The People’s Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) is gradually dying with the rapid defection of some of the party’s fire brands. After Moijue Kaikai’s recent unprecedented move to ruling APC party, the party has got another set back in the same Pujehun District with another defection by Sallieu Conteh to opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP). For Sallieu, it is not strange as he is merely going back to his original political base.
|Political Born Again, Sallieu Conteh
In an exclusive with Awareness Times at his Ansley Street residence in the east end of Freetown on Tuesday 28th October 2008, Mr. Conteh said he was a staunch member of the SLPP as a campaign chairman for Freetown during the 1996 general elections. He said he equally fled with the then government to Guinea for fear of his life in the wake of the infamous AFRC coup that saw the overthrow of a democratically elected government. While in exile, Sallieu Conteh wrote essays on ‘Sanction Monitoring’ and ‘Reformation & Democracy.’
"On our return, I went to my home land, Pujehun where my people asked me to contest the 2004 Local Government Elections which I won with a landslide victory," he related. Asked why he preferred to defect to the PMDC, the SLPP born again had this to say: "My people again asked me to contest parliamentary seat under the PMDC ticket because they were displeased with the way the then SLPP chairman used to humiliate me for my outspokenness against him for the misappropriation of council fund."
He gave the reason for this recent move on grounds that he was abandoned by the PMDC in the court matter between him and Ansu Kaikai that has finally cost him parliamentary seat under that party.
"I decided to cross over again to the SLPP because PMDC never supported me in both of the trials," he confided.
Another thing that probably further soured the grapes was when Charles Margai decided that all PMDC should throw weight behind the APC in last year’s presidential run off.
"I won the parliamentary seat all right under the party for Constituency 87, but when after the first round of presidential polls Mr. Margai called on us to lend our support to the APC, it became another thing altogether. So I consulted my constituents on our leader’s decision, they advised me to return to the SLPP instead," he disclosed.
He said when Mr. Margai heard that he was not in support of such a move, "he wrote a strong worded letter to me," adding: "After that the PMDC shunned me and no longer considered me a member, which warranted me to tender my resignation letter."
He said he was now a full paid up member of the SLPP. This according to him means all those that followed him have returned with him to the SLPP.
He disclosed that his people were still calling on him to contest for the vacant position in the forthcoming bye election.
"That doesn’t mean that if I happen to lose I will go back to another party. I am SLPP and I remain to serve the party in our people’s interest," he concluded.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.