AWARENESS TIMES
Sierra Leone News & Information

State House | Press Union | Lumley Beach | AllAfrica | SL-Web

www.awarenesstimes.com

  Giving Knowledge to the People
welcome to sierra leone's premier news source
Last Updated: Mar 22nd, 2009 - 05:04:00 
Front Page 
 
 NEWS
 Breaking News
 Local News
 Politics
 Photo News
 Video News
 Video News
 
 EDITORIALS
 
 COMMENTS & OPINIONS
 Moiie's Column
 
 FEATURES
 
 ENTERTAINMENT
 
 PROFILES
 Role Models
 Awareness Lady
 Common Man
 
 THE ECONOMY
 
 NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
 Special Greetings
 Legal Matters
 Obituaries
 
 PAID SUPPLEMENTS
 
 ADVERTISEMENTS
 
 SATIRE
 
 MEET THE TEAM
Search


Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Freetown,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001
Email:
editor@awarenesstimes.com
Website:
www.awarenesstimes.com

COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

SLPP Not Interested in Power-Sharing but wants Friendship
By Abdul Karim Kabia
Mar 20, 2009, 15:18
Email this article
 Printer friendly page

The Chairman of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has categorically made it clear that the SLPP had no interest in any power sharing arrangement with the Executive arm of Government in Sierra Leone but wanted to have a climate of friendship with the Executive.

Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin was reacting to a question posed to him by this writer about an allegation in the APC We Yone newspapers edition of Wednesday March 18th 2009, that the American Ambassador June Carter Perry has expressed a belief that the political violence in Sierra Leone was due to a desire by the SLPP to be included in the Ernest Bai Koroma led Executive arm of Government.

"Such a belief, if really held by Her Excellency, is incompatible with the true position of the SLPP. I cannot more strongly assert that my party has no interest in any power-sharing arrangement with the executive arm of the Ernest Bai Koroma APC Government," Benjamin insisted.


Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin: Opposition Leader in Sierra Leone

He said he was appreciative of the role played so far by the Diplomatic Community, especially the American Ambassador, in trying to get to the bottom of what caused the crisis but alerted diplomats "not to fall for cheap propaganda" that he said they were being fed by "enemies of democratic tolerance".

Quoting from a prepared letter that was on his desk, Benjamin stated: "We are quite satisfied with our involvement in the Legislative arm of Government; coupled with a free press and our constitutionally-guaranteed unhindered right to express our opinion through our partys legitimately registered media like our Radio Station. Our Parliamentarians and our Freedom of Expression are more than enough for us to take part in the current democratic dispensation that Sierra Leoneans and the International Community worked so hard to attain".

When queried by Awareness Times if President Koroma and himself had held any communication since he John Benjamin, assumed the position of Leader of the Opposition in Sierra Leone, John Benjamin responded that President Koroma has rebuffed all his overtures for dialogue between the two men. It should be noted that not only were John Benjamin and Ernest Koroma, former college-mates at the University of Sierra Leone in the seventies, but they were also very good friends in the past even after they both entered active politics.

This writer has learnt that even up to the point when Koroma was campaigning to become President from a position of opposition, John Benjamin, as the then ruling party Minister of Finance, would regularly bring gifts back for his friend Ernest Koroma whenever he traveled out of the country.

When I asked Mr. Benjamin if it was true that as Minister of Finance, he had maintained a cordial relationship with the current sitting President, he responded in the affirmative.

"Yes, you have been correctly informed. The last gift I remember giving to him when I was Finance Minister was a well-crafted, bright red designer shirt in 2007 and another time, I gave him a gift of a bright red neck-tie which I believe he is still using up to this day," John Benjamin informed.

When asked why it was that the President was now so hostile to him after the President assumed office at State House considering how friendly Mr. John Benjamin had been to him when Benjamin had been in power, Mr. John Benjamin responded that it was only President Ernest Bai Koroma who would be in a better position to answer that question.

"I called him up on Christmas Day of 2008 to wish him Merry Christmas and he refused to take my calls. I sent him a text message wishing him a Happy New Year on New Years Day of 2009 and he still ignored my overtures of felicitations to him. He has been hostile to me since the day he took up office as President of Sierra Leone," John Benjamin lamented adding that such hostility was not good for the countrys democratic plurality.

"If our respective membership sees their leadership being hostile right at the top, they take their cue from that and the hostility extends to the masses. It is time we put this country first and develop it together for our people. SLPP is not interested in power-sharing with Ernest Koromas APC. What we want from Ernest Koroma is friendship as we carry out our legitimate, democratic duties of opposing the Executive," the erudite, soft-spoken gentleman ended.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
NEWS
Sierra Leone: Some of the Rape Victims, Other Victims of Aggression & Shots of Vandalised Opposition HQ
Stop the Political Violence!! Says Youth Arise
In Sierra Leone, Lumley Police Accused of Aiding Alleged Fraudster
EDITORIALS
Amidst Rising Political Tension.Awareness Times Editor Faces Death Threats
Who Burnt This Car?
Too Serious; Too Funny; Too Pathetic; Too Sad!
COMMENTS & OPINIONS
Sierra Leone's Sylvia Blyden Visits the Raped and Bruised Women
SLPP Not Interested in Power-Sharing but wants Friendship
Opposition Leader's Rejoinder To The Address By Sierra Leone President
FEATURES
SECURITY COUNCIL DEMANDS IMMEDIATE AND COMPLETE HALT TO ACTS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Sierra Leone's Ruling Party Mocks Rape Victims: CULLED FROM APC WE-YONE NEWSPAPER
Warm Greetings from Sierra Leone on Friday Cultural Day!
ENTERTAINMENT
Solomon Ekuma Berewa Gets Surprise 70th Birthday Party
Sierra Leone's Kha-Benneh Bangura Wants Your Votes
Goapele, Daddy Saj and Mahala @ Zanzibar on Night of Saturday 26th
PROFILES
Bio Data Of The Former President Of The Republic Of Sierra Leone Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
A Chat With Sierra Leones First Doctorate Chartered Accountant: Dr. Dante Alie Bendu (B.Sc Hons, M.Sc, M.A., FeICM, ACCA, PhD)
Sierra Leonean Woman Excels In UK
THE ECONOMY
Kailahun SLPP MP frowns at Finance Minister in Sierra Leone
Sept 23: Millicom Sierra Leone bounces back
Romanian buys more Sierra Leone Diamonds shares
NOTICES & DOCUMENTS
President of Sierra Leone Swears In New Ministers
Happy Birthday Greetings to you Mr. David A. Koroma
Ministry Of Finance And Economic Development Installation Of Local Area Network (Lan) And Wide Area Network (Wan) Between The Secretariat Building, Ministerial Building And The Central Bank Of Sierra Leone Building
PAID SUPPLEMENTS
Union Trust Bank Opens Branch in New England Freetown, Sierra Leone
Freetown is Safest City :- says Douglas Alexander
In Memory of Captain Prince Ben-Hirsch (passed away 21st January 1992)
ADVERTISEMENTS
Finance & Administrative Manager Job Description
Advertisement
Plan Sierra Leone Job Description
SATIRE
Yenga oh Yenga!
You Draw Rope
The Ballads Olu Gordon Claims Identifies Him
MEET THE TEAM
WE ARE MOVING TO BIGGER, FASTER SERVERS
Meet the Awareness Team

Copyright © 2005 - 2007, Awareness Times Sierra Leone; All Rights Reserved.
Hosted & Designed by West Africa Dot Net