The Interim Chairman of the All Political Parties Association (APPA) and Leader of the United Democratic Movement ( UDM ), Mr. Mohamed Bangura, has targeted the motives and credibility of the so-called Concerned Sierra Leoneans group in the United States , which staged some failed demonstrations against the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC ) Government in the U.S. three months ago.
In an exclusive interview with COCORIOKO over the weekend, Mr. Bangura accused the self-styled Concerned Sierra Leoneans organization of being only interested in formenting and promoting chaos in Sierra Leone and the group has not demonstrated any commitment to have their concerns discussed and addressed.
Mr. Bangura said that any serious and credible political organization interested in having its concerns resolved would be interested in political dialogue , the only way forward in a democracy , but the so-called Concerned Sierra Leoneans group turned down an invitation from the Sierra Leone All Political Parties Association ( APPA ) for the two organizations to sit down and discuss the concerns of the group.
An official letter of invitation was sent by APPA to the Concerned Sierra Leoneans, asking for a dialogue.
In their response, the so-called Concerned Sierra Leoneans refused to meet with APPA , accusing Sierra Leone’s opposition parties of being ineffective . Mr. Bangura thought that this response was unpatriotic and undermined the credibility of the organization and its manifestations as a serious force committed to any serious dialogue over their concerns. Mr. Bangura concluded that the Concerned Sierra Leoneans are only interested in inciting chaos in Sierra Leone.
The shadowy and clandestine group, which emerged after the former Vice-President Samuel Sam Sumana lost his job, is accused of being the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) in disguise.
Some Sierra Leoneans in the social media accuse the CSL of hijacking the ex-Vice President’s issue for partisan political reasons and to promote the long-established SLPP agenda of creating chaos in Sierra Leone. Though a spokesman , Mr. Francis Mattia, denied the allegations , the composition of the CSL and its intransigence do not help in convincing Sierra Leoneans that the group is not an SLPP surrogate.
It is also being rumored that the Concerned Sierra Leoneans is being financed by SLPP officials hungry for power in Sierra Leone and they have even rented an office for the group in Washington DC.
WE BRING YOU THE CSL’S RESPONSE TO THE APPA BELOW : WE WERE NOT GIVEN THE LETTER OF INVITATION FROM APPA
July 2, 2015
Mr. Mohamed Bangura
Interim Chairman, All Political Parties Association (APPA)
112 Pademba Road, Freetown
Re: Meeting with Concerned Sierra Leoneans—USA
Dear Mohamed Bangura:
On June 1, 2015, Concerned Sierra Leoneans—USA (CSLUSA), received your letter, signed by William A.B. Tucker, interim Secretary-General of the All Political Parties Association of which you are the interim Chairperson. In the letter, you requested “an information sharing and dialogue meeting” with the membership of Concerned Sierra Leoneans—USA.
At a meeting of CSLUSA held yesterday, your request was presented to the membership for deliberation. It was unanimously decided that CSLUSA will not meet with you for the following reasons:
1. The mission of CSLUSA is to ensure that any national government of Sierra Leone preserves and protects the constitution; promotes human rights; is accountable to the people; promotes democracy, and curbs corruption.
2. Your proposed agenda items such as, ‘social media and its impacts’ and ‘activities of Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora’ fall outside the scope of CSLUSA’s mission.
3. As an interim Chairman of the All Political Parties Association and leader of a political party, you do not have the mandate to talk to us about the issues we care about, nor do you have the authority to address the demands we have made of the government of Sierra Leone.
4. As leader of a political party, UDM, and the interim Chairman of the All Political Parties Association (APPA), you and other opposition party leaders bear a huge responsibility in the failure to hold government accountable to the people of Sierra Leone. If you were effective, CSLUSA would not be doing this.
Sheikh Umarr Kamarah
Public Relations Officer/Spokesman, CSLUSA