Are they praying for that? No way!
No one could have been blamed me last Tuesday for thinking that the emergency Executive meeting of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party SLPP was going to disintegrate before it ended. The front page of the Exclusive newspaper screamed in bold headlines, “CONFUSION!” The Standard Times newspaper carried an equally sensational front page headline “John O Benjamin versus THE ELDERS COUNCIL!” As far as both newspapers were concerned, battle lines had been drawn between the Executive council and various groups within the party including the Elders’ Council and that we, rather their readers were going to witness the beginning of the end of the Torkpoists. To their disappointment all the Executive Council requested was approval to hold an extraordinary delegates conference in order to seek a directive from that body to extend the life of the current Executive, and not because it was anxious or wanted to retain power, but to facilitate a smooth process that would allow the election of the party’s flag bearer. In a democratic party which the SLPP is and with its diverse interpretation of clauses and other matters there are bound to be differences. Even our most blatant detractors ought to grant it to us that there is no better way of arriving at a consensus, or even a majority position than in a healthy discussion in a healthy environment. Even when we were in government we allowed very frank and in depth discussions within the party. However to the prophets of doom as far as our party is concerned every such occasion leads to speculation about our imminent downfall. As the editorial in the official organ of the party, the UNITY newspaper has opined we shall emerge from all this even more united and stronger than before. The meeting ended without a voice being raised in anger or disagreement. (Photo: Dr Sama Banya)
Regular readers of the Puawui column must be aware of the esteem in which I hold the publisher of the popular Awareness Times newspaper. By mutual consent we have adopted ourselves as uncle and niece. But a Krio proverb says “hint noe in master.” In a recent edition of her newspaper my niece Sylvia Blyden among other things stated that even a senior member of the party, meaning the SLPP whom she held high esteem had not commented on the alleged incident involving reporters of her newspaper and supporters of SLPP flagbearer aspirant Maada Bio. Of course I have not made any comment let alone condemn Bio’s men, but in fairness to me Sylvia ought to have added that I have continued to get her to have a one-on-one meeting with me which had up to last Tuesday not materialized. She is aware of my unifying endeavours within the SLPP and to find amicable ways in which to deal with differences among some members including the apparent war that she has waged on the aspirant. I need not convince her that my door still remains open for our meeting.
Hey, so the people of Kailahun are angry with me for questioning Sahr Mokuwa’s claim of having being born in Kailahun. May I remind my apparently misinformed kinsmen of Kailahun, assuming of course that it is they who have been quoted, of the proverb I used in my article which is. “That a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” Sahr Mokuwa in his own words claimes to have been born in a Belebu hospital in Kailahun. My contention is that no such hospital has ever existed in Kailahun with that or a similar name. Does that not cast doubt on the rest of his story? And how come the people of Kailahun are angry when many had initially claimed that they did not know him, SLPP or not?
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