By Algassimu Monoma Bah
Every challenge has its end results, and for Edna Fatu Foryoh, loosing the recently concluded by-elections for councilor in ward 10, Kissi Teng chiefdom, has many implications.
She is not happy that she lost, but more determined than ever to fight for the people of her town and make their voices heard. We were in touch with her before the elections, and got back in touch with her after the elections to get feedback of her challenge to the incumbent APC with very few resources. We asked Fatu to give us an update of the elections and lessons learnt. This was her response:
“The update on the elections and lessons learnt is that everything went well. We lost the elections because the party is not strong. What I mean is that some of our bosses don’t care about the party, and some of us are only doing this because of the party. We especially want to position women in the decision making process. Another reason we lost was because of money. The paramount Chiefs and chiefdom speaker told other Chiefs that if they don’t vote for APC, they will lose their chieftaincy positions. Any section that pull the highest vote is given five million leones. So the chiefs talk to their people in various villages and even brought people from Guinea and Liberia to vote. But even with that, we got higher votes this time than we did in 2012.”
In light of the above observation by the SLPP candidate, we asked her what she intends to do further. Is she going to continue the fight or abandon it. She responded that she will never abandon the fight to uplift her people. So we asked her about her future plans, and this was her answer:
“Right now, what we want to do is see how we can help villages that doesn’t have toilets and/or court houses to get them. Even if we didn’t do all, but at least some of them. I will be acquiring a contractor license in January, 2016, so we can be in a better position to help our people, and as a result, our party becomes stronger.”
The bottom line here is, the SLPP candidate for councilor of ward 10 did not get adequate support from the party establishment. She is currently in Kailahun to thank senior stakeholders for their confidence in making her the candidate of the party and draw conclusions on the way forward. She believes that there is enough reason for the SLPP to win back all elected positions in her constituency from the APC, considering the poor performance of the current administration. She however admonished the party establishment to put the interest of the party above all else.
The by-elections held Saturday, November 14 was a test for the main opposition SLPP on its ability to confront the incumbent APC in 2017/18. Whether that test was passed or not is left to pundits to analyze. What is quite clear is that, winning an election against the formidable APC is not going to be easy. It will require a concerted effort to unite the opposition, raise funds, and disseminate a message highlighting the blunders of the current regime and how the SLPP or any other opposition party can be different.