Stop the SLPP cabal now!
In one of our recent editions we did a critique on the sinister attempts by certain individuals in the Sierra Leone Peoples Party hierarchy who are bent on causing problems by sidelining loyalists of presidential hopeful, Julius Maada Bio for the sole purpose of undermining his electoral chances.
This has to do specifically with the covert manipulation around the position of Regional Chairman, Western Area by a cabal of people who do not believe supporters of Maada Bio should occupy senior positions in the party.
Last Saturday,14th January, the SLPP surprisingly but emphatically won a by-election in Ward 369 of Constituency 104 in the eastend of the Freetown. This is an encouraging start towards the November 17 polls.
But this good start could be reversed dramatically if the mischief-making effort of this cabal is not immediately contained. We have earlier identified the destructive group who has nothing to lose if the party was to lose the next elections as these people can easily take shelter in other political parties, if that was to happen on November 17.
And that is what many of us do not want to see happening – the reversal of the gains the party is making simply because of the unhealthy manoevres by certain people to disadvantage other members who are notably working hard to return power to the party, come November this year.
In our last edition, we identified the National Chairman, John Opnjo Benjamin as being the evil force behind the manipulation. He may not like it but some of us have to be bold to say the truth.
To cut a long story short, there is the apparent attempt by JOB and others to impose one Brima Keita on the party as Western Area Regional Chairman without allowing the governing body, the National Executice Council (NEC), to make the decision. If the SLPP should pride itself on the basic principles of democracy and good governance, the members must be mindful of those values that promote transparency in the daily conduct of the party’s affairs. This can only be realized through a fair and honest democratic process.
When the position of Regional Chairman, Western Area became vacant following the defection of the beleaguered Lansana Fadika, it was but necessary that the position be filled immediately. There are constitutonal provisions in the party’s national constitution in the process of appointing or electing someone into that office. This is what JOB and his clique want to circumvent by using the back door to bring in a little known Brima Keita to occupy the position of Regional Chairman against the wishes of majority of the members.
Brima Keita, with all due rspect to his person, has no proven record of a mobilizer, someone who can carry people along when it comes to mobilising human or material resources for the desired goal. It is only recently that some of us started learning to know him better. We heard he was formerly Vice Chairman of Eastern Lions football club and a member of the top hierarchy of the Paddle hunting society, two positions we are told he has been summarily dismissed from, although he will tell people that he resigned them on his own accord.
Personally, we have nothing against him, but in the SLPP, as we know it, one has to learn how to lead people. The party is not a football club, neither a hunting society. We are talking of a national instituion of well stablished structures and tradition which are based on the principles of democracy, unity and respect, respect for core values inherent in the party, the oldest in the country.
This is what we want JOB and his henchmen to understand. Happily though, the party has started making political gains. The Fourah Bay electoral victory is a pointer and the party has to capitalise on this gain; the party has to move forward, no matter what it takes to maintain the momentum. We must not allow petty squabbles to reverse this forward match. It will never yield good dividend if things were to be done through manipulation or through some other corrupt methods.
Let the correct thing be done to get a Regional Chairman for westerrn area. In August last year, some members vied for that position, Brima Kaita was not even among the list; it was Fadika who emerged the winner, the man who came a close second was Manso Dumbuya, a household name in this country and former member of parliament representing the party, a man with an unwavering loyalty to the party. Even when there were attempts in the party to sideline him, he has never changed his course. Under rain, under sun, he has remained with the party, notwithstanding the desperate efforts by other political organisations to lure him over.
As a matter of fact, where there is harmony within the party, there would have been no need fighting over the election of another person for the chairmanship. Manso could have conveniently filled that position since it was he who came second to Fadika, but since the party believes in democracy and would not want to deviate from that norm, let the election of such a person be open and transparent and not done through the back door.
This is all we ask for from JOB and group. Let’s follow the due process of a transparent democracy. We are not blowing anyone’s trumpet; we are merely reminding members that the ‘one country, one people’ philosophy must always be at the centre of the party deliberations. Period!
Special Commentary by our Political Correspondent
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