DECEMBER 11, 2014 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Erstwhile Member of Parliament and current Regional Chairman East of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has disclosed that frantic efforts are underway to mediate between the regional and national factions at loggerheads in the party.
Hon. Phillip Tetema Tondoneh said a good number of party officials, notably National Publicity Secretary Musa Tamba Sam, and Hon. Edward A. Soloku have been very instrumental in urging lasting peace within the party.
He said he was gratified by responses from various factions who have been jostling for preeminence in the Kenema district executive, but who have now realized that internal conflict with the opposition party would not only weaken constructive engagement with the governing party, but will also minimize their chances of ousting the ruling All People’s Congress in the next general elections.
It could be recalled that an intractable conflict ensued within the SLPP after the national delegates’ conference in Bo, which saw the emergence of the current national executive led by Chief Somano Kapen, as the party was confronted by petitions against the legibility of the latter.
“This has been the situation especially in the Kenema district. Only recently a petition was submitted to the national office requesting the removal of executives in five constituencies in the Kenema district. The national executive then considered it necessary to use this petition as an entry point to finally resolve our party crisis,” Hon. Tondoneh said.
“In the process we held series of meetings with individuals, including those supporting Alphonso Komeh, Foday Sannoh, Yatta Sama, and Mayor Joseph Keifala, among others. A whole lot of efforts have also been made at national and international levels, and I am confident to say that the problems of SLPP are now over and peace has finally returned to our beloved party.”
Meanwhile, just last week, former chairman and leader, John Benjamin, erstwhile flag-bearer candidate Andrew Kemoh Keili and losing presidential candidate, retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio met in London in what supporters have said could pave the way for unity within the party.