There were only two candidates in the race; with Dr. Conteh defeating his opponent Kai Ngegba. In acknowledging his new mandate, Dr. Abu Conteh called on SLAA members to work together – not for him – but for the Sierra Leone community as a whole. Reacting to the outcome of the election, he first asked compatriots to join him in singing the anthem; before starting his victory speech. When he was done speaking, he again called on everyone to sing. This time it was the national pledge.
In the build-up to the polls, held at Macauley School in central Edmonton, Dr. Conteh ran an impressive campaign. He diligently reached out to many compatriots who had become less active in community affairs. His campaign team also produced several video clips as it optimized electronic media. The Abu Conteh campaign used Whatsapp intensively; along with key Facebook postings (including the widely followed group Daniel Oldfield’s Corner), There were strategic mass media Touchpoints in Sierra Leone as well.
The October 27 election was run by Hamid Munir Kamara as SLAA electoral commissioner; aided by his deputy Momoh Magona-Kallon. The poll was so well planned that people who could not vote in person were allowed, even helped, to cast their ballots in absentia. There was a corps of scrutineers at hand; comprising vigilant representatives of each candidate.
Highlights of Saturday’s election were captured on professional video; courtesy of Walters Munde. The videographer hails from Cameroun and is a graduate of Njala University College, University of Sierra Leone (USL). Munde, a college instructor here in Edmonton, is married to a Sierra Leonean.
The victorious Dr. Conteh is a well published environmental biologist and lecturer at MacEwan University in Edmonton. He came into this race with a clear, concise platform that outlined several key projects. Top among them is a proposed census of all Sierra Leoneans in Edmonton and area. “We need to know how many of us are living here; in order to cater to the needs of community members effectively,” he told The Patriotic Vanguard. The new SLAA president will run the association for the next two years.