BISHOP J.C HUMPER and Team in the process of designing and preparing for an all-inclusive and transparent Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Family Dialogue and Reconciliation Conference, officially launched the second phase of their consultative exercise.

Freetown 17 January 2015: On Wednesday 14th, January 2015, the Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC), the chairman and leader of the SLPP, Regional Party Chairmen, and representatives of the general memberships of the party, from across every region and districts, officially welcomed and endorsed a strategy and plan for the rolling out of the second phase of the Bishop Humper and the Technical Facilitation Team (TFT) intra-party conflict consultative exercise in the regions, districts as well as with the diaspora branches. These endorsements were made at the opening session of a one-day induction-training workshop for volunteers who have agreed to serve as District Facilitators. The main purpose of the training workshop with the theme “Working under the Threat of Ebola” was to define the process, approach and methodology for engaging in regional, districts and diaspora consultations…. geared towards “Seeking the voices, views and opinions of SLPP membership at all levels in the design and preparatory process of the Family Dialogue Conference ”.

All Senior Party Members and officials present, particularly the Chairman of the opening session, Dr. Thomas B.R. Yormah, underlined the importance of the induction workshop, stressing that the rationale or strategic objective of the workshop is to ensure that the TFT achieve the core principles of legitimacy and inclusiveness in the design process of the SLPP Family Dialogue and Reconciliation Conference. “As experienced practitioners, we also call on your practical hands-on inputs, advice and blessings to this process”.

The Chairman and Leader of the SLPP, Chief Somano Kapen, in his opening remarks, again stressed on the importance for the SLPP to be united as soon as possible, and the need for all to respect and imbibe the core values of the party. He also stressed that such rights; the right to freedom of choice, equal opportunity and the likes, all of which he says is currently in the reverse order, must once again be induced. He further said, the hallmark of the party should be the spirit of tolerance and respect for different opinions and views and without these, the party will not fair on well. He therefore thanked the PPRC, TFT and the Campaign for National Unity (CNU-SL) for their resilience, reinforcement, strategic advisory support, funding and efforts to ensure the overall objective of the Unity and Reconciliation of the SLPP, which is so urgently desired, is achieved.

Ending his statement, the chairman and leader, reaffirmed his commitment to maintaining the principle of fairness and the need for the dialogue process to lead in the building of public trust and confidence in the SLPP, as well as creating a level playing field for all future political aspirants wishing to contest national elections under the SLPP to rely on. Other speakers from the National Executive included the regional Party chairmen Hon Philip Tondoneh, Chairman Eastern Region, Hon. Edward Soluku (Solution), Regional Chairman, South, Mr. Alhaji Alpha Kallon, Regional Chairman, North, and Mr. Mansao Dumbuya, Regional Chairman, Western Area.

In her opening statement, Ms Josephine Lebbie, the Mediation and Programs Manager at the PPRC, expressed the commission’s appreciation to the TFT for the work they have done so far in translating their Terms of Reference on the ground. She said “it is my humble duty to bring you warm greetings from Justice Tholla Thompson, the Chairman of the PPRC. The chairman has asked me to reiterate in stronger terms, his unreserved trust and confidence in the TFT mediation process for the SLPP”. She also thanked those participants who braved it, even in the midst of the national Ebola threats, to have travelled from the various districts to participate in this induction-training workshop. In ending her statement, Ms Lebbie said that the PPRC as a commission is still of the view that it would be productive, one year on to the Local Government Election, for senior members of the party to try and resolve the current stalemate within the SLPP; taking stock of the achievements and shortcomings of the work of the TFT as they continue to work to resolve the challenges within the SLPP. She clearly stated further, “we also hope that during the second phase of their work, the TFT will help friends and supporters of SLPP to genuinely engage in the spirit of overcoming the challenges confronting the party”.


Workshop Participants

The National Coordinator for Campaign for National Unity (CNU-SL), Ibrahim Sannoh in his remarks thanked TFT for laying a solid foundation for unity and reconciliation in the party. On behalf of the National Secretariat team, he singled out Mr. Jonathan SANDY (JPJ), the Principal Founder of the CNU-SL, and his colleagues in the diaspora for their sustained financial, moral and intellectual support to the CUT and the TFT. He also thanked Mr. Ernest Ndomahina, who was invited as a Guest of honor at the workshop, for providing additional logistics including projector equipment and stationery as well as accommodation to some participants, especially to those participants from Koinadugu district, in the Northern Region. Without these combined efforts and supports, we believe this induction-training workshop would have been constrained.

