Following the rescheduling of ruling on SLPP’s embattled Hon. Bernadette Lahai’s court injunction yesterday, she has stated that her party should be focusing more on national development issues rather than busying with incessant intra party court cases.
The embattled opposition Minority Leader in Parliament maintained yesterday in an exclusive interview that the SLPP should be more concerned with and collaborating with government to address the Ebola pandemic that is permeating the Eastern region of the country, the party’s perceived stronghold.
She made this assertion following the adjournment of her matter due to the ill-health of presiding High Court Judge, Justice Abdulai Charm.
Bernadette Lahai pointed out that for the fact that the Ebola outbreak started in the Eastern region the party Executive and membership should have been in the vanguard in complementing government’s efforts in fighting the disease and sensitizing people in the region.
“The party could have even initiated a project around the issue, raise funds that will enhance their sensitization role on the issue,” Hon. Lahai maintained, adding that instead they “decided to abandon the people to pursue political whims and caprices of certain misguided members of the party for their selfish interests,” she stated.
She said these misguided individuals have held the party to ransom, such that no one is thinking of how the party can be formidable as a party aiming to form a government.
She said the “straight line” philosophy bandied around by certain members of the party which espouses unchallenged support for defeated Presidential candidate, Brigadier retired, Julius Maada Bio to remain as the party’s flagbearer in the forthcoming Presidential election, is more divisive than unifying. She maintained that in this process of forcing one person on the vast majority of party members and supporters, “the Maada Bio fanatics are rampantly blaming whosoever they consider as not with the “straight line philosophy” thereby driving huge a wedge into the party’s known tradition of unity in diversity.
“This senseless blame game should stop and the party focus redirected to unification and working in the interest of the generality of its members and supporters,” Hon. Bernadette Lahai further maintained, nothing that since the 2012 elections, the party has not met to review their strategy and to review what may have gone wrong with their political campaign strategy.
“Since those elections we have not looked back at our tracks to determine a formidable way forward. Instead, we are busy tearing ourselves apart through unnecessary litigations,” she maintained, and considered the trend of events within the party as “shameful” and ’embarrassing” for the country’s oldest political party to be made to stoop so low in the arena of political viability, perpetuated by a few selfish individuals, she said.
The SLPP Parliamentary Leader said she expected the party as a responsible opposition and a party in-waiting to form the next government, should be keeping government on its toes relating the state of the country’s economy and other socio-political trends that are not in the interest of many Sierra Leoneans. “The party’s perception on these issues should be made public through the press, raising public awareness around them and stating its position clear,” Dr. Lahai stated, the census for example, should be of concern to the party to ensure its transparency and fairness.
Madam Lahai, opined that politics is about persuasion and not by force or intimidation, which according to her, is the mantra of certain desperate individuals in the party’s Executive.
She said the recent decision by a few miscreants in the Executive to suspend Chief Somano Kapen and Suliaman Banja Tejan-Sie, Chairman and Secretary General respectively of the party, is “a kangaroo decision that has no legitimacy,” she stated.
She went on to suggest that for peace and unity to reign once again in the party, proponents of the ‘straight line” philosophy “should apologize to the old and young whom they have covertly or overtly offended by putrid and demeaning comments and statements, the Minority Leader further maintained.
She however called on the party’s members and supporters all over to be calm and law-abiding and beseeched them to work collective for peace and unity to reign within the party and amongst its members and supporters.
Thursday June 26, 2014