Fatmata Sawanneh Support Group Concedes National Women’s Election

Fatmata Sawaneh

Fatmata Sawaneh – Outgone SLPP National Women’s Leader.

On behalf of Madam Fatmata Sawanneh and the Fatmata Sawanneh Support Group, I thank all of you for your prayers and support to elect Madam Fatmata Sawanneh, National Women’s Leader of our beloved SLPP.

Madam Sawanneh fought a hard fight. Through it all, she has become an endearing figure in our party and the symbol of grassroots resistance to election malpractice and unfair treatment of the hardworking women of the SLPP whose many years of sacrifice and suffering brought the SLPP and President Bio to power in 2018.

Fatmata Sawanneh did not win the election today. Still, she did not lose either because Fatmata Sawanneh’s contributions to the SLPP will forever remain etched firmly in the minds of the grassroots of the SLPP.

And this election is not the final paragraph in the narrative of her political career.

Like all of you who supported Madam Sawanneh, I am not happy with the results, but the election is over; this chapter in the history of the SLPP has been written, and a new chapter begins.

In the past few days, since the disgraceful scenes of vote-rigging and vote-buying in Kailahun were broadcast worldwide, many of you became angry and moved to show your support not just for Madam Sawanneh but also for fair play and justice in our party.

In just two days, we raised at least $5,000 to support Madam Sawanneh; we made phone calls to delegates and stood firm in our determination to re-elect Madam Sawanneh. But the outcome was not what we wanted or expected.

The election is over. And as flawed as the delegate selection was, this is our party, the SLPP. We must accept the results and move on with the arduous task of healing the wounds we have inflicted on ourselves and uniting our party in readiness for the 2023 national elections.

As I have stated on multiple occasions, there is no better option for governance in Sierra Leone than the SLPP. Therefore, it behooves all of us to endeavor to heal our pain quickly and prepare for what is bound to be a bruising 2023 election campaign against our opponents.

Though your anger is justified, I urge all of us to think deeply and think hard about the future of our party and our country so that we don’t lose sight of the wider consequences of ceding power to the APC. We must put our party and our country above our pains and accept the result of today’s election. More importantly, we must now resolve to properly channel all this anger and passion into something that will bring positive, impactful change and equity to the SLPP.

Anybody can become angry, especially for the right reason, because anger motivates people. However, anger alone is not sufficient. It takes character, grit, and insight to transform anger into a force for good.

Hawa Foray-Newly Elected SLPP National Women's Leader

Hawa Foray-Newly Elected SLPP National Women’s Leader

Tonight, I urge you to change your anger, your energy into a force for good in the SLPP, not by insulting people; not by leaving the SLPP; not by attacking our party and its leaders, but by organizing yourselves in a manner that is peaceful, respectful, and collaborative.

That is the challenge before us now, and it is a challenge we must embrace with everything that our Creator has endowed us.

There is no mountain we cannot climb, no river we cannot cross, no obstacle we cannot remove if we unite around the singular purpose of making the SLPP the party of diversity, the party of inclusion, and the party of choice in our country.

Let me close by congratulating Madam Foray, our new National Women’s Leader, on her victory.

On behalf of Madam Fatmata Sawanneh and the Fatmata Sawanneh Support Group, and especially on behalf of the aggrieved grassroots of the SLPP, we wish you all the best in uniting our women and our party for us to win in 2023.

A.K. Vandi
For the Fatmata Sawanneh Support Group