Sierra Leone Telegraph: 24 August 2015
There are reports from Freetown of riot police trying to quell the serious violence that erupted this lunchtime outside the offices of the opposition SLPP in Freetown. (Photo: Yumkella arriving at SLPP offices).
It is understood that heavily armed police are trying to disperse a gang of riotous youths that are trying to disrupt a meeting that is taking place between Dr. Kandeh Yumkella and senior members of the SLPP, including party chairman chief Somano Kapen.
Dr. Kandeh Yumkella had few months ago complained of being denied entry into the party offices by some party supporters, who it seems are refusing to accept his legitimate and civil rights as a member of the party.
Last week Yumkella attempted to prevent any refusal of entry into the building by officially requesting to meet with the party executives at the party offices today 24th August. His request was warmly accepted by the chairman on behalf of the executives. (Photo: Yumkella and SLPP chairman today at SLPP office).
But it seems certain faction or factions within the party are hell bent on trying to prevent Yumkella from contesting the forthcoming party election of its candidate for the 2018 presidential election.
Dr. Yumkella finally returned home last weekend after working at the UN for almost twenty years.
As we go to press the Sierra Leone Telegraph has been informed that Dr. Yumkella is still inside the building meeting party executives. But he is safe and well.
The party’s national secretary general Sulaiman Banja Tejan Sie who is currently in London, spoke with the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph. (Photo: Mrs Yumkella with senior women party leaders).
Tejan Sie strongly condemns the violent and riotous behaviour of a handful of people whose aim he said is to destroy the peaceful reputation and good image of the SLPP. (Photo: Yumkella meeting youths of the SLPP at party office).
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has learnt that the meeting between Kandeh and the executives was warm and cordial.
Yumkella is now meeting ordinary rank and file members of the SLPP at the party office.
We will bring you more later.
I want to join the Party. How can I join?
The support that Maada Bio has cannot win the general election, simply because his junta history will not make him a marketable choice in the country. He cannot stand against the APC in any shape of form in the Presidential election.
But KKY has support country wide, he is universally recognized, has the capability to win against APC hands dawn with no second round.
Maada Bio is not running for the presidency of the United States. And you can rant in all the tribalistic diatribes as you want but fact is, your influence on the SLPP flag bearer polls will be zero.
No one is denying that kandeh meeting SLPP national executive council and ordinary members was a good idea. But to do so taking along such a large crowd, amid continuing risk of ebola and on a day the country was marking the day the last ebola patient left hospital was grotesque, insensitive, if not obscene.
Many kky supporters like me expect kandeh to raise the bar of behavioural standards in salone. But Kandeh has failed to rise above mediocrity. Look at the kind of people he employed for his security staff, dressed in combat fatigue. He really made himself a laughing stock even to opponents like Maada Bio.
Kandeh is losing credibility and has to lift the bar, if he is to be seen as any different from those he criticises. Perhaps we are beginning to see the real Kandeh, outside the UN cocoon? I am disappointed to say the least.
I wonder who organised the security detail for Kandeh Yumkella?
Even though these security personnel were arrested before being able to act as protectors of KKY, KKY still made it safely to Freetown, with only the police in attendance.
So those men dressed in military fatigue, were unnecessary and not required. Even the retired British officer who was leading them behaved like an amateur.
If he was providing security to David Cameron – the British Prime Minister, would he advise his men to dress like rebels? No!!
He would have ensured that the security he provided for David Cameron are dressed neatly in suits and looking presentable. So I am curious as to who hired those men to provide protection that was clearly not needed and superfluous to Kandeh’s security requirements.
We do not need private security men looking like rebels in public in Sierra Leone. The country has been through a brutal war and so we need no reminder about war.
Regarding KKY and SLPP, KKY is working desperately hard to be accepted by the SLPP, but I do not think Maada Bio and his supporters will give him the chance.
But he might succeed with perseverance. Initially, he could not enter Unity House, but he kept pushing and he has finally entered Unity House. So if he keeps pressing, he might be able to finally meet Bio so that they can reconcile their differences.
At the moment, KKY cannot even go to Bo, as Maada Bio’s supporters are waiting for him and the police have said they cannot protect him.
KKY needs to formulate a strategy to tackle SLPP and hopefully he should succeed.
Rioting is not going to help they should know and understand that the right man has arrived. No doubt about it as the whole world can tell except them and the koroma cabal. Welcome my brother “we support you all the way”!
Instead of rioting at Unity House, they should be at IMATT (Regent) trying to obtain a visa for the US for their man.
Sometimes people just talk because they want to. Yes of course you have your freedom of speech, but you in particular MUST have limit. Your duty as any party member is not to fuel situations by uttering words that will anger the other, especially when you all are in the same party.
This brings disunity and will lose votes. All those shouting now are not going to vote at the SLPP election come the convention. Bio, Yumkellah, and the list goes on are all ours.
Infighting is not good at this time. it will make the flag bearer of the SLPP lose the national elections.
You are spot on Alan. Maada Bio’s supporters seem to have forgotten the shame their candidate and party suffered prior to the last election. Uncle Sam threw out Maada’s visa application because he carries BAGGAGE that is unpleasant to the olfactory organ of their immigration authorities.
Now Maada is hibernating in the United Kingdom. But all the waters in the ‘sacred isle’ will not wash away that unpleasant smell. Do Maada’s supporters (and the party ) want a repetition of that visa application rejection? Something to ponder about deeply.
Maada’s supporters are leading their party down self-destruct lane, and their Parliamentarians will become long-term occupants of opposition benches.
The party will always have its stalwarts and ‘green’ bloods, but those alone will not win a national election. They need to attract other decent Sierra Leoneans to increase their national votes for State House.
But, because of their intolerance and Maada-mania, the APC – without Ernest Koroma (the current President) – will win the next election by default. Mark my words.