For the first time in years, all the prominent flag bearer contenders in the SLPP met under one roof at the Party Headquarters on Tuesday 24th May, 2016.
The Stakeholders’ Meeting was, to say the least, propitious. The atmosphere in the hall was serene. The meeting ended in friendly handshakes and some party big guns were seen openly hugging each other. After all, this is what the SLPP is known for.
The significance of Tuesday’s Stakeholders’ Meeting cannot be overemphasized. Even party supporters were seen dancing openly, for the first time, without any bitterness or rancor. It shows how the party’s supporters are genuinely looking forward to a united party.
The good news is that, each and every flag bearer contender in the SLPP is now preaching party unity. At several public functions, Kandeh Yumkella, Alpha Timbo, Maada Bio, John Benjamin, Alie Kabba and others have been praying publicly for peace and unity to return to the great old party. It is only a united SLPP that can easily defeat the APC Party in 2018.
It is with great delight that we saw all the major flag bearer contenders sharing a single platform at the party headquarters on Tuesday. How many people actually dreamt of that scenario a year ago?
Some of us have written several newspaper articles, calling on SLPP flag bearer aspirants to put the interest of the party above their personal interests. At the end of the day, there is going to emerge only one flag bearer for the party. And that person will need to work with everyone to deliver victory for the party.
We welcome news that, the SLPP will be organizing a Family Dialogue on June 17 and 18 here in Freetown. That Family Dialogue is expected to bring all flag bearer aspirants together, once again, to chart a way forward for the party.
It is too early to say that peace has finally returned to the SLPP. It is going to take time for that to happen. All what is happening in the party now is confidence building. That has to be built upon and this momentum must be sustained at all cost.
We call on Chief Somano Kapen to demonstrate leadership, by bringing all the warring factions in the party together. That will be his greatest legacy to the party.
The two leading flag bearer contenders, Brig. (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Kandeh Yumkella should be seen to be talking to each other and even working together. That is what the people of this country expect them to be doing.
A victory for the SLPP is a victory for the people of Sierra Leone. So, everything has to be done by both Brig. Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Kandeh Yumkella to ensure that, the party wins the 2018 polls. History will judge them harshly if they let down the country in 2018 by putting their personal interests above the party’s interests.
The Chinese have an old proverb which says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step’. The first step taken by the SLPP on Tuesday to come together, under one roof, to speak with one voice, is a watershed moment in the history of this great party.