By Ragan M. Conteh
Hon Ibrahim Tawa Conteh stands very close to the exit door of the Ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) as he faces threat of expulsion.
The expulsion notice came after he resigned from the post of Chairman of parliamentary Committee on Transparency and Accountability (TAC) over his encounter with the Minister of Information and Communication, Mohamed Rado Swarray.
His encounter with the Minister was based on a probe in the saga of the Sierra Leone Cable (SALCAB), an agency that controls internet gateway under the supervision of the Ministry of Information and Communication.
Allegations of mismanagement and sale of SALCAB to a third party as well as unbundling of the agency warranted parliament to summon the Minister to explain his position.
While at the committee, the Minister allegedly committed contempt of parliament for which Hon Conteh was going to invoke relevant sections of the law to rope in the Minister.
Hon Conteh was determined to ensure that the Minister face the music for the alleged contempt, but was apparently prevented from doing so by the party leadership.
The SLPP parliamentarian was reportedly subjected to pressure by the party leadership that sees his move as one that amounts to anti-party activities.
It is widely reported that the SLPP hierarchy is determined to use section 77k of the 1991 constitution to remove Hon Conteh as an SLPP representative in parliament.
An SLPP MP has also accused Hon Conteh as the first to accuse Parliament and the Clerk of Parliament of Corruption.
This accusation, the MP said, triggered debates that discredited the hard-earned reputation of the entire government.
“Tawa should abide by the leadership order; he should not be more Catholic than the pope. The move is unacceptable” the MP remarked.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs who is also SLPP publicity Secretary, Lahai Lawrence Leema has recently challenged the activities of Hon Conteh who he perceived to have involved in anti-party activities.
However, Sierra Leoneans have expressed satisfaction with the step taken by Hon. Conteh to resign as TAC Chairman.
They see it as a move to keep his head above waters as parliament battles with a barrage of corruption allegations.
Some members of Opposition parties have not reserved their opinion on the intended removal of Hon Conteh from parliament.
They say no party will succeed in removing Hon Conteh since he is not the only parliamentarian who resigned from TAC.
Some SLPP MP’s have said the honeymoon is over and that any Ministry, Department and Agency (MDA) that faces Parliament will be scrutinised accordingly irrespective of one’s political affiliation or influence.
Deputy Leader of Government Business in parliament, Hon. Bashiru Sidikie has recently said Parliament will not take it lightly with any MDA that fails to meet public expectations.
Some supporters of SLPP have also cautioned stakeholders of the Party to tread consciously on the issue of Hon Conteh considering the consequences it will bring to the party.
“Western Areas is the stronghold of the opposition APC and that if the SLPP MP does anything wrong, he must be treated with respect,” an SLPP stalwart advises.
Meanwhile, it is not clear whether Hon Conteh will attend the Parliamentary Committee on Ethics for his alleged illegal actions.