The name of former leader and two time successful Presidential candidate for the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Alhaji Dr, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah became a taboo during the Party’s National Executive Meeting in the city of Bo over the weekend.
The SLPP members became infuriated when the party chairman Alhaji U.N.S Jah was about delivering a message from former President Kabbah expressing his solidarity that even though he was not at the meeting, he was still part of them.
As if a spell had been cast to create confusion, the meeting abruptly came to a halt with series of cursing and foul mouthed language being heaped on the former President.
Some of the undertones loudly reverberated through the hall “ Kabbah is a betrayer don’t mention his name here”. Others loudly protested “if that name is mentioned here again, this meeting will not proceed”.
What calmed tempers down was when the name of former Vice President Solomon Ekuma Berewa was mentioned.
Solo B’s name as he was fondly called, was trumpeted loudly like soldiers singing in a parade with a war hero.
Awoko caught up with Dr Sama Banya in Bo who was former President Kabbah’s adviser and Foreign Affairs minister to give his reaction about what happened.
He said “It is a general feeling among members that as President he (Kabbah) should have been stronger and should have prevented Christiana from doing what she did and all of that. It may be true, but I think the reaction eventually found out to be that it is unfair and I also found out that I am probably singular in this”
Dr Banya also said “Most members of the party know my position on that … it is unfair criticism, but that is not former President Kabbah’s nature”
He maintained that Kabbah still has a place in the party and he (Kabbah) had expressed his willingness to play his leadership role in the party. “Even if we had won, we would have audited ourselves” SLPP chairman
The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) national chairman Alhaji U.N.S Jah has maintained at the party’s first National Executive Meeting (NEC) after the 2007 general elections that even if they had won the elections, they would have audited themselves.
The SLPP NEC met over the weekend at a two days conference in Bo city to reflect, debate, hear reports from regional chairmen, debate the amended constitution, discuss the party organization and capacity building and to take decision on current membership.
Alhaji U.N.S Jah explained at the meeting that it should have been convened earlier, but because of a series of litigations in the court after the convention, they were disrupted.
He explained that the meeting was a full blown one and the powers of NEC “does not take control of the privileges of the party conference as we are going to look at ourselves through a mirror and we have to talk about the way forward”
The SLPP Chairman maintained “if even we had won the elections as we did, there would have since been the necessity for us to meet and carry a moral audit of ourselves”
The appealed to the members that whilst they would be coming out with reasons for the present situation, let it be done with some sobriety that will not derail or find themselves in pot holes that will continue disuniting the party. The party’s Secretary General Jacob Jusu Saffa later told journalists that the NEC meeting was purposely convened to reflect on the past and do stock taking of the past as it related to the elections.
He said the party will seriously look in to the party constitution complaining that most members realized that the root causes of some of the party’s problem emanated from the constitution.
Some of the high profile SLPP members who attended the meeting included, Dr Kadie Sesay, Dr Abass Bundu, Bobson Sesay, J.D Rogers, Sheku Sesay, Francis Kai Kai, J.B Dauda, Alpha Timbo, Okere Adams, Sidikie Brima, Eke Hallowell, D.B Quee, Maigore Kallon, John Karimu, Bai Kabia the eldest son of Ella Koblo Gulama and a host of others.