Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 September 2018
The aspiring presidential candidates for the opposition SLPP met with the newly elected Chairman and Leader of the party – Dr Prince Harding, at the Kona Lodge last Thursday, 21st September 2017.
The meeting was initiated by Dr Prince Harding to foster peace and reconciliation in the Party, and to ensure a democratic Flagbearer Election which is slated for the 14th and 15th October 2017 in Freetown.
Those attending the meeting, were: Dr. Prince Harding – Chairman and Leader SLPP; Lawyer Umaru Napoleon Koroma – Secretary General; Dr. Jonathan Bonopha Tengbe – Flagbearer Aspirant; Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio – Flagbearer Aspirant; Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin – Flagbearer Aspirant; Mr. Munda Rogers – Flagbearer Aspirant; Ambassador Bond Wurie -Flagbearer Aspirant; Lawyer Alpha Timbo – Flagbearer Aspirant; Dr. Ali Kabba – Flagbearer Aspirant; and Mr. Ernest Ndomahina – Flagbearer Aspirant.
In his opening statement, Dr. Prince Harding made a commitment to the Aspirants, based on the very serious challenges that have faced the Party over the past years.
He said that he is prepared to work with all the Aspirants to ensure that no one is disadvantaged; and he promised to hold regular consultations with key stakeholders of the Party which will include the Aspirants, to achieve a democratic election of the SLPP Flagbearer, following which he will implement a post Flagbearer election reconciliation process.
Harding promised to look into the following critical issues that were raised by the Flagbearer Aspirants: presidential Candidate Fee; Composition of Independent Elections Monitoring and Oversight Committee (IEMOC); Access to SLPP Party Headquarters by Aspirants without intimidation; and regular consultation with Flagbearer Aspirants.
These issues were fully discussed and recommendations were made to Dr Harding, who promised to review the recommendations together with other members of his executive.
Speaking to the editor of the Sierra Leone Telegraph, Dr. Jonathan Tengbe who is one of the leading contenders for the SLPP presidential candidacy, said that; “the Chairman and Leader – Dr. Prince Harding, has demonstrated a very strong commitment to the Party and its membership that he is ready to unify the Party, eliminate fragmentation and defections to other political parties; and to position SLPP to take over the mantle of power come March 7, 2018 General Election. We will surely succeed with unity and the availability of money.”
Quitting party when lost contest is not patriotism. I am never an admirer of them.
My opinion is, Sierra Leone is at a crossroad when the opposition parties have to decide whether they want to continue practicing democracy which many citizens sacrificed their precious lives for or return our country back to one party dictatorship. Because as far as APC is concerned, they have selected President Earnest Koroma as their leader for life which shows that they are not interested in democracy even within their own party.
Common sense should now prevail within the opposition parties that in any contest, there can only be one winner and you don’t need a degree to understand that basic concept and quitting after the outcome of a contest that you lost is a sign of weakness and a showing of disloyalty and disrespect for the whole process that you participated in.
In my opinion, the major mistake anyone can make in life is to follow a quitter because in life a real winner never quit. The biggest shock that I have experienced in politics was when President Obama confessed that ” Hilary Clinton was the most qualified candidate in history to ever run for that office” then within myself I asked why didn’t he say that 8 years ago and also none of the 15 candidates quit the party after losing the contest to Donald Trump.
My advice to the candidates is to campaign on policies and respect the outcome of the competition and stop undermining the process by whining or destroying the character of the winner and party leaders because in life ” FAVOR IS NOT FAIR “.
Great Move Dr. Harding.