From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Mohamed Bangura Blasts SLPP & John Benjamin in Press Statement by People's Union Movement
Nov 4, 2010, 17:16

SLPP Leader John Ben: APC & PUP are unhappy with SLPP

Wednesday November 3rd 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for honouring our invitation in so short a notice. The reason why you are called here today is for us to brief you on the following topics:

* The transformation of the People's Union Movement into a political party to contest the 2012 elections: after we would have registered with Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC).

* Allegations made by the Chairman of the Sierra Leone's People's Party (SLPP), Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin, that Mr. Mohamed Bangura received monies from President Koroma to form a new political party.

* The issue of tribalism and national development.

* Other burning political issues.

Members of the Fourth Estate of this Republic, in the past few months members of the People's Union Movement have been criss-crossing all over the country observing the political climate of Sierra Leone. From our findings, we realised that the country is in dire need of a political party that will not be centred around individuals, but a party that should be people-centred. We found out that what Sierra Leone needs now is a political party that will lay more emphasis on the issue of youth unemployment and more women participation in every facet of society.


During the national consultations by members of the People's Union Movement, that will soon be transformed into a political party, we found out that the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) has been attempting to blackmail this yet to be formed political party.


Ladies and Gentlemen, some of you may recall the SLPP's press briefing held last Thursday at their headquarters in Freetown. Their Chairman made some wild allegations amongst them he alleged that Mr. Mohamed Bangura, one of the founding members, has been receiving monies from President Ernest Bai Koroma for the formation  a political party called the People Union Party (PUP), he also said the President should account for the monies allegedly given to Mr. Bangura. We want to make it categorically clear here that President Koroma has never given Mr. Bangura any money to form a political party neither has any member of the People's Union Movement met with any executive members of the APC or discussions on forming a new party.

We want the general public to know that such allegation is just the figment of Mr. John Benjamin's imagination, as he is now known to make unsubstantiated statements for political purpose. We cannot understand the jitteriness of the SLPP towards our yet to be formed political party whose founding members are mostly from the south and eastern parts of Sierra Leone. This nervousness of the SLPP towards the formation of a political party with a south-eastern root has led them to blackmailing tactics. And that shows that they are not yet ready to learn from their past mistakes. They did that with the PMDC when it was in its formative stages only for them to realise that they needed the PMDC during the 2007 run-off.

We want to make something clear here. The People's Union Movement \\hen transformed into a political party will not be lighting the SLPP or APC but to compete in the 2012 elections. So we are therefore calling for mutual respect and political tolerance.

On the issue of tribalism, it is the position of the People's Union Movement that we are disturbed at the rate at which some politicians are glorifying the existence of tribalism in the country. What we are emphasising here is that we have not seen any marginalisation of any region in terms of developmental projects. All developmental projects currently undertaken nationwide are devoid of tribalism or regionalism.


We are asking the International Community to support the Inquest into the deaths of Bambay Kamara and others, so that the issue of impunity will no longer have a place in the history of this country. But we as a movement want to make it clear that the inquest should not be used as a political- tool to attack perceived opponents.


On the issue of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the People's Union Movement wants it known that it supports the work of the Commission which has been trying to make the 2012 elections credible, free and fair. We believe that the NEC has the capability to conduct the 2012 elections transparently.

As a movement that will soon transform itself into political party to contest the 2012 elections, we want to assure the International and Donor Communities that alter criss-crossing the country, we found out that the country is very peaceful. We also want to ask those political leaders who have made it a habit of threatening chaos and bloodshed to stop forthwith, as we believe the 2012 elections would be peaceful. Therefore, we are calling on all political parties and stakeholders to work towards peaceful, free and fair elections.

In closing, we want to restate that a group of young people from different tribes and religions in Sierra Leone have come together to reshape the destiny of this country. We also want to restate that all the allegations made by the SLPP chairman John Benjamin against the yet to be formed party and Mr. Bangura are not only frivolous but show that the old type of politics practised by the so-called traditional politicians is still in play. That is why we, as young Sierra Leoneans. have stepped into the political landscape to reshape the mentality and the way in which politics is being played. In this regard, we are appealing to all registered political parties to embrace this movement as part of the political family. Furthermore, the People's Union Movement will soon be transformed into a political party to contest the 2012 elections: after we would have registered with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC). I thank you all for coming.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.