Ahead Of Weekend Battle… JOB Punches Bio


One of the leading presidential flagbearer aspirants of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin aka JOB has taken a swipe at his arch rival in the race, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio.

Speaking to The Exclusive yesterday, Mr. John O. Benjamin, who served as the SLPP National Chairman and Leader between 2008 and 2013, said the future of the party is his major concern at a moment which, he said, should not be left in the hands of someone like Rtd. Brig. Bio who, he said, has little or no political experience.

“He only served as Head of State under the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) in a capacity of a soldier, not as politician, for a period of three months,” he said, adding that he was whisked from somewhere to come and head a party he knows nothing about. “He is a perfect stranger in the SLPP,” he blasted.

JOB went on: “The SLPP wants a leader with stamina, skills, maturity and the national appeal to take on the ruling APC in 2018,” he said, adding that Bio lacks all of those attributes and all of which, and more, he said, he possesses.

“The interest of the party is above every other interest, including mine. My commitment is to the party and never an individual. If we are united within the party, there is nothing that will stop us from winning the next national election in Sierra Leone,” JOB maintained.

Unlike his close contender, Rtd. Brig. Bio, he said, he has diligently served the party in different capacities including that of former National Chairman and Leader, former Minister of Finance and Economic Development under the SLPP, former Councilor Kailahun District Council, former Chairman Kailahun District, former Chairman Constituency 007, among others.

Cataloguing his contributions to the party, JOB said under his tenure as National Chairman and Leader of the party, the SLPP North America Branch was granted regional status. “I was the first National Chairman of the party who launched a monthly press briefing challenging the APC government on issues of national concern. To revive the party, I ran the party affairs out of my private offices after the 2007 election demise. It was also under my tenure that SLPPNA was awarded 20 delegates for the national conference for the first time in the history of the party,” he explained. Mr. Benjamin further disclosed that under his leadership, his administration paid off a huge debt of more than Le157 million which he inherited in the party.

“As National Chairman, I rebuilt the party’s headquarters after it was attacked and set ablaze by APC and I am the only SLPP Chairman on record to hand over Le280 million including two vehicles and other assets worth over Le1 billion to the new Chairman when my tenure ended,” he further disclosed.

JOB concluded that with all of his massive contributions to the SLPP, Maada Bio should not be seen as his match when it comes to the politics of this country. “He is just an exploiter of the people and when he becomes leader he will continue to exploit the country,” he blasted.

Efforts to reach Maada Bio for comments proved futile as we went to press.