From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone's Opposition Leader in Commendable Political Tolerance
By Ibrahim B. Sesay
Sep 29, 2010, 17:22

The Chairman and Leader of Sierra Leone’s main opposition political party continues to show his respect for the dictates of the 2009 APC-SLPP Agreement signed under the auspices of the international community which called for political tolerance and respect for others to be displayed between the country’s main political actors. John Oponjo Benjamin is a shining beacon of light for those who are looking for acts of political tolerance that are worth emulating.

Unlike others who append their signatures to one thing and act in a different manner and who travel to the United Nations to speak of respect and political tolerance only to return home and ride roughshod over political views from the opposition, Mr. John Benjamin, was this week seen prominently amongst the mourners at the funeral service of the only son of ruling party strongman Leonard Balogun Koroma.

The following photos speak volumes about the extent of political tolerance that the likes of John Benjamin are practising in this country even as others who ought to know better are busy contravening the political tolerance dictates of our country’s precious Constitution.

SLPP’s John Oponjo Benjamin attended the funeral of APC strongman’s son. He is shown here standing near another APC strongman Sahr John Yambasu, the Ambassador-designate to Russia and former Kono District Chairman at the Churchyard.


SLPP Leader John Benjamin Consoling APC Strongman Mr. Leonard Balogun Koroma after the Church Service before the corpse is taken away.

Even before the signing of the APC-SLPP Political Respect & Tolerance Agreement of 2009, Sierra Leone’s Constitution already had entrenched clauses like Section 32(3) which clearly show that the crafters of our Nation’s Multi-Party 1991 Constitution like the venerable Peter Tucker, had wanted a democratic country, where political tolerance and respect for opposing views was the norm rather than the extreme.

Alas! If our esteemed politicians cannot even obey the entrenched dictates of the National Constitution which clauses call for respect for the views of multi-party voices, then what hope for them ever obeying the non-legally-binding Agreement signed under the auspices of the United Nations and international actors?

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