Published on February 9, 2011 by Cocorioko News · No Comments
The Palm Tree is tottering and it is not even March 5, 2011 yet , when there is expected to be a deluge of resignations in protest against the John Benjamin-manipulated Delegates Conference. Yesterday , Foreign Minister, Hon. Joseph Bandabla Dauda ( The kind of experienced and productive politician any party would love to have ) abandoned the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ). Another distinguished personality who crossed over was Capt. Benjamin Davies , Boss of Sierra Leone’s Ports Authority. But it was not only the two esteemed public officials who jumped ship. Yesterday was a day of defections as more disaffected SLPP members joined the ruling All People’s Congress ( APC).
A notable defectee yesterday was the daughter of the late Chief Hinga Norman, the former Coordinator of Sierra Leone’s Civil Defence Force ( CDF ) who not only helped to defeat the Revolutionary United Front ( RUF) and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Forces ( AFRC) rebels during the civil war but contributed in no small way to restore the SLPP Government in 1998 after it was overthrown by the AFRC in 1997. In a very emotional ceremony at the APC Headquarters in Freetown, Ms. Juliet Norman said she had joined the APC because the SLPP failed not only her late father but the whole nation. She was received with open hands by the Secretary General of the APC, Mr. Victor Foh, party stalwarts , ministers of the government and well-wishers of the APC.
Also jumping ship yesterday were grassroots politicians , Mr. Allieu Badara Mansaray who was former Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council, and Mr. Issa Lansana Sannoh, famously Chairman of the Motor Drivers Union. They said they had left the SLPP because they saw nothing progressive in the party’s plans for Sierra Leone, unlike the APC, which is committed to the socio-economic and political development of the country.
The one-time Headman of the Tombo Fishing Village ,Mr. Foday Kamara, also quit the SLPP yesterday to join the APC. Others who also joined them were Messrs Milton Ojumari and the powerful President of the Sierra Leone Ports Association, Mr. Abdul Nasiru. A member of the People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC ), Mr. Solomon Kargbo also joined the APC yesterday .
Many SLPP supporters reached by COCORIOKO last night confessed that they were devastated by the defections from their party, which shows that all is not well in Torkpoiland. They said that the SLPP is facing fundamental problems but because their egoes were bigger than the party’s interest , Chairman John Benjamin, Secretary General Jusu Saffa, Old Man Sama Banya and other top party officials were refusing to acknowledge the problems and were going around giving false hopes to supporters that all was well and that they will win the 2012 elections. The supporters did not hide the fact from COCORIOKO that the SLPP was so divided that only God knows what will happen after the March 5 Convention.