Sources close to the Kailahun District Council (KDC), who prefer anonymity, have claimed that the KDC Chairman Sahr Tom Nyuma joined the All Peopleâ€™s Congress (APC) because he wanted a pending corruption matter involving billions of Leones that was being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) squashed.
The sources maintained that some top APC officials had approached Mr. Nyuma in his KDC office some time ago with the proposal that unless he quit the SLPP for the APC, they would have no option than to reignite the ACC case and invoke action against him, if he failed to adhere to their demand.
The sources added that though the APC does not really need Tom Nyuma to win votes in Kailahun, the allegation that he was coerced into leaving the SLPP and pitching tent with the APC could dent the chances of the SLPP in Kailahun, because Nyumaâ€™s defection would significantly divide votes in Kailahun which is described as an SLPP stronghold in the East.
However, when the Ariogbo caught up with Mr. Nyuma at the British Council hall at Tower Hill in Freetown yesterday, he denied any involvement in corruption, saying that those circulating negative stories about him were being spiteful and jealous and wanted to tarnish his reputation. He denied knowing anything about a school and hospital project worth billions of Leones which funds were provided for, but which never saw the light of day. The KDC Chairman maintained that he is transparent and accountable and that his books at the KDC are open for scrutiny.
On the issue about his defection to the APC, Mr. Nyuma said though he had publicly declared for the APC, he had not yet resigned as a member of the main opposition SLPP.
He revealed further that he declared his intention to join the ruling APC because he is determined to support the cause of the APC, adding that it is his democratic right as a Sierra Leonean to move from one party to the other without being questioned by anyone.
About his relationship with the SLPP prior to his defection, Mr, Nyuma said: â€œI had no problem with the SLPP as things were going on perfectly. I only felt like joining the APC because I wanted to.â€ He said he had never formally applied to join the SLPP and so saw no reason to formally resign from that party. He further disclosed that he joined the APC because of the development and foresight of the APC leader President Koroma and his commitment to progress and unity. He said he wanted to be part of the APC winning team even though he has not yet been issued an APC membership card.
He used the opportunity to say he will be contesting the Member of Parliament seat in Kailahun under the APC symbol. â€œI will contest under the APC and I will win the MP position hands down,â€ Nyuma boasted.
However, Fatmata Moigua a staunch SLPP supporter in Kailahun claimed that Tom Nyuma has been bought over by the APC and that he is doing exactly what the APC tells him to do. She further claimed that they in the SLPP are not surprised because Tom Nyuma had been following President Koroma on his numerous trips overseas and that he had been receiving per diem from the government. She added that President Koroma had also bought a brand new jeep for Tom Nyuma and that because Tom Nyuma wants to continue enjoying these fringe benefits from the APC was the reason he defected to the APC.