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“I am open to dialogue”

…Maada Bio declares

January 11, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi

The main flag bearer aspirant for the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has assured his supporters that he was open to dialoguing with rival flag Bearer aspirants who have formed an alliance to lead the party in the 2018 presidential elections.

Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio, who was speaking at the SLPP headquarters on Wallace-Johnson Street in Freetown yesterday, said that he often and again advise his supporters to maintain the peace so that the party would maintain its past glory of unity and peace among members, especially as they have the potential of wining the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Bio told hundreds of his supporters that it had been difficult to bring the entire alliance together for official discussion because the group lacks a lead who can advocate on its behalf, adding that the SLPP was bigger than all of them and that it was time they came together and speak with one voice for the betterment of the people of Sierra Leone.

“I have always said that the SLPP is a blessing to this nation because it brought the country to independence, as well as fought for the peace we are now enjoying. It is our responsibility to again remove the continuous hardship from our people under this austerity measures by the All Peoples Congress (APC) administration and introduce a stable economic growth and development of the country,” he said.

“I have promised that I will take this country out of the current predicament, but to achieve that we need to come together. All of us here know that I have got the popularity and people are ready to vote for me at any time. A lot of people are misunderstanding what is happening within the SLPP at the moment but I want them to know that it is a decision of a few members who do not want to see us moving on as a political party,” he told his supporters.

He continued: “The rule of law is what they do not want to abide by. I want you to understand your role as grassroots members of the SLPP. I am sure that if the United Nations should conduct elections today, I will win because I have people who believe in my leadership and have the confidence that I have the capacity to transform Sierra Leone for the better.”

He cautioned his supporters to behave themselves properly in the interest of peace and stability within the SLPP, which has been bedeviled by internecine conflict since it lost power in 2007.

“The implication of your behaviour towards one another could have negative or positive effect on me. That is the reason I always advise you as my supporters to behave positively so that our people will continue to have confidence in us. I am sure we will win the general elections. I want to clearly state here that we have only one NEC and another meeting outside the party office is fake, fraudulent, destructive and not in the interest of the party,” he concluded.