Ahead Of September 17 Convention… Power Struggle Hits SLPP

 

Ahead of the party’s biannual national delegates conference which elects new national executive officers, internal strife resulting from a struggle for leadership is reported to have hit the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLLP).

Although the former Editor of the party’s mouthpiece, Unity, Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay has tried to downplay the extent of the squabbling inside the party, many believe that things are not that rosy within SLPP as one insider reporting on the situation has said that SLPP is confronted with intra-party and governance challenges. “All is not well in SLPP and is worsening,” the insider said.

The crux of the split that has rocked the SLPP boat, he said, is bitter hostility between supporters of the current National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Alex Harding and the National Organizing Secretary, Jimmy Batilo Songa, who, according to reports, wants to challenge Dr. Harding for that highly coveted position.

The insider condemned the rowdiness that took place at the party headquarters on Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown on Saturday, 16th February where according to reports, a lot of agitations, exchange of hateful and hurtful words and blows resulting in injuries which however, Mr. Abu Bakarr Joe Sesay denied took place.

According to the insider, the disrespectful atmosphere at the headquarters was what led to the cancellation of a planned National Executive Council meeting that day. However, Joe Sesay said it is part of democracy for rivalry to take place among people and their supporters vying for elective positions. This, he said, is normal, adding that the situation should not be blown out of proportion by those who, he said, posted on social media that wounding and even death took place at the SLPP headquarters on Saturday. “that is a big lie!” he said tersely.

The power struggle that has been ignited in the SLPP, some believe, hold the potential to splinter the party if not addressed by President Bio who is accused of giving deaf ears to the rumpus taking place within the party.

“Batilo is eager to push Prince Harding out,” the insider who said he saw on Saturday highly energized youths flying banners that read: “Prince Harding Must Go!” said.

With the party on tenterhooks, many are looking up to a no-nonsense President Bio to stamp his authority on the party by coming out to declare that enough is enough, and to bulldoze detractors that are undermining the peace and unity of the party.

Already, SLPP in governance has a lot of pressing existential problems that affect the bulk of the nation to pay attention to. These include not only regenerating an economy that is in deep depression but also giving the youths who voted the party into power as an alternate to APC hope by providing them with jobs.

Accordingly, President Bio is advised by many concerned party members and supporters to summon an immediate meeting of the party leadership and impress on them the need for the party to stay peaceful and united and to stand solidly behind him as one to roll out the ‘New Direction’ development agenda, on the premise that the party will face stock taking and evaluation of its efficacy in 2023 upon which will depend its stay or exit from the seat of power.