A concerned citizen: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 January 2017
SLPP has to make an important decision concerning its presidential flag bearer of choice, and this decision will either make or break the party.
And as things stand, the APC is attempting to take Sierra Leone back to a one party state. The only major opposition party – the SLPP, that could ensure this does not happen has been plagued with a unique form of internal struggle for power.
The SLPP crisis has degenerated to an extent that, if the SLPP delegates fail to make the correct presidential candidacy decision, they will enter the 2018 general elections bruised and weak, and possibly disintegrated forever.
With the advantage of being the current party in power, the failed APC party has the might of money, power of oversight on the election process, control of the army, police and judiciary. So with all that, SLPP should not be contemplating entering into the 2018 elections as a weak party. Instead they must be unified. But how?
Bio’s supporters say he is popular and one cannot deny that. After all he was once head of state and the previous flagbearer of the SLPP.
His opponents – the AA Alliance members say they have experience – and yes, SLPP needs experience to build and sustain positive change in Sierra Leone.
So it is hard for one to argue that SLPP does not have what it takes to win the general election, and sustain positive change in Sierra Leone if SLPP is united.
But the problem that exists is that the two sides do not trust each other, and each strongly believes that they could do better than the other, and therefore are best positioned to deliver the win.
So, without compromise by one or both sides, this leadership squabble will definitely render SLPP weak to contest against the failed APC, who already have the advantage in various categories when it comes to the 2018 general elections.
And as things stand, the two sides – Bio and the Alliance, are not listening, let alone talking to each other.
So what should SLPP do when they badly need a win and cannot afford to lose? They must make a tough decision.
All of the warring sides must swallow their pride and think of the greater outcome, and then make a choice about the presidential candidacy, no matter how hard it may be, because they know in the end they will smile to victory.
SLPP national conference delegates have to make the flagbearer decision, so that the party can defeat the advantageous APC, by electing a flagbearer that will unite the party in the shortest period of time.
To beat the APC, the SLPP does not only need to unify, but must build a consistent and overwhelming opposition tone, language and message, which is currently lacking, with the exception of one of its aspirants – Alie Kabba.
Alie Kabba has been consistent in using his voice to project the plight and voice of the 99% voiceless in Sierra Leone, even as the APC tries to silence him. (Photo: Alie Kabba wrongfully arrested by the ruling APC in December 2015, to keep him quiet).
Since the two warring factions are never going to trust each other, it is wise to choose Alie Kabba as the presidential candidate, so that SLPP will have all that it needs to defeat the APC.
Take a look around the world, no party wins an election with a poor image, infighting and disunity. Only unified and people champion parties win fair elections.
To this observation, I write this note to the SLPP delegates who will be electing SLPP’s next presidential flagbearer in a few months time. Please think carefully with your head – not your emotions when you cast your votes, for the sake of mama Salone’s prosperity – by voting for Alie Kabba.
Alie Kabba has proven that he is a fearless leader who listens to everyone no matter their differences of opinion. He is a visionary, and that’s why he realized a long time ago that spending energy fighting party colleagues is a waste of time and energy.
Alie Kabba is focusing his time and energy on the things that matter most to the people of Sierra Leone – jobs, education, health, water, electricity, sanitation, corruption, poor governance, housing and many more.
Alie Kabba can easily unite the SLPP party, as he is the most accepted and tolerated aspirant of the entire group of aspirants that want to lead SLPP.
With Alie Kabba as flagbearer, SLPP can quickly unite and push back on the failed APC.
SLPP is fast running out of time, and must elect a presidential candidate that can appeal to everyone in the party and go on to win the 2018 elections. That candidate is Alie Kabba.
About the author
This is an opinion piece by a patriotic and concerned Sierra Leonean.