The long drawn out rivalry among various factions within the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party( SLPP) showed positive signs of abatement yesterday after all standard bearer aspirants marched from the party’s headquarters on Wallace-Johnson Street to the Cotton Tree in the centre of Freetown.
Party officers yesterday called for a peace meeting where all the standard bearer aspirants, including Dr. Kandeh YumKella, John Oponjo Benjamin, Alpha Timbo and Maada Bio to discuss the way forward to peace and unity in a party which has had more than its fair share of disharmony.
At the end of the meeting, a communiqué was signed by all the aspirants and stakeholders in which they agreed to revert to the 2013 executive structures and annul all suspensions and expulsions.
It was also stated in the communiqué that all court actions be withdrawn with a consent judgment, and that lower level elections, including rules and regulations of May 11, 2016, and the ten man committee instituted by the Political Parties Registration Commission PPRC be reinstated.
“We want access to all SLPP party offices across the country and also to stop negative intervention in the media against party members. We have also agreed for an immediate NEC meeting to be held on Tuesday where NEC will certify these resolutions. We also agreed to have a general peace and reconciliation conference to be held shortly,” a release from the SLPP secretariat stated.
The release further stated that subsequent district and regional elections be conducted by a special committee, in adherence to rules and regulations of the party.
It could be recalled that immediately after the SLPP delegates conference in Bo, southern Sierra Leone, one of the aspirants for the position of Chairman and Leader, Alie Bangura, took the party to the Supreme Court on allegations of election irregularities. This, after he lost to Chief Sumanoh Kapen – who himself was recently ‘suspended’ as Chairman and Leader. Bangura was subsequently expelled from the party after the court ruling in 2014.
The party, until yesterday’s détente, had splintered into two factions, with one executive led by Chairman Kapen, while another was being spearheaded by Kapen’s Deputy Chairman, Dr. Prince Harding.