Those who listened to former Vice President Solomon Ekuma Berewa at the Special Court lecture he gave several weeks ago would testify that the old man still believes he has some explaining to do.
Therefore the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) National Convention held at the Holy Trinity Parish Hall along Blama road in Kenema proved to be the opportuned time for Vice President Berewa to explain to the rank and file of the party he once led, how in his own words “President Kabbah deceived me.”
Solomon Berewa said his former boss deceived him that he had won the 2007 Presidential runoff elections.
Building up his account of the deception the former presidential candidate for the SLPP in 2007 said he had been an active member of the SLPP since 1961 against what people have been saying that he is a new comer.
Warming up in his account the seasoned lawyer said it was because of his competence that was why former President Kabbah chose him to be the country’s Attorney General and later Vice President. “He took me, I did not ask him, he made the suggestion and he chose me because of my track record” he said.
Berewa narrated further how he moved and provided for chiefdoms, districts and constituencies up to the run up to the elections. Regrettably he said he wished that year will not come again.
The former leader spoke about how he was being maligned unnecessarily by people for moving the party secretariat to his Spur Road office. He explained that he had lots of issues at that time to do – attending to the donors, the Presidents call, party officials visiting, all of which forced him to stay at his VP lodge rather than moving to and from the party office.
Coming to the issue of the nomination of the Chairperson of the National Electoral Commission Christiana Thorpe Solomon Berewa said he had no hands in that and it was not him who chose Christiana Thorpe. “I have nothing to do with that it is the responsibility of President Kabbah … Why should people talk such lie that I chose her because she is a Catholic sister of mine. I was in Cuba and when I came back the first thing he told me was that Christiana Thorpe was the NEC Chairperson. I don’t tell lies, was I to say no? I have nothing to do with the appointment of Christiana Thorpe”.
The other thing he wanted cleared was the talk that he recommended for the removal of Christiana Thorpe. He explained that he was a lawyer and Kabbah too is a lawyer and both of them knew the constitution well that such an action could only be taken by parliament.
Speaking that he wanted to put the records straight, the former VP narrated the incident about the ill fated court injunction. He said he invited lawyer Dr. Bubuakei Jabbie at mid night on Friday at his home and asked him to prepare a draft of an injunction on the NEC Chairperson to surprise her, but said he was surprised that the issue became public.
The visibly embarrassed President Kabbah apparently became more embarrassed when his former number two man said Kabbah showed him the 2007 run-off election result that he had won and it was a time to celebrate. Solomon Berewa revealed that it was shocking to him to hear from the NEC chairperson that he lost the elections to President Koroma.
He said when he rang up Kabbah to ask why, he was told to accept. “If I had opposed that result I would have been killed and many of you also”.
After Berewa finished his narration Former President Kabbah asked for five minutes to respond but when it was announced the hall went bizarre with a big NO. Kabbah was not allowed to respond and sensing discord in the hall, the chairman of the ceremony announced lunch time.
After lunch former president Kabbah sat close to Berewa. Kabbah had earlier spoken before Berewa spoke that he had no problem with Berewa and to prove that they both shook hands and hugged themselves.