Team Tengbe Campaign
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 October 2017
You may recall that on 11th October 2014, my Campaign Team organised a Town Hall meeting in London where I announced my intention to become our Party’s Flag-Bearer and Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Parliamentary and Presidential Election in Sierra Leone.
You will also recall that on the 15th and 16th September 2017 I participated fully in the National Official Convention in Kenema.
However, having campaigned across the length and breadth of the country with immense challenges for the last three years, my Team now considers that we can no longer proceed to the final stages of the FB Contest to be held in Freetown. In doing so, I would like to highlight three fundamental questions.
Why I wanted to be the SLPP Flagbearer and Presidential Candidate?
I am a development-oriented Aspirant who wanted to lead Sierra Leone in order to achieve economic independence. This could have been largely done if I were elected President of the country – initially the Presidential Candidate of my Party of preference – The Sierra Leone People’s Party.
Growing up in my native country, with its vast potential of human and natural resources at its disposal, and having acquired further education in Europe in the area of Infrastructure Planning, provided me with tremendous insight to appreciate the development continuum of some advanced countries. This enabled me to develop the passion to want my country to achieve nothing less than the same developmental heights of these advanced countries.
Hence, I developed the vision: “To Improve the Standard of living of all Sierra Leoneans through Infrastructure Planning and National Development”. I therefore wanted to become President of Sierra Leone to bring closure to our development strive, which has deluded us for decades because we have essentially put premium on the wrong approaches to development.
What did I do to Unite the Party and why am I withdrawing from the FB race?
It is an open secret that following the 2012 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections our Party had slowly degenerated into some visible factions, and I quickly realised that unless some desperate and well-intentioned mending of fences strategies were put in place to bridge, more or less, the ‘warring factions’ together our chances of winning the next General Elections were considerably bleak.
It was with this in mind that at the Town Hall meeting in London on the 11th October 2014, I made the following open statement as a prerequisite that will lead us to Peace and Unity: “All potential candidates of SLPP flagbearership to come together and rise above their individual movements and initiate a process that will bring sustainable peace and unity in SLPP”.
This statement was followed by an action a year later on 7th October 2015, when I organized a Flagbearer Aspirants Conference where we initiated the process of working together which resulted in the All Aspirants Alliance (AAA).
Although the AAA did not quite achieve the objective set, it provided a platform for Aspirants to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, setting the stage for the formation of the 7-man Aspirants Committee, to which I am member, that has been working very hard to provide support to the Party’s National Executive, which paved way for the delegates conference in Kenema that elected the new National Executive Council.
Against that background, as we head for the Flag Bearer contest in the upcoming SLPP Convention, I have critically analysed the burning issues in the party and have come to the realization that sacrifices need to be made by some of us, to maintain peace, credibility and unity within the party. It is for these reasons that I am bowing out of the race at this time.
Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe will continue as a Distinguished Grand Chief Patron member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and will provide unflinching support for the democratically elected Presidential Candidate that will result from the Flagbearer Convention on 14th and 15th October 2017 in Freetown.
I therefore like to call on all my delegates to vote in the best interest of SLPP and allow the democratic process to prevail. With our firm trust in God Almighty, we in Team Tengbe believe that we should put SLPP First and allow only the Ballot Box to speak in this all important election of our Flagbearer and Presidential Candidate for the 2018 Elections.
Signed: Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe
3rd October, 2017