But who is the governing APC standard bearer nominee?
Dr. Samura Kamara is a towering personality in his physical form, in his academic credentials, in his professional depth and by international acclamation. He holds a PHD in economics and has cultivated an illuminating career serving in virtually every senior level position within Sierra Leone’s financial and economic sectors. He served as Financial Secretary, Central Bank Governor, Minister of Finance, under whom Sierra Leone became the fastest growing economy in the world. At the international level, he had also served spectacularly with the Commonwealth, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Samura Kamara is currently Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. In both positions as Finance Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, he has an amicable interface and a resounding relationship with the international and development community. The consummate and highly disciplined professional has unarguably distinguished himself as a public servant who has played a sterling role in building on president Koroma’s goodwill with the international and development partners, and in garnering support for Sierra Leone’s transformation.
With his unblemished profile, Samura Kamara stands in his own class and comes across as the mild mannered gentleman with a passion for standards and for maximizing positive social and economic outcomes for the majority of his people. His vision is to expedite the process of poverty alleviation and to strengthen discipline in public service delivery. He strongly believes that the development of Sierra Leone is firmly in the hands of its people and intends to galvanize his compatriots to align actions and attitudes to nation- building.
As Sierra Leone’s premier diplomat, the governing party’s presidential nominee holds the view that the current configuration of international and donor assistance needs review from one of cash donation to technical and human capacity building.
He believes that to speed up Sierra Leone’s transformation, the emphasis must be on the efficient and utilitarian management of the country’s huge natural resources endowment.
Dr. Samura is true APC and Koroma Loyalist; the man to beat! As a politician, Samura is also a believer in and a loyalist to President Koroma and the APC party. He bears very similar characteristics with President Koroma – modest, quiet, focused, loves his people and understands development issues and how to get results. And while his critics say he is too much of a technocratic than a politician, Samura Kamara’s long and sterling career puts him in a better stead on the important business of managing the state. Within the party, for his alleged aloofness, he more than compensates on his national and international appeal – charisma and wide acceptability.
Regarding electability, Dr. Samura Kamara’s length of service and the fact that throughout his period as a technocrat in the important and strategic Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, and lately in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, he conducted himself with candor and dignity. His decorum, in a country where politicians thrive in being boisterous, sets him aside as focus and committed to ‘the job at hand’.
A ‘Damiah’ of the south, having taking one of their daughters for a wife, Samura Kamara has the potential of bringing in a lot of sympathy votes from both the South and Eastern regions. In fact, given the critical nature of these elections and the competitiveness of the race for the APC party standard bearer, Samura’s candidacy serve as a great and soothing compromise and it will certainly NOT result in revulsion because many within the party respect and could bear with him.
The Ingredients for National Electoral Victory President Koroma came to power on the mantra of the new APC built around his personality and character of a clean, untainted, charismatic and an efficient manager –coming from a highly successful private sector career. Those ingredients are the factors that inform on the natural compromise candidate and successor to President Koroma. Without doubt, Dr. Samura Kamara epitomizes continuity of thoughts, political reform, development and reinvigorates the very important mantra of the New APC. He comes across as a national unifier – a northerner with a southern wife and more importantly, with an impeccable public service record in the financial sector.
The APC must win in the first ballot
To win on the first ballot, the APC must present best winning candidate; a candidate that is an ‘easy sell’ and one that exudes both national appeal and international. Only with such an amenable character that the APC would avoid as it has, playing into the hands of the looming opposition Grand Coalition. The bottom line is that ALL true APC members and supporters rather prefer a win for their beloved party in the March 2018 elections, than losing on a ticket that was to be justified merely on the basis of satisfying friendship and other mundane reasons. By all intents and purposes, even those in opposition acknowledge that an APC victory is more certain with a Samura Kamara ticket.
And it’s reassuring that many of Samura’s comrades who contested against him for the APC leadership have already congratulated and pledged to work with him in securing electoral victory. With such solidarity, considering the weakened and disorganised state of the main opposition, including those anticipating to organise themselves into an opposition coalition, the APC appears to have delivered a political masterstroke. The signs are clear for a Samura Kamara presidency come March 7th, 2018.