On Thursday 23rd January 2017, John O Benjamin one of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) flagbearer aspirants held a press conference at the party headquarters in Lightfoot Boston Street, Freetown to clarify rumors relating to his resignation from the All Aspirants Alliance (AAA).
He started by introducing himself and other members of his campaign team, and stated that, that is the first press conference he was holding at the party HQ after the peace agreement, this he said signifies that peace has finally come to the SLPP.
He cited what happen to the APC years ago when they were preparing to take over the reign of government, has now happened to the SLPP, meaning the party is going to win the 2018 elections, but stated that the only difference was that the late president Tejan Kabba helped the APC to achieve peace.
He continued that the communiqué which all the aspirants have signed will hold as it is binding on them, and that all of them are willing and ready to consolidate that peace. He further stated that he was the last to sign the communiqué not because he did not want to sign it, but because he was not around at the time of signing the document.
He however stated that he is willing and committed to the peace pact and will do all he can to ensure that the peace is maintained. He said the APC was rejoicing when the SLPP had its problems but thanked God that peace had finally return to the party.
His resignation from the Alliance he said should not cause any apprehension, as he is very much committed to working for the party to ensure that it return to State House in 2018.He said that the Alliance was formed to promote peace within the party and all the flag bearer aspirants to ensure that there is no break away from the party as it happened in 2012 after the party convention. Now that peace has returned to the party there is no need for the Alliance to continue operating .This is one of the reasons that made him resigned, and also for him to effectively concentrate on his campaign activities for the flag bearer position of the party.
He appealed to all party officers to put away all bias tendencies by not openly supporting any aspirant, but to serve the party diligently with all sincerity and commitment for the party to regain its lost glory and win the 2018 elections.
To the present members of parliament, he advised them to be impartial and serve the country as a formidable opposition for this last year of their reign as Members of Parliament. He said they should support who so ever that is elected as flag bearer in the convention.
He thanked members of the fourth estate whom he said had on numerous occasions urged the party to peacefully settle their problems for the benefit of the democratic process of the country, and appealed to them to help consolidate the peace that had been achieved.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.