July 18, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
One of the standard bearer aspirants of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Andrew K. Kailie, has spoken out on the urgent need for improved relationship between the national executive and those intending to the lead the party.
For several months now there has been no love lust between rival factions of the SLPP characterised public fisticuffs, verbal exchange of invectives, and court cases. As a result, the outcome of the lower lever elections, a forerunner to the national convention, was contested by some faction, alleging irregularities.
Also, some senior officials and party stalwarts have accused members of the national executive of supporting a certain candidate against the rest – a development which brought about two factions within the party. The All Aspirants Alliance (AAA) is one such faction, formed to fight for constitutionality and the rule of law, according to its members.
Mr. Kailie is a key disciple of the Alliance. Other members included Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Alpha Timbo, Munda Rogers, et al.
However, the AAA has been fighting for its political survival in the past one month, with Dr. Yumkella, a senior member of the alliance, suspending his bid to contest the standard bearer race in the SLPP, while another member, the least-known Franklin Rogers, has defected to the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).
Yesterday, Andrew Keili said on Radio Democracy FM 98.1 ‘Good Morning Salone’ programme that interpersonal relationship between various factions of the opposition party has not been a good one, albeit there were signs of improvement.
“But I must say we are seeing slight improvement because after the cases in court people are getting a little reasonable. You cannot run a party by being so partisan or by beholding to individuals,” said the engineer-cum-politician.
Keili urged the National Executive to do more to improve on the party’s internal relationship, stressing that a party should not be about individuals, but rather keep to its ethos in trying to come to governance to run the country.
With regards defection, the SLPP strongman said: “It is normal as it is the case with every government in power.”
Mr. Keilie, was came a respectable third in the standard bearer race in 2011, told listeners that he decided to contest again because of the strong belief that he would make a difference and that he is competent for the job and care passionately about Sierra Leone.
“I will support whosoever will be chosen legitimately because I care for the ideals of the party,” pledged the regular newspaper columnist.