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J.J. Saffa Says ‘Parliament More Partisan Than Nation-Loving’

July 18, 2017 By Jariatu Bangura

jj.safa
J.J.Saffa accuses  Legislature of being partisan

The current Sierra Leone Parliament is operating on a patently partisan basis instead of seeking the interest of the majority on national issues, avers erstwhile Secretary-General of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Jacob Jusu Saffa.

“I will not want to judge Parliament, but I just believe that Parliament as at now is operating more on partisan basis than being a national institution that seeks the interest of Sierra Leoneans. We expect them to be more national-orientated than to be partisan,” charged the university don-cum-politician.

Mr. Saffa and other opposition politicians were in Parliament yesterday to witness lawmakers deliberate on a controversial motion that could potentially scupper efforts to conduct elections in March 2017, thus raising the scepter of a “more time” agenda for the president and lawmakers.

It could be recalled that few months ago, opposition lawmaker, Hon. Sualiho M. Koroma, moved a motion to withdraw from Parliament the Boundary and Ward delimitation bill because, according to him, it was not properly before the House for deliberation.

Yesterday, Committee Room One in Parliament was crowded with members of the media, National Election Watch (NEW), cross-section of politicians from various parties, civil society as they await the Legislative Committee, headed by Hon. Ajibola Manly-Spaine, to discuss the Statutory Instrument on Boundary and Ward delimitation.

However, SLPP Minority Whip, Hon. Mohamed Sidie Tunis and All People’s Congress Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Hassan Sheriff, demanded that those who had gone to witness the deliberation leave the room, save officials from the National Electoral Commission and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.

This bizarre situation prompted the firebrand former SLPP scribe, Jacob Jusu Saffa, to suggest that the closed-door meeting might be part of a plan to effectuate a six months extension plan.

“These are all part of the plans for the six months extension or whatever you call it, I suspect. But we will wait. One thing I could tell them is that Sierra Leoneans are not going to accept any date other than March 7, 2018 for the elections,” he said.

Mr. Saffa asserted that there were secret meetings around the Well of Parliament by APC stalwarts prior to the demand by Hon. Sheriff and Hon. Tunis to ask members of the public out, including journalists.

Hon. Tunis and Suahilo Koroma are incidentally opposition lawmakers, and their party is averse to any perceived or actual plan to extend the constitutional mandate of the current government and parliament.

Saffa warned that, “SLPP MPs were well-informed on the way forward of the [Boundary and Delimitation of Ward] documents and if they failed to abide by the party rules, necessary actions will be taken by the party’s Electoral Commission.”

According to the former SLPP scribe, the boundary delimitation should not be a basis for extending the mandate of either the president or lawmakers.

However, on his part, Director of Legislative Committee in Parliament, Cyril King, said it was within the discretion of the bi-party House to either sit in camera or in an open session.

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