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NEWS : Politics  

SLPP NEC Ends with Call for Convention
By Sylvia O. Blyden
Nov 2, 2009, 12:22
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Last Saturday October 31st 2009 and yesterday November 1st 2009, saw some dramatic scenes occurring at the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Headquarters in Freetown. One of these scenes saw the erudite and well respected Sierra Leonean lawyer, Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu rising to second the motion for the SLPP to head back for a fresh National Convention before the proposed new Constitution is sent to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC). The fresh Convention is proposed to be held in the Southern town of Bo within the next three months.

EKE HALLOWAY

It will be recalled that Dr. Bundu had been the chief agitator for the Constitution to be immediately sent as-it-is to the PPRC but after two days of deliberations, the partys National Executive Council has decided to go back to a National Delegates Conference with Bundu, in a dramatic about-face-turn, actually seconding the motion which was first proposed by Lawyer Eke Halloway.

It will also be recalled that Eke Halloway had, like Bundu, taken a public stance to have the new Constitution lodged with the PPRC immediately but he was the one who now stood up to move the motion for a new Convention to be called up to have a re-look into the revised Constitution.


John Ben: Has been Vindicated

 

STRONGER THAN BEFORE

It is clear that the party emerged even stronger than before from last weekend as party stalwart after stalwart from the various shades of opinions held prior to the NEC meeting, all told Awareness Times of how pleased and proud they were with the outcome.

BUBUAKEI JABBIE

Another prominent SLPP Lawyer in the person of Dr. Bubuakei Jabbie Esq. had also taken a similar stance to that of Dr. Abass Bundu and Lawyer Eke Halloway against the holding of a fresh convention but after the NEC Meeting he was enthusiastically in support of a new Convention when he exclusively spoke to Awareness Times last night.

"Yes, I am very satisfied with the outcome of the NEC Meeting. It is good that the party went into debate and resolved the issue by the decision to go back to the Convention and look at the revised constitution with certain editorial corrections having been made already," Lawyer Bubuakei Jabbie stated.

DR. SAMA BANYA

For former Party Chairman, Dr. Sama PUAWUI Banya, who had seemingly backed the position of Dr. Abass Bundu, he also told Awareness Times last night of his pleasure with the outcome.

"I am absolutely satisfied with the outcome. What has happened this weekend is an example of what SLPP stands for. The NEC Meeting was peaceful, friendly, frank but very matured. We hung heads like brothers and sisters and came to this consensus which we are all in agreement with right now. Our detractors will be deflated because what they predicted would happen never happened. We have shown them once again that the SLPP is a great political party composed of matured and responsible Sierra Leoneans," Dr. Sama Banya proudly stated.

Dr. Banya, who is a former Chairman of the party, also had tremendous words of praise for the current Chairman, John Benjamin whom he said, "inspires confidence in all of us and he is proving to be action-oriented, not self-seeking and infact, totally unselfish for the good of the SLPP".

Banya said if John Benjamin continued thus he would end up being "one of the best SLPP Chairmen we have ever had". According to Dr. Banya, John Benjamin had been a victim of misunderstanding within the ranks caused by mis-communication but all of that had now been cleared when the true facts came tumbling out during the meeting.

JOHN OPONJO BENJAMIN

In his highly acclaimed Opening remarks, during which he left no doubt in anyones mind that he was not running for the flagbearer position, the party Chairman, John Oponjo Benjamin told the gathering that the meeting was to "create synergy between officials of the party and stakeholders for the effective running of the party" and after the meeting, he told Awareness Times in a snap interview last night that "Cohesion and Synergy has been achieved today as far as some thorny issues were concerned. The SLPP has once again shown our detractors the kind of material the party is made up of. We are the epitome of democratic values and today, we have all left here as a proud and united family".

JACOB JUSU SAFFA

For the National Secretary General, Jacob Jusu Saffa, he also expressed similar sentiments last night.

"I am very satisfied. We came out more united than we were before. We exhibited a very good example of political maturity. It shows SLPP is capable of settling any problem in-house without external mediators coming in," Saffa said, adding that "the decision was unanimous and it was good that our Chairman dispelled the rumours that had been flying around that he was interested in the flagbearership."

DR. KADI SESAY

In her own closing remarks at the occasion, the Deputy Chairman, Dr. Kadi Sesay informed the delegates that she belonged to a party with class and high democratic values and one in which she will always be proud to be associated with.

I.J. KABBAH

The SLPPs Womens Leader, Isata Jabbie Kabbah gave the Vote of Thanks during which she asked for a standing ovation to be given to John Oponjo Benjamin (aka JOB), with accompanying shouts of "JOB: Just Our Best!" rocking through all sections of the Hall.

DR. ABASS BUNDU

However, without any doubt, one man who left the Hall walking tall, and with even stronger party credentials than he had before, was Dr. Abass Bundu. His shocking about-face-turn has left many outsiders in wonderment at the SLPP. Awareness Times was privileged to be given an exclusive interview with him shortly after the meeting broke. He first of all acknowledged that his fellow partisans had put across "very convincing reasons" as to the value of holding on to the revised constitutional document and re-presenting it to a fresh Convention. He paid tribute to the values of a democratic culture within the SLPP that allowed for a frank exchange of ideas.

"The SLPP Party has emerged from this NEC Meeting more democratic than before and stronger than before and has now crossed the threshold of being an Opposition to a Government-in-waiting," said Dr. Abass Bundu, to which he added, "It came out very well. To beat our chest as the mother of democracy in Sierra Leone, we must first demonstrate internal democracy and that we have done today. We are a democratic party whose roots are rooted in democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism."

LANSANA OBAMA FADIKA

For Lansana Obama Fadika, the Chairman of Western Area region of the Party, he stated he was "100% satisfied with how the meeting was conducted under the fine chairmanship of John Benjamin. I am happy with how the meeting ended especially the outcome of the meeting that calls for a fresh Convention early next year". He also used the opportunity to lavish praises on Dr. Bundu.

"I have come out of this NEC Meeting with tremendous respect for Kottor Abass Bundu. He will forever command my respect for the way he has carried himself today," Lansana Fadika assured.

Fadika also made a promise that he would deliver the Western Area to the SLPP at the 2012 Elections failing which he wanted SLPP members to tie him up at the Cotton Tree in the center of town.

JOBS SPECTACULAR SPEECH SIMPLY REINFORCED HIS CREDIBILITY & POPULARITY AS CHAIRMAN/LEADER

Meanwhile, the Full text of the Speech by the charismatic John Benjamin to the NEC Meeting is reproduced on pages 8 and 11. It was very well received to thunderous applause and what came out very clearly at the end of the NEC Meeting yesterday is that not only is John Benjamin not going to run for President as SLPP flagbearer but he is currently the most popular figure in the entire SLPP right now and fully in charge of the party.


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

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