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NEWS : Politics  

As PA.O.PA looks on with deep suspicion, SLPP Breeds a New Faction Called M.T.S
By Augustine Samba
Mar 22, 2013, 17:14
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National Chairman and Leader of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin, on Thursday 21st March 2013, officially launched a new organization to be called Movement for the Transformation of SLPP (MTS). However, the launching of MTS was immediately greeted with hot criticism by extremist supporters of defeated Julius Maada Bio, SLPP presidential candidate for 2012 elections, Julius Maada Bio. Dubbed as the PA.O.PA squad because of their belligerent way of doing things, many of Bios grassroots supporters tell this newspaper that they consider the MTS as just another faction within SLPP; created to deny their man an other chance to contest as presidential candidate in five years time.

 

The launching ceremony itself was held at the party headquarters in Freetown, attracted several important personalities including Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay, Mr. Emmanuel O. Grant, Lawyer Alpha Timbo, Engineer Andrew Keili, Dr. Joe Lappia, Ansumana A. Lukulay, Teddy Foday Musa, Ernest Smith and so many other distinguished SLPP members and other SLPP well wishers.

 

MTS is intended to heal and find solution to the problems that are boiling among party members through transformation, peace, unity and solidarity. It focuses on strengthening the rules, regulations, advocacy, education, commitment, transparency, inclusiveness sanity and loyalty among SLPP memberships. In MTS entirety, its aim at promoting and influencing the reorganization and transformation of SLPP into a viable and credible party which should be run at all levels in strict adherence to the partys core values and principles (as enshrined in the party constitution); and to support and executive measures, programmes and projects, in the face of changing circumstances and emerging challenges, which will enhance the effectiveness and positive image of the SLPP.

 

In his statement, the chairman of the ceremony, Dr. Alfred Bobson Sesay expressed happiness over those who came together to form the MTS. He described their efforts as a bold step as he reminds them of the task ahead especially at this crucial time as he put it the SLPP is not as it used to be.

 

Explaining about MTS on the theme; Transforming for Victory one of the most prominent party members, Engineer Andrew Keili said SLPP has been overwhelmed by serious challenges over the years with many crises. He said, the party lost two successful presidential elections and of recent, there has been widespread political frustrations and diminished morale among the rank and file of the party.  He noted that, there is now an in-fighting which has the potential to paralyze the party influence and relevance in national politics. He said their party now deviates from its core values and enduring principles of the founding fathers which he said are all contrary to the party constitution and modern governance.

 

He maintained that, it was against this back drop that members of the SLPP have come to form MTS, to promote, influence and transform SLPP in a fundamental manner; all to gain glory.

 

He went on; to become a member of the MTS group, any party member or sympathizer can join and pay just one thousand Leone as monthly due. Respect, tolerance, peace, probity, rule of law and party above all should be the ideology of all members he noted.  

 

Mr. Andrew Keili said, MTS has philosophy, guiding principles, organizational structural, expected outcomes and aims and objectives.

 

Keili disclosed that MTS Central Coordinators are himself, Andrew Keili, Dr. Joe Lappia and Rev. Joe Moiba based inside Sierra Leone, Dr. Jonathan Tengbeh, Mr. Solomom Gembeh and Ibrahim Sheriff from the USA branch, Dr. Columbia Blango and Ansu Sillah from UK, Baimba Mansaray and Ernest Smith from Continental Europe and Dr. Moiwo Juana Paul from Asia.

 

Speaking on behalf of SLPP Continental Europe, Mr. Ernest Smith said the launching of MTS was important and historical in the SLPP. He maintained that MTS intends to change and transform what is currently happening in the SLPP. He emphatically said that MTS is not going to focus on supporting any SLPP member but SLPP as an entity for all so as to enhance progress for all. He said, they alone left abroad to come and launch MTS to find unity and better solutions to the current problems.

 

Members of the SLPP, SLPP is bigger than all of us so let us promote the interest of SLPP and not any individual, Smith maintained.

 

He further to say they have been silent for so long but now they will not only spend their money but through MTS they will urged all to stand firmly by the truth at all times.

 

In his statement, the Chairman and Leader John Benjamin expressed happiness. He said SLPP is a great and is above all members and for that it was incumbent upon them to hold the fabric of the party together at all times. He explained some of the difficulties the party went through just after the 2007 elections and how some party members suffered and laboured to bring the party back as a formidable force to reckon with. He opined that, if SLPP dies, Sierra Leone will die as he claimed SLPP was a lifeline for the country whether in government or in opposition.

 

John Benjamin advised party members to always consider SLPP first and later their individual needs especially in terms of electing members for executive positions.

 

Put SLPP above all if we must find victory. Truly speaking, we are not supposed to be in opposition so let us focus on the aim of winning elections, he appealed.

 

He admonished all party members to always be loyal, united, respect others, be tolerant, do the right things and thus they always find a way forward.

 

Notably absent from the MTS meeting yesterday were members of the PA.O.PA squad of the party who support the continued retention of defeated presidential candidate Julius Maada Bio as presidential candidate for 2017 presidential elections.

 

Those opposed to the PA.O.PA squad believe the playing field should be made level so others can challenge Bio for the 2017 presidential ticket in a very democratic manner.

 

MTS didnt express views on the issue.


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

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