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:
Gbessay Ehlogima Sam Momoh, please tell that to Moustache Moustache someone contributing on this forum and a nasty critic of Maada Bio.
Moustache Moustache, Maada Bio is coming for you, you are finished Mr. False Prophet. Are you now seeing that without Bio there is no SLPP?
So please stop fooling yourself and accept reality. And bow on Mr Bio’s feet and beg him because your criticisms of him were way out of order. if not he will never forgive you for your nonsense accusations about his father.
What is happening in the SLPP now has two major roots:
a) The desire of old SLPP politicians to still hold on to the leadership of the party without considering the youths. These people see power as their family legacy and would like to hold on until death. These people will do everything in their power to transfer leadership to their children or very close relatives.
In previous times, all lower level elections have been decided by hand-picking those in the district offices, but this year looks different and was democratic.
b) The role of the non SLPP members. An outside or external force is using insiders to damage the SLPP so that the ruling party will continue for another term. After the outcry against ‘after you na you, frantic efforts are now employed to wreck the SLPP and render its most popular candidate – Julius Maada Bio not to win.
By the look of things and based on the results of the lower level elections, JM Maada is ahead of the ten aspirants put together who have formed an alliance. If SLPP fails to get the one whom the grassroots admire, cherish and like, SLPP will wait for another ten years.
The only person who will defeat the APC is Julius Maada Bio. YumKella and the the nine put together are not a match for Bio.
Few days ago, all the 14 District SLPP executives, Councillors and some MPs joined forces together to express their support for Bio. This should send strong signal to YumKella and the Alliance that they need to join forces with Maada for better SLPP and for victory. The earlier they come on board, the better it will be. Those who will join Bio later will have themselves to blame.