February 24, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
One of the founding members of the group of flag bearer aspirants for the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), has said that one of the reasons behind the formation of the alliance was to foster peace within the party, and that his resignation was not as a result of any weakness but to show to SLPP members that the party has got an everlasting peace.
John Oponjo Benjamin made the statement during a press conference yesterday at the SLPP headquarters in Freetown, that the party has started a new political journey ahead of the 2018 presidential, parliamentary and local council elections,and that every effort should be made by every member of the party to ensure victory.
He added that the peace process was unshakable and that they were ready to support whosoever emerges as flag bearer of the SLPP, adding that the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) party members were very pleased with the conflict that created a serious political divide within the SLPP for the past two years.
“I decided to come to the party headquarters to make my first press conference after our peace process. I want to thank the press for contributing towards the peace SLPP is now enjoying. After considering the recent activities within the party; we agreed to now work together as a unified force. I want every Sierra Leonean to know that I was not kicked out of the alliance but rather voluntarily resigned because I believed in the peace process of the SLPP,” he said.
“This is a clear manifestation that what happened with the APC some years ago that brought everlasting peace to them has finally happened to the SLPP. I want to assure you that nobody will drag us back anymore. My brother,Maada Bio, visited me some few days ago and we spoke so well. We will continue with this trend for the SLPP to again come into governance and liberate Sierra Leoneans from the political and economic bondage of the APC,” he said
Benjamin further explained that he was the last to have signed the peace communiqué simply because he was not around when other party stakeholders consented to the document.
“I am appealing to the National Electoral Commission NEC not to allow the president to violate theConstitution of this country. He has beendoing it over the past years. He sacked Dr. J D Rogers as Bank Governor, Munda Rogers as Director of Sierra Leone Roads Authority, the Vice President, Samuel Sam Sumana without any question,” he said,adding that the president was wrong to have shifted the date for the presidential election for 2018.