The Palaver Party
Where there is weak opposition, democracy is threatened; opposition serves as the bedrock on which democracy rests. Therefore, the main opposition party is always very important to every decent democracy as it bears the sacred responsibility checking the excesses of the ruling government; it keeps the government on its toes.
Weak opposition is the breeding ground for bad governance; it tempts ruling governments to abort democracy; the strength of a democracy heavily depends on the strength of the opposition party or parties.
So, it politically saddens me to behold our main opposition party, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) being gradually cracked and weakened by a succession of quarrels the most recent and on-going being the prolonged dispute over the retention of Julius Maada Bio as flag bearer. The heated controversy has degenerated into mud-slinging and war of words as evident in the notorious fact that in Kenema, recently, the SLPP National Publicity Secretary, Tamba Sam, misused the airwaves of City Radio 103.3 FM to publicly insult the Chairman and leader of the party, John Oponjo Benjamin, branding him a notorious liar unfit to continue leading the party.
The Makeni Convention ended in another quarrel which culminated in the secession of Charles Francis Margai who was followed by thousands of supporters to form the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change, PMDC. The PMDC became the kingmakers during the 2007 polls and, for obvious reasons, joined the All Peoples Congress.
Although conflict is part of human nature and part of democracy, it fosters political disunity, thereby weakening a political party. The SLPP is to be more united to have the strength to serve as a formidable opposition to enhance democracy and good governance.
By Joseph Milton Lebbie
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