Ahead of 24 June Elections… “District, Regional Executives Sabotage Bio” – SLPP Constituency and Zonal Executives
There is a situation going on in the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) that concerned members in the party’s constituency and zonal executives have said is a threat to the President’s chances for re-election.
Speaking to this medium, the SLPP constituency and zonal executives reminded that as the party’s grassroots, they represent the President’s best and greatest weapons for his 2023-2028 presidential ambitions. They said with the way the grassroots members of the party has been neglected all along, they are calling on President Julius Maada Bio to quickly step in and remedy the situation, adding that all his plans and strategy hinge on the votes of the grassroots supporters.
The committed SLPP activists said the party’s regional and district executives are sabotaging President Bio and all those seeking election into the various elective positions’ chances at the polls because they are failing to work with zonal and constituency executives to get the work of the party done effectively. They complained that money meant to be disbursed from the regional and district executives have not reached the constituency and zonal executives, who do the party’s dirty work or legwork.
They reminded the President that the work of the party’s executives is like a chain link or a network, a problem with one link affects the work of the rest of the links. The SLPP executives said when President Bio wanted to win the 2018 elections, he worked effectively with the constituency and zonal executives, using the grassroots supporters to get his show on the road.
President Maada Bio
‘These grassroots supporters are the people who are the heart and soul of the party. They are the ones who get beaten for supporting their candidates; they are the ones who lose their kids to election violence. These are the people that sing and cry and dance when we win or lose. These regional and district level executives are up there and far away from us, the party’s rank and file. However, the money to do our work gets distributed to them, and then they distribute to us to get the party’s work done at the grassroots levels. But this has not been happening of late and it is affecting how we do our work. The President must see reason to intervene and save the party the real chance of continuing to disappoint its most ardent supporters, the grassroots,’ the men warned.
Despite what is obtaining, the men said the grassroots supporters are still loyal, although they cannot assure the party of this if the situation is permitted to persist.
‘You see the regional and district executives have collected money but haven’t disbursed them to us. Without money the party’s activities have been put on standstill. We need not remind the president that this is election year and that said elections are just a breath away. We are therefore advising the president to stop dealing with these district and regional executives alone in the work of the party. We want him to ensure that we are all working together and at optimal level. We are the party in power and people shouldn’t think that we are having money issues this close to election time,’ the men said.
The party grassroots bosses said if the president and the regional and district executives don’t remedy the situation all of the party’s hopes for the 2023 elections will be dashed as the grassroots cannot operate without money.
Now that the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) have elected their flagbearer, the SLPP activists said the level of seriousness and intensity in the preparations for the 2023 elections has been raised a million fold.
‘The president must remember that he needs the grassroots to win. Sadly, we have been disappointed but not deflated. But we cannot continue in this state of unpreparedness because men and women in high position that are far removed from the day to day issues of the meat of the party’s support base are busy using our constituency and zonal funds for their own affairs,’ the men warned.
As the party in power seeking election from an electorate that has been complaining of hardships and suffering, including members of the ruling SLPP, the President needs an urgent face to face meeting with all party executives to get the money issue sorted out. It is imperative for money to flow into the various executives so the work of the party can be made much less burdensome.
It must be recalled that President Julius Maada Bio is not in the same enviable position he was in 2018 after the issues of the past five years, and that if he wants to win the 24 June elections, he should sort out the small issues with the potential to cost him big at the election he has been planning for since winning five years ago.
Sound electioneering would call for all hands on deck, not just the hands of the party’s poor and downtrodden.