr. Samura Kamara/APC, nor will either party be able to renege on any of the recommendations adopted without dire consequences.  It is the outcomes of this “Resolution No.3” that will expose the Mohammed Konneh/ECSL for what they really are, and by which we would be able to ascertain the correct statuses and positions of all the parties that contested in each category of the elections conducted (Local Councils, Members of Parliament and Presidential.

If the findings prove that indeed Dr. Julius Maada Bio/SLPP were winners as declared by the ECSL/Konneh based on the results announced, Dr. Samura Kamara/APC are obliged to congratulate them. But if the contrary obtains (as has been widely suspected) Dr. Samura Kamara will not necessarily be immediately declared the winner, but then and only then will a decision be reached after much deeper consultations (that is whether we should have a fresh early election or a re-run or a run-off), and upon which basis Mohammed Konneh will either be made to pay the requisite fines or serve the time for his crimes – or both.


In pursuit of “Resolution No.3”, patience is required. Thankfully it is time bound. Thirty days for the “Tripartite Committee” comprising the APC, SLPP and the Commonwealth-led group to develop a Terms of Reference (ToR) for the “Cross-Party Committee on Electoral Systems and Management Bodies Reviews” for the forensic investigations and examinations of the electoral processes, and not less than six (6) months for that investigative body to present their “Recommendations” which shall be actionable and implementable.

To assuage the fears of those who believe that because SLPP Chairman Dr. Prince Harding had said they “…will never hand over power to the APC…”, they (the SLPP) will renege on implementation of any of the recommended outcomes from “Resolution N.3” in the event they do not suit them, permit me to refresh memories with the following:

1. Even if the scenarios are not the same, we once waited for more than nine (9) months to regularize political situations in this country when Maj. Johnny Paul seized political powers questionably. So, this will not be the first time.

2. We can always draw reliance from the recent statements of US President Joe Biden that: “When terrorists don’t pay the price for their terror, and when dictators don’t pay the price for their actions, then they are bound to keep going and to continue to do worse”.

So, I do not think our international moral guarantors would have taken the pains to have walked with us this far, only to abandon us at the last minute.


The Acting Bank Governor That Symbolises Sound Financial Governance

Dr. Ibrahim Stevens, who is currently Acting Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, a position he has held since March 2023, was first appointed Deputy Governor in July 2014 and was reappointed to a second five-year term in 2019. Following the enactment of the Bank of Sierra Leone Act 2019, Dr. Stevens became First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, responsible for Monetary Stability.

In his current role at the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr Stevens has led several reforms at the BSL, including the modernization of the conduct of monetary policy and implementation, policy development for financial system stability, cash currency management, financial inclusion, digital financial services, and payments system architecture, among others. He was pivotal in establishing the BSL Fintech Challenge and Sandbox development, which was one of the first in the sub region and had received much international acclaim.

Dr. Stevens is a true luminary in the world of finance, and his appointment to this position is a testament to his outstanding qualifications and unwavering commitment to excellence. Dr. Stevens brings with him a remarkable array of qualities and accomplishments that make him exceptionally suited for the role of Acting Bank Governor. His expertise in finance is unparalleled, and he has consistently demonstrated a profound understanding of the complexities and nuances of the financial industry.

Prior to his appointment at the Bank of Sierra Leone, he was Country Programme Director at the International Growth Centre (IGC), London School of Economics. Before joining the IGC, he was Macroeconomic Adviser to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Rwanda, and Head of Project for the German International Cooperation (GIZ)-funded project on Macroeconomic Advice to Rwanda. The project also covered the Central Bank of Rwanda. Before moving to Rwanda, he was a Senior Economist at the Bank of England and had worked for the Bank for ten years (2002 – 2012). At the Bank, he worked in Financial Stability, Monetary Analysis and was a Senior Adviser at the Bank’s Centre for Central Banking Studies (CCBS). In Monetary Analysis, he was part of the team that conducted the initial assessment of the effectiveness of quantitative easing (QE), an unconventional monetary policy adopted by the Bank of England in 2009. That work also involved research on the theoretical and empirical framework for QE.

Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Stevens has exhibited exceptional leadership, vision, and a steadfast dedication to the principles of sound financial governance. His deep insights and astute decision-making have played a pivotal role in navigating our institution through periods of both stability and change, and we have full confidence that he will continue to lead with the same level of expertise and commitment.

As Acting Bank Governor, Dr. Stevens assumes a position of great responsibility, overseeing the financial well-being and future prospects of the Bank of Sierra Leone. We have every reason to believe that, under his stewardship, our bank will continue to flourish and prosper. His strategic thinking, innovative solutions, and unwavering commitment to the highest ethical standards are qualities that inspire confidence and trust.

Dr. Ibrahim Stevens is not merely an Acting Bank Governor; he is a visionary leader, a mentor, and a beacon of excellence in the financial world. We are truly fortunate to have him at the helm of our Central Bank, and we eagerly anticipate the positive impact of his leadership as he guides our bank into an era of prosperity and continued success.

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