Sierra Leone Telegraph: 12 January 2017
Recent disturbing events in the internal affairs of Sierra Leone’s main opposition party – the SLPP, culminating two days ago in the alleged shooting of a party supporter outside the High Court in Freetown, continue to threaten the party’s fragile existence.
Many in Sierra Leone are now concluding that the violence and chaos witnessed in the SLPP, could have profound consequences for the country’s national security if the leaders of the party do not resolve their differences peacefully and quickly.
But while some party activists are saying that the party is doing its best in reconciling differences among its rank and file members and leadership, it is the role of the ruling APC in destabilising the SLPP that has attracted much suspicion.
Speaking to the Sierra Leone Telegraph from Freetown yesterday under anonymity, a leading contender for the presidential candidacy of the SLPP, accused president Koroma and his ruling APC of covertly meddling in the internal affairs of the SLPP.
He accused the APC of sponsoring some of the factions that are causing chaos in the opposition SLPP.
“This cannot be good for our democracy in this country. The ruling APC may be celebrating its success in undermining and destabilising our party, but this cannot be good for Sierra Leone’s national security,” he told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
“It is therefore not in the interest of the ruling party to be sponsoring the continuing destabilisation of our party, through cash payment to a handful of hoodlums in the party to ferment thuggery and violence.”
He also went on to say that; “There seems to be the suspicion that the police are turning a blind eye to some of the criminality that certain factions are perpetuating at the party head office, where it is alleged weapons are being stored to unleash violence.
“Whether this is true or false, it cannot be right that the ruling party is rubbing its hands in glee, waiting for the SLPP to tear itself apart. Because when this happens, the security of the State itself can be affected.
“So it must be in the interest of both the ruling party and the relevant public institutions such as the PPRC and the police to do whatever they can, not to worsen an already fragile situation in the SLPP.
“We will solve our internal problems like a family, but we are calling on the ruling APC to stop meddling and sponsoring the destabilisation of our party,” he concluded.
Elections are due in Sierra Leone in February 2018, and the ruling APC are believed to be preparing for a landslide victory. With a broken SLPP opposition, the risk of Sierra Leone effectively returning to a One Party State is extremely high.
And the civil society group – the Campaign for Good Governance has published a statement, calling on the SLPP to put its house in order. This is their statement: