…But JOB, Bernadette Lahai, others were in attendance
September 18, 2017 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), has concluded its national delegates’ conference in the eastern district town of Kenema with the chairman and leader conspicuously absent, even though he was supposed to make a statement.
Report has it that Chief Somanoh Kapen initially showed up but horridly left the Holy Trinity conference centre where the conference was organized.
Although he had earlier told Concord Times on phone that his wife had an attack and was at the 34 Military Hospital, but Chief Kapen later noted that: “I will not comment on any issue. People have right to speculate and let them go.”
However, SLPP outgone Secretary General, Ambassador Alieu Badara Kamara, noted that it was unfortunate that the chairman left and could not attend the opening ceremony of the delegates’ conference, which he said; many members believed would foster peace and unity within the party.
“It was because of his absence that we delayed the opening ceremony of the conference. As a political party, we believe in our leadership and that was the reason we hold on for more than an hour before the conference could commence on Friday. Chief Kapen was neither intimidated nor molested by anybody,” he said.
A good number of SLPP flagbrearer aspirants including, John Oponjo Benjamin, Dr. Alie Kabbah, Ambassador Bon Wurie , Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bo and the Minority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Bernadette Lahai, attended the conference.
For John Benjamin, he stated that he was not happy with the process especially when certain individuals were asked to step-down from contesting for certain positions.
He lamented that it was the first time in the history of the party that a conference was held without the chairman.
But Dr. Alie Kabbah commended the organizers of the conference, adding that a positive outcome of it would pave way for the party winning the 2018 multitier elections.
The atmosphere within and outside the conference hall was very lively as strong security apparatus was put in place to prevent any illegal interference.
SLPP members from all over the country danced and praised the leadership of the party for putting the conference together.
Issues around party finances, gender equality, unity, transparency and accountability were very prominent in the secretary general’s report, but more importantly, it was debated that the SLPP flagbrearer election be held in Kenema.