By Alusine Sesay
Administrative Director of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) yesterday said the party will today open a book of condolence for the late former President, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, at their headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown.
As part of activities to honour their late leader, Alhaji Brima Koroma told Concord Times in an exclusive interview that the membership of the oldest political party in the country would on Friday converge at the National Stadium to offer prayers for the late president.
Alhaji Koroma said that at an executive meeting held at the party’s headquarters on Monday, it was decided among other resolutions, to conduct daily recitation of the Holy Quran, commencing today at the party’s headquarters in Freetown.
Asked as to how much money the party has budgeted for the funeral, he said: “We own the burial and we need not disclose our budget. Whatever we budget would not be enough but we are going to undertake a huge expenditure to convey members from all across the country.”
Being a statesman, he said the funeral of late President Kabbah would involve the state, family and the party and that they are going to play an active role in all the inclusive ceremonies to honour the late president.
On his tenure as president, spanning 11 years from 1996 to 2007, he said: “No human being is a perfect man, and being a post-war leader, President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah did a lot to build a better foundation for the country. Despite all that is being said, Tejan Kabbah’s leadership was all inclusive and he fought very hard to enhance national cohesion. He never believed in the winner takes it all.”
The former president died last Thursday, 13 March, at his home in Juba, west of Freetown, after a protracted illness. He was aged 82.
His death was described as an “irreparable loss” by a press release issued by the government, while a week-long mourning has also been declared, which include flags flying half-mast across the country. He will be buried on Sunday, 23 March, in a state funeral that is expected to be attended by thousands, including heads of state from West Africa.