Yumkella and Maada Bio must take the high road for the sake of SLPP – A point of view

Dr. Columba Blango

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 April 2017

The injunction granted by the Appeal Court yesterday April 7, 2017, has given our party a great opportunity to settle our problems speedily and amicably. We have three weeks before the May 2nd date for oral arguments, and perhaps three to four additional weeks before final judgment. This is ample time to do what is right and just, and to negotiate an amicable solution to the key outstanding issues.

However, It seems like while the rest of us were focused on the 39 constituencies – plus the UK and Ireland branch, others were busy fiddling with the list of “institutional delegates” – NGOs, CSOs, Colleges, etc.

It is sickening to see that in the delegates list published in the newspapers this week, some individuals have now included their spouses, house maids, girlfriends, drivers and others as voting delegates to the national convention. This is the worst form of political decadence.

The Supreme Court 2016 ruling in the Alie Bangura versus SLPP case, ordered that the delegates list for the election of national officers and flag-bearer be published at least 21 days before the national party conference.

As we examined the list of delegates that was published this week in the newspapers, we observed that 30% of the delegates (over 200 of the total 605 delegates) have not been selected or elected by a transparent process.

A few weeks ago Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella provided an analysis of the extent of the disenfranchisement and the danger of a massive exodus. To reiterate – 117 chairmen, women’s leaders and young generation leaders (in the 39 constituencies) were removed.

To this we now add 20 delegates in the UK and Ireland, and over 100 institutional delegates. The latter will engender new lawsuits.

Why can’t people just be honest and be fair in order to save the Grand Old Party – our SLPP?

So I call on our leaders – Kandeh Yumkella and Julius Maada Bio to take the high road in the interest of the party.

The rest of the intending nine aspirants should face the reality that the key protagonists in the SLPP today are Julius Maada Bio and Kandeh Yumkella.

Hence, the two of them should bite the bullet, seat down and negotiate all these issues and present a plan to other relevant aspirants and the SLPP National Executive Council.

I am fully confident that Julius Maada Bio and Kandeh Yumkella can put the victory of SLPP above their personal ambitions, and they can develop a formidable plan to defeat the APC in 2018.

Finally, as Kandeh Yumkella stated, “injustice cannot be swept away, and abuses or intimidation will not silence the victims”. A unilateral, hegemonic coronation will precipitate an exodus away from the party.

I urge Kandeh Yumkella supporters not to be complacent. We must continue to pursue all other options vigorously, so that we are not taken by surprise again.

2 Comments

  1. Dr. Blango, you are spot on regarding the issue of Mr. Bio and Yumkella coming together for decent and amicable discussions. That is what we have always wanted as SLPP members. My concern though is your dismissive views of the other aspirants; and referring to Yumkella and Bio as the main protagonists.

    The two mentioned are NOT the main protagonists as purported by you. On the contrary, the mess we are in was engineered by the very two you think are the only significant people in the race to become the flag bearer. These are some of the reasons why we find ourselves in the mess we are in – People thinking they are better than others.

    What is the criteria of being a flag bearer? Those people you are dismissing have got class, and in my strong opinion have behaved in the most honourable way.

    Having large crowds or followings does not make anyone the protagonist in this race. We all have to wait and see. African electorate have no sympathy for politicians. They can wear your name and colour and do the same for your opponents. The words ‘main protagonists’ baffle me a lot.

  2. As we expect Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella and Dr.Julius Maada Bio to be educated enough, there is no need to alert them against any sort of complacency because the SLPP has administrators that are charged with responsibilities of organising the affairs of the party.

    Such a statement as displayed in this post is attempting to dictate that party decisions are placed on one flag bearer, in the person of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella. Is this the reason why his supporters should not be complacent?

    Everyone knows that the SLPP headquarters is in Freetown, where there are administrators who set national targets and other schedules of party activities. Why don’t we put all attention to this office to organise us?

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