John Oponjo Benjamin (photo), the Leader of the main opposition SLPP in Sierra Leone has advised members of the ruling APC Government party from the Eastern part of Sierra Leone to rethink their allegiance to the APC since according to Benjamin, APC party looks on APC members in Eastern Sierra Leone with no respect.
This was done on Monday 6th December 2010 in an exclusive interview with the Awareness Times Newspaper.
According to John Benjamin, the APC considers that out of all the APC loyalists from Eastern Sierra Leone especially Kono District, who voted for the APC in the 2007 Elections and continue to join the ruling APC, not a single one of them was good enough to be made a minister except for the APC to jump over to the opposition and poach from two SLPP members and abandon all the known loyal APC members in the entire Eastern Province including Kono.
“This is a lesson to all APC members in the East including the people of Kono. Your party has no respect for you which is why they jump over your heads and come to take SLPP members to give them big posts over your sweat which you sweated for them to come to power,” John Benjamin stated.
John Benjamin said SLPP wanted a Cabinet that had a national character made up of APC party members from all over the country including Kono and not a Cabinet made up of disgruntled SLPP supporters but that APC has no respect for the good and loyal APC supporters from Kono and Eastern Sierra Leone.
John Benjamin furthered that if indeed the APC Leader, President Koroma, respects the people of Kono, he would have appointed at least two full rank ministers from Kono just as he valued the people of Bombali to an extent that he appointed over five ministers from that part of the country.
John Benjamin, who said he was in sympathy with the “poor APC supporters in Kono and Eastern Sierra Leone”, described the current Cabinet as one of “Baboon work for monkey to come and eat”.
“We are trying to build up Sierra Leone’s democratic climate & culture and so we will not encourage anyone to blur the budding democratic landscape for our people. APC should not poach from SLPP membership. The APC surely has capable people from the South-East within their party” John Benjamin said adding that there was no need to make believe it was in the interest of national unity for APC “to ignore all their hardworking people in Kono and Eastern Sierra Leone as if APC is in alliance with SLPP when APC is only in alliance with PMDC”.
“We, in the SLPP are not in alliance with the APC neither do we desire any power-sharing arrangements with them. Any of our SLPP members who join their APC Government’s Cabinet will face suspension and possible eventual expulsion.” Benjamin has assured.