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NEWS : Politics  

Sierra Leone's Opposition Leader Calls for Intra-Party Discipline as he tours California
Jun 15, 2009, 20:03
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The Chairman of Sierra Leone's largest and most formidable Opposition Party, the SLPP, has stated in unequivocal terms, the need for intra-party discipline. Benjamin, was referencing a recent ruling APC party ruse to contract the presence of the acting minority leader of Parliament, Hon. Tommy at the United Nations Peace Building Commission, without reference to and without the consent of the leadership of the SLPP. In a determined stance, Benjamin told SLPP supporters in California, USA that party unity and discipline was "not optional". THE FULL REPORT BY BENJAMIN'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT IN THE USA, PROFESSOR P.K. MUANA, HERE FOLLOWS:


CONTACT: Patrick K. Muana, Communications Director, SLPP in North America & Pro Temp Personal Assistant to the National Chairman, SLPP, Email:; Tel: 281-508-1845.


After a very successful visit tour of the American mid-west where he interacted with state and business leaders, the Chairman of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), John Oponjo Benjamin, continued his tour of core SLPP constituencies in Western United States with a visit to the state of California.  In addressing SLPP constituents in California, Chairman Benjamin articulated the significant challenges ahead for the SLPP as an opposition party.

Chairman John Oponjo Benjamin

Chairman Benjamin suggested non-linear, non-traditional approaches to re-organizing and re-aligning the party's message and agenda in order to develop it into a formidable opposition party. He stressed that the paradigm shift has been necessary because of the new set of realities in Sierra Leone with a government determined to undo the gains of democracy, gender and ethnic equality, and poverty alleviation.

Addressing various audiences in Stockton and San Jose in California, Chairman Benjamin enjoined party members to put in committed hardwork and sacrifice in order to re-organize and expand the party even further in the United States, noting that he is particularly pleased with the party's formidable base in the USA.

Chairman Benjamin noted that it is indeed patriotic for Sierra Leoneans, of whatever political conviction, to render constructive criticism of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) party's policies that are reversing democratic gains in post conflict Sierra Leone.


"It is patriotic to highlight the shortcomings of a government that has little to show over the last two years for good and peaceful governance, for sustained economic growth, for poverty alleviation, for NEW infrastructural projects, and little to show for augmenting and  enhancing governance institutions left behind by the SLPP," Chairman Benjamin further noted.


"Patriotism means ensuring that the root-causes of the Sierra Leone war as comprehensively laid out in the Truth and reconciliation Commission report are fully addressed," he concluded.

Chairman Benjamin outlined the need for party discipline especially in the wake of the APC-UNIPSIL ruse to contract the presence of the acting minority leader of Parliament, Hon. Tommy without reference to and without the consent of the leadership of the SLPP.


"Party members must talk as one, and the days of petty connivance for personal gain should be gone and buried. Let us as members of the SLPP leadership and members of the party talk with one voice and harmonize our message to our constituents and Sierra Leoneans. Party unity and discipline is not optional; it is that which drives our party," John Benjamin asserted.


"Subversion and connivance are ultimately destructive for the party; we must emphasize unity and discipline and party members must exercise due diligence and discretion every time they believe they are about to engage in actions that can undermine the integrity of the leadership and of the party in general," he ended. 


National unity, fairness, trust and confidence building measures as negotiated and spelled out in the Joint Communiqu must formulate the basis for taking Sierra Leone forward peacefully.


"There is no place for tribalism and narrow regional affiliations," Chairman Benjamin added.


"We must ensure, as Sierra Leoneans and the party that concluded an intractable ten year war, that our dear country does not descend into the privation and anarchy toward which the ruling APC is driving it," Chairman Benjamin pointed out.

Chairman Benjamin then flew from Sacramento, California last night heading to Washington DC where he is scheduled, this week, to have audience with a number of United States Congressmen and Senators on Capitol Hill. He will end the week by flying to Southern United States where he will meet with two of the largest SLPP bases in Houston and Dallas by the weekend.

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

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