John Oponjo Benjamin, former Chairman and Leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has called on the executive members of his party to replicate the leadership of the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC).
Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin made this statement during an interview with Awareness Times Newspaper yesterday Tuesday 6th June, 2017, whilst reacting to the 72 hrs ultimatum given by an expelled member of the SLPP named Victor Sheriff.
Meanwhile, it could be recalled that the Court of Appeal in Sierra Leone on Monday 5th June, 2017, ruled in favour of plaintiffs, Alusine Bangura, Alex Kargbo and Victor Sheriff, who requested the SLPP National Executives to re-run elections in 39 constituencies countrywide.
Against this backdrop, the National Secretary General of SLPP Ambassador Alie Badara Kamara in letters dated 2nd June, 2017, wrote that the SLPP National Executive Council (NEC) Resolution of 25th March, 2017, in section seven (7) specifically requested the three plaintiffs to withdraw the matter from Court of Appeal by March 29th, 2017. Therefore, he annulled the membership and expelled Alusine Bangura, Victor Rogers and Alex Kargbo from the party for what Amb. Badara refers to as “another violation of Clause 2(5) of the SLPP Constitution, 1995(as amended).
In his side, Victor Sheriff, who also spoke to the Awareness Times Newspaper yesterday evening during a telephone interview, gave the SLPP executives 72 hrs to reinstate his membership or else he would institute another legal action against the party. He referred to his expulsion from the SLPP as illegitimate and unconstitutional. He said, a Court Order has stated that all resolutions passed by the party from period spanning over December 17th, 2016, to present, are declared as null and void. Therefore, he said as per the court order, the SLPP NEC Resolution of 25th March, 2017, is equally null and void.
Meanwhile, whilst also contacted yesterday evening by Awareness Times Newspaper on his knowledge of the expulsion of the three members of his party, the current Chairman and Leader of the SLPP, Chief Bai Sheborah Somano Kapen II expressed total shock and surprise over the news. Chief Kapen stated: “I have not been in the office for the past two weeks and I haven’t received a copy of the letter and I can’t comment as I don’t know the content of the letter.”
In a whole, whilst commenting on the entire saga of expulsion and annulment of the members in the SLPP, Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin said: “Ernest Bai Koroma, whilst he was opposition prior to 2007 elections never expelled those that were against him.” He said, the APC (then opposition but now ruling party) knew that number was very vital to win the 2007 elections so Ernest Koroma made peace with his party supporters instead of expelling them. Therefore, that saw the current President made amends with his party opponents like Edward Turay and Serry Kamal and that earned the APC a convincing victory in 2007.
Therefore, John Benjamin urged SLPP Executives to make amends with its three party members instead or expelling them, thus replicating the APC, as he said “number is very vital at this critical moment of the party.”
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.