I QUIT !
Today, I am joining those who have resigned before me, many who are resigning and many more who will resign from the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) for its undemocratic, paternalistic, and corrupt attributes. Without any reservation or regret I hereby tender my resignation from the SLPP following over 15 years of pro active membership.
COLUMBA BLANGO AND PRINCE CHARLES
I joined the SLPP in 1991 not because my parents were SLPP or because of where am geographically affiliated with in Sierra Leone, but with a strong conviction that after three decades of the All People’s Congress (APC) misrule, misgovernment and the subsequent damage to Sierra Leone, the SLPP would be robust in turning the country round, genuinely provide and care for all those ordinary people who work so extraordinarily hard for their living. I believed then that SLPP would really make a vast difference politically and would make a positive impact on peoples’ lives. It is now very obvious and apparent that this is not the case since we continue to experience, under the SLPP, all those evil and unacceptable elements many Sierra Leoneans detested and selflessly fought against the APC for.
I joined the SLPP in the UK at a time when the party was struggling to rebuild itself after many years in oblivion. Since 1991, I served the SLPP UK branch in different and varied capacities on the executive and as an ordinary member. I believe I was always committed, genuine and diligent in performing my duties to the party and I am very proud of the fact that I offered my services not for what I could have personally benefited from the party but because I passionately believe that as a politician, my main objective is to make a difference in other people’s lives, and being a member of a political party in government, I believe my priority was to support my party to achieve that and that was exactly what I did throughout as a member.
Many who know and have worked with me would agree that I am a conviction politician and that I am not a political traveler as many others are. I believe that in politics, one should have a set of political beliefs, convictions, expectations and values as benchmarks. I have to say that several months back many Sierra Leoneans believed in the SLPP, convinced that the party would live to the expectations of the ordinary people and that as a political party keep, protect and practice its traditional values and principles. This however does not seem to be the case any more. What many of us see today is an SLPP that has lost direction, a party that has dumped all its values for self indulgence and gratification, a party that is heavily contaminated at the very top by people who only act in their own self interest, people who have never had anything to offer and still have nothing to offer to the nation, people who could never be role models of any positive sort for an average Sierra Leonean hence they cannot inspire or motivate the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans, especially the youth and women who have always had a raw deal by successive governments who have always used them as political tools for empty promises and lip services.
This is not to say that every one in the SLPP and the SLPP leadership is not genuine, committed or hard working. There are still many decent and hard working people in the party and within the establishment for whom I have the greatest and utmost respect. A good number of them are either my good friends or relatives who, in all fairness to them, mean well for Sierra Leone; good luck to them. Having said that, I believe such people stand a chance to be effective and to exhibit their good will, skills and knowledge in the interest of the country only in a different political environment, climate and under a different political system.
The problem as I see it is that the SLPP as a political party has always given a deaf ear to what they do not want to hear and have always had the telescope to the blind eye not to see anything wrong. But what is in fact terribly wrong is the whole system which is embroiled in endemic corruption and injustice; injustice in the face of incompetence, complacency and intolerance. What is worst is that the government is just incapable of dealing with the situation simply so because they themselves are part of the problem. The APC and SLPP politicians have for a long period of time created, managed and presided over a rotten system which they are now incapable of changing. What this means is that neither the SLPP nor the APC can make or bring about any significant or sustainable changes to Sierra Leone that will positively impact on the lives of the majority of Sierra Leoneans.
The APC created a Frankenstein Monster in the form of the system, the SLPP leaders have been feeding and sustaining it with the help of the very APC people that created it and now they have all lost the plot; the monster is out of control and all the SLPP could do or continue to do is to keep the monster [system] sweet and alive otherwise it will destroy them. This again is to say that SLPP does not only lack the capacity and ability for change, but also lacks the political will and guts to effect any positive change. The SLPP and APC politicians have found themselves in a political quagmire with the nation in the middle of it all. The only solution, in my opinion, is to overhaul the system. ?The system is dread, we got to change it’.
Many of my colleagues and friends within the SLPP have tried at length to convenience me to stay and fight from within. My response to them has always been that that is what I have been doing within the party for the past 15 years – fighting, fighting and fighting. Those within the SLPP very well know that I am a fighter but why should one continue to fight within an establishment wherein no one listens, wherein people see and start to treat you as an enemy within and wherein even those you fight along side with are ever prepared to betray you and the course for their own selfish ends, wherein basic democratic principles have no place? I however had a choice – the choice of staying in the party, lay low, play the game and wait for a lucrative reward. Yes, I had this choice and I am confident if I played the game well, on their terms as many others have done, I would have made it.No, that is not my style of politics. Being a sycophant and opportunist is not my game; I rather say it as it is purely on matter of principle, based on what I believe in and what I consider my overarching political values.
I find myself unable to support a political party that does not respect, recognise and guarantee the will and liberty of its citizens, I find it hard to support or be part of a political party or system that have demonstrated the propensity of tampering with the country’s national constitution at will to suit them. I refuse to subscribe to a political party that has the judiciary in its pocket in a country where justice is dispensed not on the merits of the argument but on influence, and I also totally refuse to accept the most grotesque behaviour of the Vice President (now flag bearer of the party) and the Minister of Finance (now special adviser to the president) arguing on national media about who is more corrupt than the other. I do not believe they set a good example to the nation and I can not be proud to be part of an establishment that is not only indifferent to such an attitude but also guilty of inaction.
I am resigning from the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) on principle and for what I stand for in life. I do not dislike anyone in the SLPP for what they are or what they practice. People have the right to be where they want to be as long as it suits them but I find myself at variant with the party in regard to its policies, principles, values and practices. In such a case, I believe that the most decent thing for me to do is to resign from the party, hence my letter of resignation.
Dr. Columba Blango.
Tel: 020 7737 6436 (Home)
Mobile/Cell: 07984 412 812