From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Sierra Leone Politics: SLPP Okere Adams Resigns… then Applies to APC
By Bryan Randall
Jul 17, 2014, 17:18

One of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party’s Long Standing opposition SLPP Elders and Champion, astute politician, an assertive and influential national character in the person of Mr. Okere Adams (one of late President Tejan Kabbah’s longest serving ministers) has resigned from the SLPP. He was one of only 12 persons who financially resuscitated the SLPP in 1991 when multi-party democracy was returned to the country under the APC of President Momoh. Adams has gone further to apply to the ruling APC for membership. The decision was following a series of abusive verbal attack on Adams and the memory of his late mother by SLPP members loyal to defeated presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio. It climaxed over the weekend past when one Mr. Jangray accosted Adams with insults along Lumley Beach in full view of the public. Jangray is said to have abused the memory of Adams’ late mother most grievously. First thing on the following Monday morning of 14th July 2014, Mr. Okere Adams tendered his resignation from the SLPP to SLPP Secretary General Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie. He then moved over to the APC headquarters and applied to APC Secretary General Osman Foday Yansaneh for acceptance into APC.


Okere Adams (Oh-Soko as he is fondly called) became famous in politics due to his dogged resistance to the APC in Magburaka in Northern Sierra Leone. As owner of the famous Adams Hotel, he used his facilities as a major host for the SLPP during campaigns and conventions.


In his letter of resignation dated 14th July 2014, addressed to the Secretary General of the SLPP, Sulaiman Banja Tejan-sie, Okere mentioned his telephone conversation with the SLPP Scribe on the previous day stating his reasons for resigning from the party noting clearly that he had “helped in reviving the SLPP when it was Moribund”.


Reacting to this new development, the Secretary General of the All Peoples Congress Alhaji Osman Foday Yansanneh to whom both letters were addressed, expressed delight at Okere’s request acknowledging the experience he has gained in governance and politics over the years and said that Okere has made a smart choice by selecting the best alternative which is always the APC.


Amb. Yansanneh was quick to note that Mr. Okere Adams will be put through due process in terms of meeting the APC membership requirement and decision from the National Advisory Committee (NAC). He disputed speculations that Okere was another ‘big fish’ seeking greener pastures. The APC Scribe made it clear that for someone above seventy years that has played so many important roles in the politics and governance of this nation, it is rather belittling to imagine that he is seeking for greener pastures at this age noting that Okere Adams complained bitterly about extensive disrespect for his person. Yansanneh reminded that everyone has freedom of association but said he has advised Mr. Adams to send copies of his resignation to the PPRC and NEC for acknowledgement.


Meanwhile, yesterday 16th July, a large section of SLPP members who requested anonymity for fear of being misunderstood, told this press at an entertainment spot that they find Okere’s resignation shocking and is a bad omen for the SLPP.

“Okere belonged to the class of SLPP who no one would ever think can resign because of all the effort he has put in the party, the faith his northern colleagues entrusted in him and more-so, he did not leave when there was mass exodus after the 2011 convention; so for him to leave our party at this time is very unfortunate when we need level-headed elders like Okere to secure for us a peaceful resolution of our differences; and now he is gone! When I heard it sent shivers down my spine”, an SLPP constituency chairman said adding, “He was someone who held northern support together as an elder and was not among those who sought favour from flagbearers. He was independent but with a wealth of experience in campaign strategy and governance. We are afraid this might lead to more exoduses from the party. How can we win 2018 like this? It is highly unlikely”.

These were some of the reactions to the resignation of Pa Adams by his former junior SLPP stalwarts.

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