A senior member of the East and Horn of Africa Diaspora branch of the Campaign for Unity-Sierra Leone, Dr Sahr Gborie, in delivering his remarks on behalf of the diaspora branches of CNU-SL in Liberia, USA, UK, France, Australia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania, expressed gratitude to the TFT and the CUT for their continued dedication in ensuring unity and reconciliation within the SLPP is achieved. He presented to the National Secretariat and TFT, a total of 300 (three hundred T-shirts) over 3,000 Brochures and Flyers, as well as various secretariat materials brought from Kenya to support the TFT’s engagements with the general membership at the regional, districts, constituencies, and zonal levels. “We in CNU-SL, especially in the diaspora are dedicated to see a UNIFIED Sierra Leone’s Peoples Party (SLPP)”, Dr. Sahr Gborie concluded.

The Co-Chair of the TFT Dr. Morie Manyeh, in a short statement, stressed that the SLPP stands accused of not being responsible in their discharge of duty as the leading opposition force in the country. He appealed to all party members, most especially the big players, to champion the fight for democracy, calling the present APC leadership a pretence-exist of democracy. He further reiterated that, under the administration of President Koroma the average Sierra Leonean has been grappling with poverty, hunger, injustice and deprivation, calling on fellow compatriots in the opposition to inspire the change of tide by being true advocates of the weak and the oppressed.

He concluded by encouraging the party to work in unity and stressed that the party cannot be true to its statutory motto “One People, One Country” if “we cannot be one SLPP”.

Chairman of the TFT Bishop J.C. Humper, in his official opening statement to mark the official launch of the second phase, stated that, “Based on our Terms of Reference (ToRs), and despite the threat of the Ebola Virus epidemics, the TFT has continued to work consistently to achieve the intended desire of our unity and reconciliation conference; a conference which will hopefully take place in the immediate post Ebola period.” The Bishop also briefed the participants that “Overall, considerable progress has been made in the process of building a consensus for such an inclusive dialogue conference to take place.” The TFT has been able to successfully engage senior party key stakeholders, including Dr. Bernadette Lahai and Members of Parliament, Ambassador Allie Bangura and other petitioners. A consensus is emerging to see a united SLPP. This achievement may appear small, but the activities carried out have been critical and the most politically sensitive as compared to the remaining activities in the design and preparatory process for the family dialogue”. The initial result of our effort, for example, is that our 42 (forty-two) Members of Parliament have started working together; the tension between the Chairman and Leader, National Secretary General of the Party with other National Executive members has reduced. They now seem to be working together amicably, and we are very much hopeful that this will continue to improve.

The Bishop further said to the workshop participants that, “the next outstanding tasks that need to be accomplished is to complete the design and preparatory phase for an all-inclusive Family Dialogue and

Reconciliation Conference to take place soon, these activities includes: the need to seek the voices, views and opinions of the SLPP executives at the regional, district, constituency and zonal levels as well as the entire party membership, including the voice of the diaspora branches and membership. Consulting with these party structures and organs will certainly help to build a more legitimate and inclusive dialogue process, as well as help to control and to effectively manage the agenda for dialogue and its potential outcomes. “We were told in Parliament that the problems in our constituencies are more serious than those at the national executive level”..he said. “ TFT with secretariat support from CNU-SL will continue to uphold its partnership with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in line with its Terms of Reference, to ensure an all-inclusive SLPP Family Dialogue and Reconciliation Conference is planned and organized in a successful manner, and a Joint Reconciliation Roadmap with clear implementation benchmarks adopted by conference participants”, Bishop J.C

Humper, Chairman of the TFT said in his concluding remarks.

The workshop then ended with participants recommending the use of district and community radio stations, sample questionnaires, web camputer/internet, and social media, to seek the voices, views and opinions of the SLPP membership at the regional, district, constituencies, zonal levels as well as in the diaspora in the design and agenda setting for the family dialogue and reconciliation conference.