February 14, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The Chairman and Leader of the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Chief Somano Kapen, has stated in an exclusive interview with Concord Times that he has forgiven all of those who plotted and booted him out of office, adding that “the spirit of peace shall reign within SLPP forever”.
He said peace within SLPP was paramount and that his re-instatement was timely and appropriate, especially when the party was determined to win the 2018 general elections.
The re-instatement of Chief Kapen as Chairman and Leader of the SLPP came as a result of a peace communiqué signed on Thursday, 9th February, 2017 by all flag bearer aspirants of the party.
The communiqué noted that all stakeholders have agreed to revert to the 2013 executive structures and annul all suspensions and expulsions of members.
It also stated that all court actions be withdrawn with a consent judgment, and that lower level elections, including rules and regulations of May 11, 2016, and the ten man committee instituted by the Political Parties Registration Commission PPRC be reinstated.
“We want access to all SLPP party offices across the country and also to stop negative intervention in the media against party members. We have also agreed for an immediate NEC meeting to be held on Tuesday where NEC will certify these resolutions. We also agreed to have a general peace and reconciliation conference to be held shortly,” said the communiqué.
The document further stated that subsequent district and regional elections be conducted by a special committee, in adherence to rules and regulations of the party.
In line with the above agreement, Chief Kapen said: “SLPP is a family and I am pleased to go back to my office and work in the interest of the party. I have no grudge against anybody. I have forgiven all of those who conspired against me as Chairman and Leader of the SLPP. The office of the Chairman and Leader of the SLPP is very important and that is the reason we have to work together and propagate the values and principles of the party,” he noted, and asserted that theirs was a national party, and that it should be the collective responsibility of all to work together as a family.
“I am currently moving from one meeting to another just for the SLPP to settle down. I must emphasise that peace has finally returned to SLPP and it is now our responsibility to maintain it,” he said.
Chief Kapen was removed from office and replaced by his Deputy Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Harding, by a faction of the National Executive Council, on the pretext that he was no longer working in the interest of the party.
But the new peace deal means that he will now be allowed to continue as Chairman and Leader until after the next delegates’ conference expected to take place in the eastern district town of Kenema.