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NEWS : Politics  

Sierra Leone Politics : CHAOS Ö as SLPP Leaders accused of selling out Ö their inability to exercise caution or apply prudent measures have disappeared as they go berserk for the acquisition of power at all cost
By Bryan Randall
Jun 27, 2014, 17:12
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Reacting to yesterdayís publication titled: ďSLPP ĎPa-O-Paí Grass-Root are Bunch of CriminalsĒ; the National Chairman of the Steering Committee for the SLPP Grass-Root organization, Joseph Austin Johnnie has in a telephone interview in the evening of 26th¬†June 2014 angrily refuted comments made by the Minority Leader of Parliament Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai in which she described him and his group as Ďcriminalsí.


The background to the Minority Leaderís statement was based on the fact that as recently as the last weekend, the SLPP Headquarters and its environs were raided by police personnel. In their raid several people were arrested with cannabis and illegal structures (bafas) were demolished. There was resistance from those who normally gather at these points around the party headquarters.

SLPP Western Regional Chairman Manso Dumbuya (arrowed) appealing to his supporters to calm down


Awareness Times witnessed the incident where Hon. Tamba Sam, Dr. Prince Harding, Mr. Manso Dumbuya and other SLPP Party stalwarts tried stopping their unruly SLPP supporters who attempted to stop the Police in the discharge of their constitutional duties. However all efforts to restrain their supporters proved futile as they neither conformed to their party elders nor the Police and continued raining insults (all sorts of obscene languages) and threatening remarks against the police, including striping their clothes off in public.


Speaking at the scene, Assistant Inspector General of Police Kambeh frowned at the attitudes of the SLPP supporters with special reference to the ones who stripped themselves naked in front of the Police and a huge crowd of onlookers. He said such should not be the behaviour of national party supporters, adding that, it is uncalled for and does not portray the SLPP in any good image as such misdemeanors even soil the image of the government and people of Sierra Leone and the Police will not condone it. He mentioned that the police had long since got tip-off of illegal activities done in the make-shift structures (bafas) especially the sale of cannabis as well as plotting evil and violence against peaceful citizens.

Unruly behaviour and shameful acts of SLPP supporters


Mr. Johnny said it is unfortunate for his Minority Leader to make such classification noting that she does not deserve to participate in politics since she has isolated herself from the grass root citing that even her grass root members in her village are against her. He claimed to have evidence that Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai is selling the party to the APC. ďShe is clapping for the APC in Parliament and tows the line of the APC all the timeĒ. He also claimed that He said the major obstacles in the SLPP now are their Chairman and Leader, Chief Somano Kapen, a few other national executive members and the Members of Parliament especially Dr. Bernadette Lahai. He said they as grass root will continue to oppose these people. Johnnie completely denied his organizationís absolute allegiance to their former flag bearer Julius Maada Bio claiming that any time people want to gain public sympathy they identify Maada Bio as the cause of whatever problem they have.


When asked why they were fighting, Johnnie cited personality conflict, incompetence of the current leadership of the party and the partyís inability to provide quality opposition. He said that in the days of John Benjamin they had monthly press release to identify the bad governance, poverty and hardship in the country.¬† He accused the SLPP chairman and Leader of neglecting his party functions but is willing to attend all APC functions.

SLPP supporters challenging the Police


Austin Johnnie also told this house that his grass root members were arrested last weekend when police demolished structures around their party head quarters. (This may well be the reason so much fear and disdain including accusation of practicing criminal acts is attached to the SLPP; their inability to exercise caution or apply prudent measures have disappeared as they go berserk for the acquisition of power at all cost).


When asked how long this political warfare will continue and if he is ready for peace, Austin was optimistic that peace will return and he is ready and hoped they will sit at a round table to discuss and iron out their differences. He appealed to the elders to throw away their ego and compromise if they are sincere with the partyís survival.


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

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