Kapen Boycotts SLPP Convention - Sierraloaded News

Monday, 18 September 2017

Kapen Boycotts SLPP Convention



The outgoing National Chairman and Leader of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Chief Sumanoh Kapen has boycotted the two-day national officers’ convention held in the Holy Trinity hall in Kenema City from the 15th to 16th September.

Chief Kapen was part of the planning process of the convention.

The outgoing Chairman and Leader arrived in hall of the Convention around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, and according to the agenda of the conference, the opening session should state at 2:45 p.m., but the standard bearer aspirant of SLPP, Julius Maada Bio arrived in the hall after 3:00 p.m. Shortly after his arrival the programme was called to order, but the Chairman and Leader was nowhere to be found in the hall.

After waiting for the Chairman and Leader for over an hour, the programme started at 5:00 p.m. after party stalwarts move a motion for the Deputy Chairman and Leader Dr Prince Harding to act as chairman of the convention in the absence of Chief Kapen.

Chief Kapen told Premier News that, he decided not to attend the conference because “the commencement of the programme was delayed until Rtd. Brig. Bio was expected to be in the hall. The entire programme and starting time was changed without my knowledge,” he said.

He added that, Rtd. Brig. Maada Bio took five personal bodyguards into the hall which was against the agreed commitments by all members not to take their personal bodyguards into the hall. He explained that Fatima Bio, the wife of Julius Maada Bio, was allowed to take a sit at the high table which was reserved for national officers and flagbearer aspirants of the party. It is apparent that, Chief Kapen left the hall after he felt mistreated.

According to political observers, Chairman Kapen, whose chairmanship in the last few years has been brought into disrepute by some members of the national executive of the party, manifested his disgust at the manner with which those supporting Maada Bio are controlling the party.

Responding to Kapen’s comments, the Publicity Secretary of SLPP, Lahai Lawrence Leema said the relevant provision of the party’s constitution has dealt with the issue. “The Deputy Chairman is acting on his behalf. The Chairman cannot be in every meeting,” he said He said the reasons advanced by the outgoing Chairman and Leader are not of substance.

“Let him show us the document where we agreed that flagbearer aspirants should not come with their personal bodyguards,” he said.

The convention was eventually chaired by the Deputy Chairman and Leader, Dr Prince Harding.

The build up to the convention was like a festival in Kenema Town with supporters chanting party slogans and that of the former flagbearer Rtd Brig. Julius Maada Bio.

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