Sierra Leone: Exclusionist trends have rendered SLPP powerless -Dr. Bright

By Stephen V. Lansana

A senior member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), Dr. Dennis Bright has said that “the acrimony and hate that now defines the current state of the Party and its exclusionist trends have now rendered it powerless and hardly fit to save itself let alone rescue our country.”

Dr Bright said in his letter of resignation from the Party that, the continuing saga of court cases, the appeals and injunctions that have combined to put the Party into a state of partial paralysis and disgrace are merely the result of this “original sin.”

“And probably the most shocking experience that I experienced that sealed my decision to leave the party was the way the Evergreen Peace Group was treated at a NEC meeting in which the report of the sub-committee on the 39 constituencies was to be received.”

The former Ministry of Youth and Sports during President Kabba’s regime said, “Sadly, due to its current obsession with the choice of flag bearer, the SLPP is yet to start pondering on an agenda for the country.”

“The toxic atmosphere in the party does not allow for any serious exchange of ideas on issues such as the economy, social services, national unity, rule of law, justice, environment, energy, agriculture. These are issues you will never hear about in SLPP discussions today. And even if you do there is such a mine field of mistrust and suspicion that people basically just stay superficial trying to avoid trouble.”

Dr Bright said that the absence of real political discourse in the SLPP leaves the impression that the main purpose of our party leaders is to replace those in power and not change the system that has run the country aground.

“Sierra Leone has crashed due to irresponsible and incompetent piloting. The people of Sierra Leone are looking for a rescue operation based on a well thought out, realistic and achievable rescue plan that would restore social justice, credible institutions, good governance and a good quality of life delivered by quality leadership comprising serious, committed, competent and God-fearing people. We do not need another set of irresponsible and incompetent pilots who would merely replace the current ones and operate with the same manual,” he said.

He said decision to resign therefore is based on his assessment of the current state of the party and the realization that he could no longer operate in the toxic environment in the SLPP that he had described.

“I cannot thrive in a political space where the vaulting ambition of individuals has assumed more importance than the duty to work for the betterment of the nation; the acrimony and hate that now defines the current state of the Party and its exclusionist trends have now rendered it powerless and hardly fit to save itself, let alone rescue our country. I also believe that there will be no redemption for this nation if we do not restore some basic values in our society, including honour, integrity, service, respect for knowledge and truth, respect for other people’s rights, adherence to rules and fear of God. The SLPP seems to be in no hurry to do just that,” he said.

“My personal creed is to respect leaders and fear only God; but not the other way round,” he said.