BRIEF 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 THE LARGEST AND MOST POWERFUL POLITICAL PARTY IN SUB SAHARAN AFRICA COME INTO EXISTENCE?
Well, let’s start from the get-go. Interestingly, the most recognizable name within the APC as well as the founder, Siaka Probyn Stevens, co-founded the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), a staunch adversary 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.
In a nutshell, after the disenchantment of northern and some eastern ethnic groups including the Konos and the SLPP, along with the creation of an alliance with the Sierra Leone Progressive Independence Movement (SLPIM), He was one of the 8TH members of the APC after it was formed in September 1960.
The All People’s Congress (APC) was formed at 5 Elba Street, Freetown, and consisted of the late Alhaji Chief Mucktarru Kallay, First chairman and Leader and who gave the party its name and the symbol. Allieu Badarr Koroma, Deputy chairman, C.A. Kamara-Taylor, First Secretary General, Alhaji Sheik Gibril Sesay, Treasurer, Kawusu Konte, Organiser, S A T Koroma, Public Relations, Kotor Abu Bakarr Sam Bangura, The Artist, drawings of the Symbol.
These were the first seven and founding members of the All Peoples Congress Party. The next Members are Siaka probyn Stevens, Nancy Steele, S.I.Koroma, Bob Allen, Mohamed Bash-Taqui and Ibrahim Bash-Taqui. Sir Albert Margai who would later return to the SLPP and become Prime Minister, and Siaka P. Stevens who would go on later to become Prime Minister and subsequently President of Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone formally achieved its independence from Britain and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations (CON) on April 27, 1961. Parliamentary elections were held on May 25, 1962, and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) won 28 out of 74 seats in the National Assembly and the APC won 16 seats in the National Assembly. Furthermore, Parliamentary elections were also held on March 17, 1967 which saw the APC win 32 out of 78 seats in the National Assembly and the SLPP won 28 seats in the National Assembly.
Then Governor-General of Sierra Leone, Sir Henry Lightfoot-Boston, who had unsuccessfully attempted to arrange an APC-SLPP coalition government, appointed Siaka Stevens of the APC as prime minister on March 21, 1967. However, a few hours later, Prime Minister Stevens was overthrown in a military rebellion led by General David Lansana on March 21, 1967 by a coup d’ tart championed by General Lansana. General Lansana announced that the appointment of Siaka Stevens as prime minister was unconstitutional since elections for twelve “paramount chiefs” had not yet been concluded. On March 21, 1967, General Lansana declared martial law after some 40 individuals were killed during demonstrations against the military rebellion, General Lansana was overthrown in a military rebellion led by Major Charles Blake on March 23-24, 1967, and the eight-member National Reformation Council (NRC) headed by Lt. Colonel Andrew Juxton-Smith took control of the government on March 24, 1967. The NRC dissolved political parties and suspended the constitution. It also went on to lift martial law on April 3, 1968. Unfortunately for the NRC, It was overthrown in another military rebellion led by Sergeant-Major Amadu Rogers on April 18, 1968, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. Sergeant-Major Rogers announced the formation of the seven-member National Interim Council (NIC) on April 18, 1968. The National Interim Council turned control of the government over to a civilian government headed by Prime Minister Siaka Stevens on April 26, 1968.
Furthermore, Stevens discovered a military plot to overthrow the government, and declared a state-of-emergency on September 14, 1970. Parliament went on and ratified the state-of-emergency on October 21, 1970. In addition, the then Guinean government deployed some 200 troops in support of the government on March 28, 1971. The parliament declared the Republic of Sierra Leone, and elected Siaka Stevens as president on April 21, 1971. The Cuban government provided military assistance (military advisers) in support of the government between November 1972 and May 1973. Legislative elections were held on May 15, 1973, and the All People’s Congress (APC) won 84 out of 97 seats in the National Assembly. On May 6, 1977, Legislative elections were held and the APC won 70 out of 100 seats in the National Assembly. The SLPP won 15 seats in the National Assembly.
A new constitution establishing a one-party state was approved in a referendum held on June12, 1978, and President Stevens of the APC began serving a second seven-year term as president on June 14, 1978. Legislative elections were held on May 1, 1982, and the All People’s Congress (APC) won 85 out of 104 seats in the National Assembly. Joseph Saidu Momoh was elected president without opposition on October 1, 1985. Legislative elections were held on May 29-30, 1986, and the All People’s Congress (APC) won 105 out of 127 seats in the National Assembly.
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) led by Foday Sankoh rebelled against the government of President Momoh beginning on March 23, 1991. Nigeria and Guinea deployed troops in Sierra Leone in support of the government’s conflict against the RUF rebels (seven Guinean soldiers were killed by RUF rebels in Sierra Leone in September 1995). A new constitution establishing a multi-party political system was approved in a referendum on August 30, 1991, and the constitution went into effect on October 1, 1991. The ban on political parties was lifted on September 30, 1991.
President Momoh was deposed in a military coup led by Captain Valentine Strasser on April 29, 1992. President Joseph Saidu Momoh was deposed in a military coup led by Captain Valentine Strasser on April 29, 1992. Captain Strasser declared a state-of-emergency on April 30, 1992, and he was named chairman of the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) on May 1, 1992. The NPRC dissolved the parliament and suspended political activity on May 4, 1992.
|ELECTION||PARTY CANDIDATE||FIRST ROUND||%||SECOND ROUND||%||RESULT|
|1985||Joseph Saidu Momoh||2,780,495||99.85%||–||ELECTED|
|2002||Ernest Bai Koroma||426,405||22.4%||–||LOSS|
|2007||Ernest Bai Koroma||815,523||44.34%||950,407||54.62%||ELECTED|
|2012||Ernest Bai Koroma||1,314,88||58.7%||–||ELECTED|
|2018||Samura Kamara||1,082,748||42.7%||1,227,171|| 48.2%||LOSS|