COCORIOKO has confirmed the story the Publisher of Awareness Times , Dr. Sylvia Blyden, broke at Facebook this evening that the former military strongman, Tom Nyuma, has quit the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP ) and declared for the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) . Col. Nyuma’s defection is a huge blow to the SLPP and the party’s hope of sweeping its stronghold , Kailahun, has just been jettisoned because Nyuma commands tremendous clout in the district, a fact that no serious SLPP member will dispute.
The defection will also send a strong message that with Maada Bio as its presidential flagbearer, the centre of the SLPP will never hold , whatever the violence they plan to unleash , given the fact that if anybody should defect while Maada Bio is the Presidential candidate of the SLPP, it should not have been Tom Nyuma, considering the strong bond that once existed between Nyuma and Bio as both were among the soldiers who staged the 1992 military coup and served in the junta that later handed over power to the SLPP in 1996 after rigged Presidential Elections. This is a clear demonstration of Maada Bio’s inability to attract people to himself and the SLPP. Bio repels people, a fact that the SLPP will continue denying to their doom in the November elections. If Bio can lose Nyuma at this crucial period when he is vying for the presidency, it is clear that he is not being taken seriously and also he does not enjoy goodwill within his own party.
The Nyuma defection may be the vital breakthrough the APC needs to upend the SLPP in their stronghold. With Nyuma on their side, the APC can now make an effective case to the people of Kailahun that the SLPP does not have any appeal, given their lack of development objectives and the best place to be is the APC.
The sources who confirmed the story to us told us that the Tom Nyuma defection was indeed a very big shock to the SLPP. It has sent ripples within the party. The Chairman of the SLPP , Mr. John Benjamin, is stunned but is trying to soften the blow by assuring concerned partisans that the SLPP is able to surmount such obstacles.
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