May 9, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai
Efforts to debunk allegations that the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is exclusively Mendes of the south-east has gained momentum as Alpha Timbo has vowed to fight ‘tooth and nail’ in order to get more SLPP supporters in the north.
Lawyer Alpha Timbo, who is an aspiring presidential flag bearer candidate of the SLPP, was talking Friday on AYV television’s ‘Wake up Sierra Leone’programme, where he refuted claims that the SLPP is a Mende man party, as evidenced in the fact that someone like him, a northerner, is vying to be leader of the party.
He said both the SLPP and APC have their political party bases and that it was evident that the SLPP has been getting very small quantum of supporters in the north, adding that he has put lots of plans in place in order to ensure that the opposition party gains grounds in the northern region, believed to be stronghold of the ruling party.
“It is indeed true that many of us are aspiring to be presidential flag bearers of the SLPP, but not all of us will have to win the convention. The most critical thing now is to get the party back to power. I want to categorically say that all of the aspiring candidates are competent to take the party back to power,” he noted.
He said the problem of SLPP is different from that of the country, adding that when the party would have elected their standard bearer, the problem would immediately be solved as all flag bearer aspirants would support that one candidate.
He said that in 2007 when Solomon Berewa won the flag bearer in 2007, Charles Margai left and formed his own political party. He recalled also that when Somano Kapen won the chairmanship of the party, others challenged his victory, which he said is not good for a political party.
“All of us should believe in the aspiration of the party which is ‘one country one people’. We should be able to show confidence in ourselves and in our party so as to take it back to power,” he stated.
Giving his views on the current state of governance of the country, Timbo expressed his admiration for the infrastructural development, especially in the area of roads. He however noted that hardship, unemployment, economic crisis and poor educational system were still prevalent in the country.
“Most of the teachers I have spoken to recently have complained that the current minister [of Education]has spent all his strength in addressing the ‘ghost teacher’ issue rather than concentrating on the many problems that education faces,” he said and added that education was declining in Sierra Leone.