HISTORY OF THE ALL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS (APC) PARTY
The All People’s Congress (hereinafter referred to as APC) is one of Sierra Leone’s two major political parties, the other being its main political adversary; the Sierra Leone People’s Party (hereinafter referred to as SLLP). The APC was established in 1960 by a breakaway faction from the SLPP that vehemently opposed elections before independence and instead favored independence first. The APC ruled the country from 1968 until 1992 and then again following the 2007 Presidential elections. Since the 2018 Presidential Elections, when it lost the presidency to the SLPP, the APC has become the primary opposition party in Sierra Leone. However, the party retains a parliamentary majority.
HOW DID SUB-SAHARA AFRICA’S LARGEST AND MOST POWERFUL POLITICAL PARTY COME TO BE?
Let’s start from the outset shall we? Surprisingly, Siaka Probyn Stevens, the APC’s most famous figure and founder, also co-founded the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), a longtime enemy of the SLPP. Ironic, isn’t it? Moving forward, in 1951, Stevens co-founded the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and was elected to the Legislative Council. A year later, he became Sierra Leone’s first Minister of Lands, Mines and Labor. In 1957, he was elected to the House of Representatives as a member representing a constituency in Port Loko District. However he lost his seat as a result of an election petition.
Amid series of disagreements with the SLPP leadership, Stevens broke ties with the party and co-founded the People’s National Party (PNP), of which he was the first secretary-general and deputy leader. In 1959, he participated in independence talks in London. However, when the talks concluded, , he was the only delegate who refused to sign the agreement on the grounds that there had been a secret defense pact between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. Another point of contention was the Sierra Leonean government’s position that there would be no elections held before independence. He was promptly expelled from the PNP upon his return from the talks. Stevens then launched the Elections Before Independence Movement (EBIM). The EBIM later metamorphosed into the APC we all know today.