From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

SLPP Will Forever Cherish Dr. Alpha Wurie
Mar 26, 2009, 17:21

The National Convention of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) held in Kenema from 5th to 8th March 2009, is now gone, the outcome of which was overwhelmingly accepted by the rank and file of the party.

Members of the ‘palm tree’ family are quite pleased with the executive body that was set up at the convention, more so when its composition cuts across the various regions of the country.

It goes without saying that all true blooded SLPP members will forever remain grateful to the former Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, for the inspirational keynote address he delivered during the well attended convention.

It could be recalled that Dr. Alpha T. Wurie, in his presentation, called for unity and progress in the party.

This call came at a time when the party was slowly degenerating into an imminent split. As a result, the conference which could have degenerated into a fracas and yet another big split in the party, turned out to be the most peaceful and most acclaimed national convention held by the party in recent times. Some observers even referred to it as a true reflection of the SLPP spirit and original thinking of its founding fathers.

It is no secret that the former Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone and former flag bearer of the SLPP, Solomon Ekuma Berewa, during his statement at the convention, pointed accusing fingers at former President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, saying he should be held single-handedly responsible for the party losing power to the opposition All People’s Congress (APC). Among the numerous allegations made by Mr. Solomon Berewa against Alhaji Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, was that he deliberately failed to come to the aid of the SLPP during the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections. What stood in the heart of the matter according to Mr. Solomon Berewa, was that the former president did show him fake election results a day before the final results were announced, something he said was an indication of a foul play which the former president failed to put right to save the party from an undeserving defeat.

Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah was deprived the opportunity of reacting to the allegations made against him by his former vice president, courtesy of a popular demand by party stalwarts in the jam-packed hall.

This resulted in the adjournment of the session, with party members leaving the hall with different views regarding the accusations made by Mr. Solomon Berewa against his former boss.

Some party members this writer spoke with during the convention, expressed fear of a possible split in the party over the situation.

But things however took a twist for the better when the session was called to order again, and Dr. Alpha T. Wurie called upon to deliver his keynote speech.

Dr. Wurie dedicated the better part of his time addressing the issue at stake, thereby succeeding in creating an atmosphere that saw both Dr. Ahmad Tejan Kabbah and Mr. Solomon Berewa shaking hands in what was referred to by many as a sign that the party is poised to move positively ahead.

His laudable and never to be forgotten speech inspired the spirit of oneness among party members, and also served as a motivation.

In one of his inspiring remarks, Dr. Wurie stated categorically that the conference was intended not to divide the party into camps, but rather a time to unite the party and thereby demonstrate to the whole world that it is the mother of democracy in Sierra Leone.

He ended his speech by calling on party members to exchange hand shake and say ‘I LOVE THE SLPP’ and ‘I CHERISH THE PALM TREE’ in response.

This singular move in effect, left all present in a spirit of oneness and determination to meet the daunting challenges ahead.

Also present in spirit to see to it everything went well were the forefathers and founding members of the party, who watched over the entire process.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.