‘PAOPA, Not SLPP’

There is trouble brewing in the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). If New Direction and PAOPA are not considered blueblood SLPP by upset but courageous partisans, then the country should be ready for drama from an unexpected source leading to the highly anticipated 2023 Presidential Election, as there is a ‘War of the Roses’ brewing for control and return of the party to more traditional politics.

On the surface, all seems well in the SLPP. Having won State House, it would be expected for unity to be a key component within the party. But this is not presently the case within the SLPP. In a rather unexpected and surprising revelation, supporters of losing partisan candidates of some resolved intraparty elections have told this press that because they do not subscribe to the ethos of the New Direction/PAOPA faction of the party, their candidates were in effect side-lined and denied the chance to reclaim the party from what they referred to as ‘usurpers of the real SLPP’.

Our sources disclosed that while their trusted leaders slept, New Direction/PAOPA controllers, flouting procedures, unceremoniously bumped them off; taking the party in the current direction it is presently on. They bemoaned the hijacking of their party, especially by all those who turncoat and subscribed to PAOPA in a bid to save their skin.

The dejected but staunch SLPP supporters said the present embarrassment that continues to taint the image of their beloved party is a creation of PAOPA who consider the then leadership as soft. In a bid to entrench their way, they created the New Direction in governance by breaking longstanding party traditions without consideration of how they reflect and impact on the rank and file of the party. Considering the party as grassroots oriented, the partisans said New Direction has so alienated this critical segment of their supporter base that they are confident that the only way for them to convince the people to side with them is through violence, threats, intimidations, going against laid down rules and procedures for engagements and being ostracised.

They said the current allegations and disclosure of credible information pointing to graft by key cabinet and other SLPP politicians is causing the party serious embarrassment, as the grassroots are tired of the culture of public theft that affects every citizen of the country regardless of tribe, party or region. They said that the party does not benefit from such alleged practices, adding that those accused of stealing “are stealing for themselves”.

Considering the war on corruption, leakages, lawlessness and indiscipline as a lost cause, they said it is interesting how they are not the present focus of the party, which is now dancing to the tune of the Free Quality Education programme. Convinced that the cabal is here to accomplish its own agenda, the men and women said it is quite obvious that they need money to accomplish such. Therefore, the government is capitalising on each and every event to seek more grants and loans, purportedly to solve said events but, with the ultimate aim of fattening their pockets, they claimed. Part of the internal squabbling that is going on in the background has to do with such monies not trickling down to the rank and file, in an apparent move to starve partisans, leaving them with no option but to subscribe to the New Direction/PAOPA way.

Quoting the SLPP Constitution, an emboldened female SLPP member said New Direction started showing how it planned to run the country by imposing Julius Maada Bio, who had failed to win a presidential election, on them without consideration and respect for the constitutional ban on any losing presidential candidate from being the party’s flag bearer. The rule is that after a failed presidential bid, a new group of challengers is expected to be elected to retry taking state leadership.

After miraculously winning the 2018 presidential elections, they said New Direction consolidated internal power by taking PAOPA to literal proportions. While the rest of the country was curious about recent intraparty violence that led to deaths, hospitalisations and huge loss of property by innocent members of the public, our sources said they were orchestrated show of force events aimed at sowing fear not only within the party but the opposition parties that PAOPA, New Direction will have its way, always.

In a shocking climax to their diatribe, they said much surprise is in store for the flag bearer position of the SLPP as President Bio’s tenure as leader of the party expires in 2023, for which they plan on presenting a credible challenger to wrestle party power from the New Direction/PAOPA cabal. Asked how they plan on accomplishing such an unheard of challenge, they said if the current government can callously break rules to accomplish their agenda, “well-meaning people can too, PAOPA!”

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