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NEWS : Politics  

SLPP Executive Presents 23 Aspirants to Party Membership
By Bampia Bundu
Oct 21, 2010, 17:12
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On behalf of the National Executive, the national chairman and leader of the main opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin on Wednesday 20th October, 2010 officially presented the 23 aspirants vying for flag bearer position to the party membership. The auspicious ceremony which brought together party members, supporters, well wishers and other personalities from all works of life across the country was held at the party’s national headquarters, Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.


Making the presentation, Chairman Benjamin started by commending the gentlemen and ladies for the faith they have in the party which he said in the first place gave them the courage to vie for that coveted position of flag bearer. He said such a move has clearly demonstrated their unflinching loyalty and dedication to the party.  He informed the aspirants of the need to know that the contest was a family affair, not one against each other. In that vein he endeared them to maintain respect and love for each other at all times.

SLPP National Chairman John Oponjo Benjamin


The chairman was also very particular about the overzealousness of certain supporters of the various aspirants. “I want to use this opportunity to ask all aspirants to talk to their supporters to have respect for all the delegates so that the contest will be peaceful and straight forward,” he noted, while cautioning against any unbecoming behaviour within the cause of the meeting as according to him, the APC were maliciously waiting for the outcome of that meeting. “They are waiting to see whether this meeting will end up in confusion, that is their plan,” he said, adding however, that it would be another slap in their face.


The national party leader made it categorically clear to the aspirants and the entire membership that the target is APC, to see that the APC is booted out in a democratic manner come 2012. “The race has started within, the winner should be ready and determined to face the APC come 2012 elections with the full support of all of us within the party,” he averred. He described the crop of 23 aspirants as ‘a special breed’ in the party who are honoured by the executive and the entire membership.  “All the aspirants, those here today and others absent are henceforth eligible to be voted for in the forthcoming national party convention by delegates,” he pronounced, while appealing to the delegates to create a fair playing ground for, and support the aspirants by maintaining their respects at all times.

Members of the hight table


To the district executives, Mr. Benjamin admonished them to give free hands to all aspirants to use party facilities in the various districts. “Treat all aspirants as equals as they are all eligible to use the party offices in all regions freely,” he entreated.  He said this is another moment for the membership to demonstrate that the SLPP is a democratic party.  “We are about to make another history in politics. “This is a demonstration of our internal democracy where 23 aspirants will battle for one position with no cracks afterwards,” he posited.


He concluded by instilling in the aspirants that their focus should be SLPP, and that they should do all they could to redeem the country from the wicked hands of the APC.

Cross section of SLPP members


The rules and regulations of the campaign were read out by the National Secretary General, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa who first of all impressed on the uniqueness of the process. “For the first time in history this party, we will be using additional rules and regulations for the upcoming delegates’ conference side by side with the constitution,” he disclosed, adding that previously, the party only relied on the constitution. He explained that the reason for the additional rules and regulations was due to the high number of aspirants this season. “We needed to formulate rules and regulations for the game in order to avoid confrontations amongst aspirants and supporters,” he iterated.  He in that regard advised the aspirants to refrain from saying negative things against each other and to embark only on marketing themselves. “Do not attack each other’s personalities; be friendly to each other and make sure that any complaint is made directly to the national executive, not to the media or the courts of law.” he intoned. He also ended by admonishing the aspirants to be aware that their target is APC, not each other, while cautioning them against TV and radio debates at the moment since the party would be organizing such programmes for them in the shortest time to come.

Aspirant Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie


Aspirants present at the presentation ceremony were Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, Dr. Kadie Sesay, PC Alhaji Sebora the 3rd, Madam Kadie Johnson-Cole, Mr. Francis Obai Kabia, Mr. Umuru Dumbuya, Engineer Andrew Keili, Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbai, Dr. Anthony Kapindi Soye, Dr. Mori Manyeh, Hon. Eric Jumu, Professor Richard M’Bayoh, Hon. Elizabeth Lavali, and Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.  Each made a brief statement on their personalities, achievements and contributions to party and the nation.

 

The occasion was chaired by the Mayor of Bo City, Dr. Wusu Sannoh.


Aspirant Dr. Kadie Sesay

 

Aspirant Elizabeth Lavali

 

Aspirant Dr. Bu-Buakei Jabbai


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