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EDITORIALS  

Chairman Benjamin & Co. Should Advise Themselves
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Oct 5, 2009, 14:28
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The position of National Chairman of a sober political party is a very powerful one regardless of whether that party is in opposition or running the Government. The Chairman of the ruling party in Nigeria is not the President of Nigeria but he is one of the most powerful men in that country. A Chairman steers the party and directs the party. He or she stands above every other party member and should never be seen as mortgaging any of his or her authority for whatsoever purpose; not even for the prize of a shot at leading executive State Governance!


A Chairman should ensure the party is kept as a disciplined but united entity which goes according to the dictates of the wishes of the membership. The Chairmans authority is therefore sacrosanct and should never be diluted with vain pursuits. The Chairman must at all times be seen as the ultimate voice of authority in the party whose mandate it is to direct all other members of the Executive including those who speak on behalf of the party. Only the Chairman can effectively engage diplomats and the international world on crucial issues affecting the party. It is also the Chairman on whose shoulders the upholding of the partys Constitution rests on!


Now, this brings us to the crux of this piece. There are these persistent rumours that  John Oponjo Benjamin, the Chairman of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is being convinced that he is the only one who can provide a formidable enough challenge to President Koromas 2012 re-elections ambitions.


Many have already told the Chairman in private discussions to pay no heed to these false prophets and we at Awareness Times Newspaper are now saying it for public records that if John Benjamin attempts to listen to the false prophets urging him to seek the Flagbearer ticket, posterity will never forgive him.


To be fair to the SLPP Chairman, he is yet to make any public comments along those lines but what is also correct is that right now, for some strange inexplicable reasons which we are yet to be convinced on, Chairman John Benjamin prefers to see certain unscrupulous party members get away with total indiscipline and obvious sell-game tactics. As a result, observers might be forgiven for thinking that he is doing so because he wants every factional camp within the SLPP to see him as Mr. JOB the popular Nice Guy. Benjamin is unwittingly giving the impression to observers that rather than taking unpopular but legitimate decisions in the interest of SLPP, he prefers to shirk his responsibilities in order to be popular to all. But such Bra Spider tactics usually leave the Bra Spider with a rope being tugged from all directions!


Rather than rising above the ranks of those fighting for Flagbearership; rather than ensuring the party is disciplined and united, John Benjamins false prophets are fooling him that if he reduces his tremendous stature to one that fights with ordinary members for the SLPP Flagbearer position, he will become even more popular. What a grave mistake and we truly hope Mr. Chairman will not fall for it!


John Benjamin will not become popular but will end up being seen as compromising his chairmanship for the popularity of the Flagbearership. Even if he wins the Flagbearership after tussling in the mud with his partisan subordinates, the bad faith and bad blood engendered will leave the SLPP badly fragmented! Every Tom, Dick and Harry within the party will just do what they feel like doing and any attempt to discipline them will lead to these Tom, Dick and Harry saying they are being punished because they never supported John Benjamin or that this faction or that faction hates them because that faction supported or did not support Chairman John Benjamin as Flagbearer. And what moral ground will John Benjamin have to then institute disciplinary proceedings against such defaulters? None! The party will just self-destruct!


One thing to be told in no uncertain terms to John Benjamin is that the day he reduces his stature in the SLPP by competing with ordinary members for the position of flag-bearer will be the day that he will surely lose some respect of a vast number of citizens.


It is time for John Benjamin to advise himself as to the futility of listening to those fooling him that he is the only one amongst the entire SLPP membership who can challenge the APC Leader. It is time for John Benjamin to advise himself that it is time to start acting more like a firm, politically-savvy Chairman and less like a popularity-seeking potential Flagbearer. The SLPP is falling apart whilst he, as SLPP Chairman, is, wittingly or unwittingly, seemingly promoting a doomed agenda.


The same advice we are giving John Benjamin is also going for all the members of the National Executive who might be eyeing Flagbearer and Running-mate positions. You are compromising the respect you currently hold within the corridors of Public Opinion with such foolhardy ambitions. If some of you people are really that blind in your ambitions to be President or Vice President, we suggest you RESIGN NOW even before the proposed Emergency National Convention so that you can stand in front of the National Convention as ordinary members and articulate whatever it is that you are trying to now articulate about the Flagbearer Clauses but as ordinary members and not as Executive members. RESIGN NOW!


Please resign now! You cannot fool all the people all the time. Enough is enough! Give your party a chance to survive! Give your innocent members like those poor Rape Victims, proper and quality leadership which is currently sorely lacking! There are at least one million peoples lives currently placed in your hands; since there are at least one million women, men and children who are blindly SLPP members.


These loyal SLPP members deserve a solid National Executive; not opportunists using their executive positions to promote their hidden agendas to become President and/or Vice-President!


Finally but most importantly, please give our country a chance to have a vibrant Opposition. Many Sierra Leoneans are really sickened with how shameless opportunism is destroying the political opposition! And in case you do not quite realize it yet, your opportunism is making you to look like sheer DAFTS (Fooloomoonkoos) since even the basics of politics cannot be practiced by you. The Basics are lost on you as everything is hampered by blind ambitions taking over at the expense of the SLPPs image as a sober political party.


Chairman Benjamin and Company, Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans surely deserve more. Are you listening?


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

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