By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Presidential Candidate for the National Unity and Reconciliation Party (NURP), Dr. Jonathan Sandy, has promised to run an inclusive system of government, if elected president come March 7th, 2018.
“We will ensure that the citizens of this country benefit from the resources. We will form an inclusive government which will truly represent our people’s interest. We will be servants and not masters,” he noted.
Dr. Jonathan Sandy made the above promise on Tuesday, 16th January, 2017, during the party’s first convention organised at the Worldwide Hall, Wellington in Freetown.
He called for an urgent need to adopt a new constitution that will guarantee the political, social and economic rights of students, youth and women.
He told his party supporters and delegates that they will continue to advocate until the laws are placed in the country’s national constitution, adding that the right to health, education and economic rights have not been fully respected since independence to date.
“Successive governments have not done much to provide better housing facilities for its citizens. We started as a youth, student, women and grassroots movement but have now transformed into a political party called NURP,” he said.
He said they are ready to battle for the redemption of the state in this year’s elections.
The former UN diplomat said the country’s constitution is under threat, citing the sacking of former Vice President Chief Sam Sumana, which precedent, he noted should not repeat itself again.
He said NURP wants to work towards economic empowerment of youth, students and women, adding that inclusive governance would be the only way to ensure and enhance economic security of the country.
He observed that there is no even distribution of the country’s natural resources and that people deserve affordable education, housing and the right to shelter and jobs.
The NURP Presidential Candidate said 60-70% of youth are unemployed, citing that graduates are idly roaming the streets of Freetown and other parts of the country.
He called for the need to set the stage in building partnership between government, youth and vulnerable women.
“We are the only party that speaks for the political rights of youth and our party’s symbol is black which symbolises African solidarity. As Africans, the gold on our party symbol represents the country’s natural resources, while the white represents reconciliation,” he said.
He disclosed that their party’s motto is ‘every Sierra Leonean matters’ and that’s why the focus of the party in inclusive governance.
Deputy Chairman of the NURP, Mohamed .O. Conteh, said the party started initially as a civil society movement that cut across regional lines, noting that they have tremendously impacted the lives of people in the country.
Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) representative, Elizabeth Y. Kamara, said as a commission charged with the responsibility to regulate political parties, they were pleased with the outcome of the party’s convention, adding that they have already got 17 political parties including NURP.
She encouraged and appealed to the leadership of NURP to respect democratic values, principles and peace, while also urging them to be accountable to the people of Sierra Leone.
The NURP Party gained political party status on 20th December, 2017, just days after the Coalition for Change (C4C) was certified by PPRC.