Dr. Columba Blango
Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 April 2017
The injunction granted by the Appeal Court yesterday April 7, 2017, has given our party a great opportunity to settle our problems speedily and amicably. We have three weeks before the May 2nd date for oral arguments, and perhaps three to four additional weeks before final judgment. This is ample time to do what is right and just, and to negotiate an amicable solution to the key outstanding issues.
However, It seems like while the rest of us were focused on the 39 constituencies – plus the UK and Ireland branch, others were busy fiddling with the list of “institutional delegates” – NGOs, CSOs, Colleges, etc.
It is sickening to see that in the delegates list published in the newspapers this week, some individuals have now included their spouses, house maids, girlfriends, drivers and others as voting delegates to the national convention. This is the worst form of political decadence.
The Supreme Court 2016 ruling in the Alie Bangura versus SLPP case, ordered that the delegates list for the election of national officers and flag-bearer be published at least 21 days before the national party conference.
As we examined the list of delegates that was published this week in the newspapers, we observed that 30% of the delegates (over 200 of the total 605 delegates) have not been selected or elected by a transparent process.
A few weeks ago Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella provided an analysis of the extent of the disenfranchisement and the danger of a massive exodus. To reiterate – 117 chairmen, women’s leaders and young generation leaders (in the 39 constituencies) were removed.
To this we now add 20 delegates in the UK and Ireland, and over 100 institutional delegates. The latter will engender new lawsuits.
Why can’t people just be honest and be fair in order to save the Grand Old Party – our SLPP?
So I call on our leaders – Kandeh Yumkella and Julius Maada Bio to take the high road in the interest of the party.
The rest of the intending nine aspirants should face the reality that the key protagonists in the SLPP today are Julius Maada Bio and Kandeh Yumkella.
Hence, the two of them should bite the bullet, seat down and negotiate all these issues and present a plan to other relevant aspirants and the SLPP National Executive Council.
I am fully confident that Julius Maada Bio and Kandeh Yumkella can put the victory of SLPP above their personal ambitions, and they can develop a formidable plan to defeat the APC in 2018.
Finally, as Kandeh Yumkella stated, “injustice cannot be swept away, and abuses or intimidation will not silence the victims”. A unilateral, hegemonic coronation will precipitate an exodus away from the party.
I urge Kandeh Yumkella supporters not to be complacent. We must continue to pursue all other options vigorously, so that we are not taken by surprise again.