1. IRASCIBLE DEFECTIONS:
Following intense soul-searching efforts in a bid to attaining lasting peace and unity, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), it seems is now ready to function once again, as a viable and formidable political entity. Thanks to divine intervention, malcontents are gradually showing themselves either through their utterances, actions or in actions. The asininities of internal strife, bickering and hatred have been realized at last and the pathos of fighting one another will linger in the minds and souls of genuine and committed party members for a long time. The irascibility of defecting from a party well settled and in fact, poised to assume the leadership of the country, to sojourn into a largely undemocratic party, is an act of deception and disloyalty on the part of those defectors which for a long time had been their stock-in-trade.
S.L.P.P is a formidable political party which, more than any other party in Sierra Leone, understands that the travails of this country presently blighted by mil- administration and incompetence, can only be arrested by no other party other than SLPP itself. It is for this reason, amongst many others, that SLPP members, supporters, sympathizers, etc must give undivided loyalty and support to the party at this particular point in time. Sierra Leone has become a sinking vessel which is crying for help to the SLPP.
2. IS SLPP MEMBERS NOW IN COMPLETE HARMONY WITH
A few months back, it appeared the SLPP was not in complete harmony with normal reasoning. The recent ranting, manipulations, secret defections and disingenuity by some of those claiming to be party members or even supporters, have without any morsel of doubt, revealed their true identities and insincerity to the cause of SLPP. With the identification of such malcontents, it is inevitable for SLPP to return now to complete harmony with normal reasoning. Mechanisms to deal with defectors and traitors have now been put in place. All subsequent traitors will henceforth be treated by the party as rebels.
SLPP, unlike APC, knows that politics is NOT BUSINESS. It is a mission to positively change the lives of the people. It is in obedience to this sacred principle that SLPP, right from inception, was founded on values and principles embodied in its motto, “ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE,” which presuppose the practice and inculcation of democratic tenets encapsulated in an ideology that embraces the value system, principles, respect, integrity and social justice.
Never again must SLPP allow any group of persons or individuals to hold the party to ransom. The party is not only bigger, but in fact, far taller than any of its members. The futility of endeavouring to bring the party into disrepute has been realized and now drastic measures have been put in place to address malcontents.
3. SLPP’s DEMOCRATIC CREDENTIALS AND DEVELOPMENT ORIENTATION:
Following its return to power in 1996, the ideology embraced by the SLPP and which was expected to be the hallmark of the party’s democratic credentials was intended to perform important functions in the process of development. The role of this ideology ensured the binding together of the nation and its political system. It defined the things which members of SLPP have in common and the purpose of their togetherness. The SLPP ideology is essential to transforming traditional values leading to the establishment of a mental environment that is conducive to change. The Party believes that the state of a people’s politico-economic development, together with its rate and direction, depends largely upon what is in the minds of its members and above all, on the contents of their minds (mindset).
4. EROSION OF SIERRA LEONE PEOPLE’S PARTY VALUES:
Following the demise of the obnoxious one-party system of government which was foisted upon the nation by the APC, a number of values and principles of SLPP had been effectively compromised. This was the handiwork of deceptive party officials and insincere new-comers (to the party) whose links with the APC were not completely severed. This produced untold mishaps leading to division (in the party), mistrust, disrespect and suspicions. The Tejan Kabbah administration which concerned itself typically with Sierra Leone as a nation, did little (if at all), to restore or even recognize the pristine values of the party. This inaction rendered the SLPP vulnerable to all sorts of infiltrators with hidden political motives or agenda.
To arrest the further erosion of party values and ideals, a number of significant dialogue, negotiations and compromises had to be made by some party faithfuls, all in an effort to engender peace and lasting cohesion. To his credit, Dr. Prince Harding when he was Secretary General of the Party from 1995 to 2005, advanced the cause of the young generation (youths) and other working people into the future because he believed that the future itself lies in youth. He advanced positive programmes and ideals in a bid to unite the party starting with the grass-roots.
Dr. Harding effected a harmonious working relationship within the rank and file of the party. His emphasis was on discipline which he sought to instill first, in the party’s young generation, not by sticks and carrot, but by skill and diplomacy in scrupulous adherence to the party’s values and codes of conduct. By upholding the normative values of the party, Dr. Harding embarked on a daily and purposeful guidance of the party. This spectacular success, amongst many others, accorded the party two general and presidential election victories as well as nation-wide local council elections. This is the type of legacy that SLPP should strive to maintain. Such a man, with such an astonishing acumen, can without any scruples, be safely entrusted with the party chairmanship and leadership!
To those dismissing our National Convention to be held in Kenema next month (April), as a mere coronation, I say to them they are not doing justice to the party and rewarding hard work. Treachery, lies and deception will not be rewarded with positions of trust and responsibility. To halt the erosion of the values of the party, all members must embark on social justice and, in consonance with SLPP’s ideals, reward hard-work. Doing justice to SLPP at this time can be synonymous with supporting Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, who commands the support and respect of a sizeable number of registered SLPP members. More than any other aspirant, Maada Bio stands tall when the support of party faithful comes into focus. This, combined with other factors, is the reason why the possibility of other flag-bearer aspirants stepping down for the more popular choice must not be nebulous.
5. CRUCIBLE TRANSCENDED AT LAST
The departure of these SLPP members (former)? who converged at Port Loko a fortnight ago, must now be treated as a likelihood rather than a hypothesis. Their departure from the party, though regrettable, seems to remove every morsel of disunity within the party. The lid of the cooking pot of the party is now wide open and so there will be no explosion or implosion of SLPP anymore. From all indications, the SLPP faithful have observed that the thought of electing Maada Bio, who is the popular choice as flag bearer, is abhorrent to every instinct in the bile’s of his implacable opponents. SLPP must not sacrifice the devil it knows for the angel it doesn’t know.
Kandeh Yumkella, for instance, is not cerebral; he is bombastic; he is not cool but is easily discomfited by disagreements; he is not reserved but is as temperamental as a debutante. He taunts his opponents, who are sick, make dreadful comparison of others to office messengers, etc and it is these very qualities that account for is unpopularity in the country for , in each of them, he is the direct opposite of Maada Bio-hence the people’s choice for President! Alone among his implacable opponents, Bio clearly understands the problem of power which he believes could be solved solely by applying the apparatus of power politics, humility and diplomacy. His recent ententé with Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin clearly lends credence to the above, which is a true manifestation of maturity and love for the party. To those who hate to love Bio are advised to take note and refrain from unanimity in their hate for him. Maada Bio to all genuine party members, should be promoted and not reviled, he should be supported and not vilified. In this way, and by this means, the presidency is ours (SLPP), come 2018.