The 2012 flagbearer of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio has in a recent interview said that the party will only be ready to unite when they would have conducted free and fair flagbearer elections.
Bio said a “lot of people frowned on this but I always say that with my little knowledge since I entered the party, until and unless we have the flag bearer elections behind us, we will have people supporting all the candidates.”
He further explained that “Everybody in this party is divided among the eleven or twelve candidates and everybody wants their candidate to win and sometimes the process can be a little heated up.”
Bio added “and with the advent of social media, that has just made it possible for people in Kailahun and another in California to argue and trade accusations, even using invectives.”
The 2018 flag bearer aspirant cited United States where primaries are presently held, “there has been a divide among Republicans and Democrats. But we have to inculcate the culture of peace and know that it does not mean when you are supporting this person, you have to hate the other one or you have to be violent against the other. You have the right to contest, you have the right to your opinion but that does not take away the right of other people.”
He said “in my opinion we need a free and fair election as soon as possible and when we have one leader that is a product of a clean election within the party then everybody is supposed to rally around that leader and all of these divisions within the party will cease.”
Questioned if the SLPP is ready to take over State House in 2018, Maada Bio said, “I wish you had asked that to the APC in 2006 when they were fighting every where in courts but they still succeeded. I believe that as soon we get over our flag bearer situation we will have a united party that will be able to provide a viable alternative to the current government.”