Sierra Leone Telegraph: 30 November 2020:
Following a barrage of damning stories and social media lampooning of Sierra Leone’s minister of lands – Dr Dennis Sandy, for what many regard as his thuggery and bully-boy tactics in managing the affairs of his ministry, questions are now being asked within the ruling SLPP party by party grandees, about Sandy’s continuing presence in, and political laibility to the SLPP government of President Bio. (Photo above: Dennis Sandy).
Some political analysts believe that minister Sandy’s behaviour has the full backing of President Bio and others within the leadership of the ruling SLPP party. But this may not be true.
Writing in a controversial article published last week, the editor of the ruling SLPP party’s news organ (the Global Times) – Mr Sorie Fofana, who himself is believed to be a grand chief patron of the SLPP, is under no illusion about the damage Dr. Dennis Sandy is causing the ruling party and the government’s credibility.
“Dr. Dennis Sandy (Photo: Minister Sandy posing with his foot rested on the land documents of those whom he has dispossessed)) has become the most hated Minister in the SLPP government. He has been busy dispossessing people of their rightfully acquired lands in the Western Area, using a band of thugs to intimidate them,” Sorie Fofana wrote.
Sorie Fofana’s story, with the front-page headline – “How Dr. Dennis Sandy Is Destroying The SLPP,” is not only a damning indictment of President Bio’s minister of lands, but the entire leadership of the government and party that continue to allow dangerous behaviour by out of control ministers and senior officials.
So, what does Sorie Fofana believe is the solution to the Sandy menace?
“It is time for Dr. Dennis Sandy to be booted out of this government. Let him return to his PMDC Party. That is where he rightfully belongs. The SLPP has no place for hooliganism and/or gangsterism. This is a government of law and order. Period!” That’s the message Sorie Fofana has for President Bio and the SLPP leadership. And there is more.
This is what Sorie Fofana said:
“In 2007, the SLPP lost both the Parliamentary and Presidential elections to the APC (All Peoples Congress) Party. In fact, in the whole of the Western Area (Rural and Urban), the SLPP did not win a single Parliamentary seat in 2007. The APC won all twenty-one Parliamentary seats in the Western Area that year.
“The devastating defeat of the SLPP in the Western Area, in both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2007 was due partly to Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay (the SLPP Lands Minister’s) decision to demolish people’s private property and the forceful seizure of private lands in the Western Area.
“Dr. Bobson Sesay became notorious for destroying people’s private property thought to be built on State land. Voters in the Western Area decided to severely punish the SLPP in the ballot box for the sins of Dr. Bobson Sesay, voting the party out of office in 2007.
“Dr. Dennis Sandy
“Since his appointment as Minister of Lands in 2018, Dr. Dennis Sandy (Photo) has become the most hated Minister in the SLPP government. He has been busy dispossessing people of their rightfully acquired lands in the Western Area using a band of thugs to intimidate them.
“Some of the people whose properties Dr. Dennis Sandy is illegally taking away from them are even fit to be his parents. Some of these people acquired some of these properties even before Dr. Dennis Sandy was born.
“We call on His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio to put the interest of the SLPP Party above the interest of Dr. Dennis Sandy by removing him from that office. Dr. Dennis Sandy is destroying the SLPP in the Western Area. He has given the Party a bad name in the Western Area.
“There is a pending re-run election in Constituency 110 in the Western Area Rural on 12th December, 2020. The SLPP Parliamentary candidate, Madam Josephine Jackson is finding it very difficult to convince people in her Constituency to vote for her, simply because, Dr. Dennis Sandy has given the SLPP a bad name in the Western Area.
“By the way, why is Dr. Dennis Sandy using armed security personnel to intimidate peaceful citizens in this country?
“We insist that, Dr. Dennis Sandy is destroying the good image of this government by the way he is going about intimidating and dispossessing people of their rightfully acquired properties.
“A stitch in time saves nine! It is time for Dr. Dennis Sandy to be booted out of this government. Let him return to his PMDC Party. That is where he rightfully belongs. The SLPP has no place for hooliganism and/or gangsterism. This is a government of law and order. Period!”
Reactions to Global Times – Sorie Fofana’s prophetic warning to President Bio to put the interest of the ruling party above that of Dr Dennis Sandy have been encouraging and supportive of Sorie Fofana, with many congratulating Sorie Fofana for speaking out where most within the SLPP party and government have kept their mouths shut, for fear of losing their jobs.