The Opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have introduced to the Press Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie as the new Director of Communications ultimately overshadowing the elected Publicity Secretary Ibrahim El- Tayyib Bah who is presently out of the country.
SLPP Chairman, John Oponjo Benjamin unveiled Banja Tejan-Sie as the new person that will be speaking on behalf of the party as he stated that the creation of the new Directorate was to work closely with the office of the National Publicity Secretary and the National Secretary General.
Observers say the creation of a Directorate office in the SLPP is a hidden way of not only discouraging El-Tayyib Bah but to exclude him from the party. Tayyib Bah served as SLAJ President for two terms and his influence in the field of Journalism initially assisted the SLPP. His interaction and Press coordination was in no doubt properly handled.
Close observers of the SLPP who spoke to Awoko say that it seems all is not well between the Publicity Secretary and the Chairman evidenced by the series of by-pass in dealing unprofessionally with the media. Even though he was seriously sick at the SLPP convention, Tayyib Bah made it up when he was told that 10 Journalists were beaten. He expressed frustration at the way his authority was being undermined a reason he blamed for the mishandling of the Press.
Sources within the Executive of the SLPP told Awoko that Tayyib Bah’s had insisted that John Benjamin should take responsibility as it was one of his aides who beat up David Jabati, Editor of the Exclusive Newspaper. The source also said Tayyib Bah condemned the act stating that John Benjamin’s personal aides had no business in party functions.
Banja Tejan-Sie once served as Secretary-General of the SLPP and during the 2007 Presidential elections; he led the legal team of the SLPP to file a petition at the High court against NEC announcing the results. When that was rebuffed, Banja Tejan-Sie was only later heard of as the legal officer at the National Telecommunications Commission. He later resigned to continue his private practice. He also served as Secretary of State Youths and Sports under the NPRC.
By Ishmael Bayoh