In their company was a huge retinue of Paramount Chiefs the most notable being Adikali Modu and Bai Koblo Pathbana, Bai Shebora Komkanda and Kompa Yek of Port Loko District; Bai Farama Tass and Bai Shebora Yumkella of Kambia District; Almamy Sorie Conteh of Tonkolili; Bai Lansana Marah of Koinadugu; and P.C. Alimamy Dura of Bombali District. The seed all of these great men sowed together germinated and blossomed throughout the length and breadth of Sierra Leone in ways they themselves could hardly have imagined – the seed of unity, freedom and equality of opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans. These are the great values that the SLPP stands for.
To the Founding Fathers and many other fallen heroes who contributed to the development and growth of the SLPP in the North, I pay special tribute. Today I have the honour and pleasure to name my Running Mate for the Presidential election slated for 2012. That person is no other than Hon. Dr. Kadi Sesay. Kadi is a Temne and was born in Rotifunk, Moyamba District. Both of her parents hailed from Port Loko District and came from a strong muslim heritage.
Kadi Sesay is a household name in Sierra Leone. It means many things to many people. In politics, she is commonly referred to as the Iron Lady of the SLPP, the peace maker, the consensus builder etc, etc. Outside of politics, Kadi is a mother, a policy advisor and a teacher. In all she has given 30 years of dedicated service to the country in the field of teaching, leading democracy and peace building initiatives, and managing the state at ministerial and party political levels.
But why Dr. Kadi Sesay as my Running Mate? By appointing Kadi, I believe I am fulfilling many promises at once.
First and foremost, judging by her track record, Kadi deserves the appointment in her own right as a person who has distinguished herself in her professional calling and even beyond.
Secondly, she is a woman. Indeed, a woman of humility, respect, honesty, commitment and self-worth. By this appointment she becomes the first Sierra Leone woman to rise almost to the pinnacle of leadership in the SLPP. The women of Sierra Leone have been asking for a quota of 30 per cent participation in public life. I sincerely believe they deserve more than that and my Party and I are committed to enhancing the status of women in this country.
Thirdly, she is not only a woman, she is a woman from a traditional and humble home in the North. By this appointment, she is not only a trail setter, she is also a role model and a symbol of hope especially for the girl child.
Fourthly, Kadi is from the North-West so to speak just as I am from the South-East. Forging a sense of unity and destiny between the peoples of the South-East and North-West so that they can work together and gel together as one nation remains the cardinal aspiration of the SLPP as symbolized in the motto “One Country, One People”.
Fifthly and lastly, in the course of my campaign for the position of Flag Bearer of the SLPP, I promised not only the people of the North but those of Port Loko District in particular that my Running Mate shall come from that District. Of course, the scenario then was different. Kadi was an aspirant for the position of Flag Bearer while Dr. Abass Bundu, also from the District, was one of my strongest supporters in my bid for the position of Flag Bearer. I pay him the highest tribute for showing selflessness, understanding and broadmindedness.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans,
The stage is thus set for the SLPP to bounce back to power in 2012. I know you will make this certain by voting massively for the SLPP and yours truly.
Long Live the SLPP!
Long Live Democracy!!
I thank you for your kind attention.