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Prince Versus Batilo

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Prince Versus Batilo


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All is not well in the SLPP and worsening as the situation is, the National Organising Secretary, Jimmy Batilo Songa and the current National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Alex Harding are now bitter enemies.

The SLPP is currently facing two main challenges: Intra-party and Governance.


Intra-party Problem:

Whilst in opposition, the deep rooted internal conflict besiged and bedevilled the effective operation/s of the party as a united political party awaiting to take over governance.

It all started after the August 1, 2011 Delegates Conference held at the Miatta Conference Center, Freetown. Despite the fact that all the 19 flagbearer aspirants pledged their support to the winner, the hatred for him, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio intensified beyond human comprehension.

Since then, instability has become an inseparable companion of the SLPP and not a day passes without new threat of political tribulation.

Fast forward, the SLPP is not even a year old in governance and the youth are now on each other’s throat for the Chairman and Leader position.

I totally condemn such disrespectful attitude demonstrated yesterday (Saturday 16 February) at the party’s headquarters that led to the cancellation of the National Executive Council meeting.

If prompted action by the President is not enforced, there is a likelihood that the power struggle between Jimmy Batilo Songa and Prince Alex Harding will splinter at the top with a spill over effect on the smooth running of the state.

This is possible because you cannot divorce party politics from national governance.


Batilo and the Party Youth

Batilo is making inroads to appeal to the hearts and minds of the SLPP stalwarts and the grassroots youth because the current Chairman and Leader has practically abandoned the party Secretariat and by extension his functions.

Batilo had successfully served as Chairman of the SLPP for the UK/Ireland branch for two terms. He is not a political radical strategist like Prince Harding.

The tension Batilo is mouting is wrong and his supporters are in a rush to drive away Prince Harding. I didn’t hear him condemning yesterday’s unfortunate action, but rather demanded that, “Prince Harding must go.”

I will not dwell further on the ugly occurrences among youth groups supporting Batilo and how they bolted away the others who are alleged to be supporting Prince Harding.

Batilo is not happy for the role Prince Harding is playing to reportedly undermine his authority and hijack the functions of the National Women’s Leader and her Deputy.

The difference between Batilo and Prince Harding is that the latter is desperate to give a meaning to the lives of the SLPP grassroots members. He is out there making sure that the SLPP youth are employed.


Prince Harding and Natcom

Prince Harding is a seasoned politician who promised victory to his party and he strategically fulfilled that promised.

He lost the SLPP National Secretary General position to J.J Blood who left his job at the World Bank in 2005 to become an active politician. He later became the Deputy Chairman and later launched a revolution to depose Chief Somano Kapen.

It is alleged that Prince Harding brought unknown persons from elsewhere to guard him and secure the party’s headquarters instead of allowing the current youth to do so. He caused the unfortunate incident yesterday by not even communicating with Batilo to execute his own duties ahead of the NEC meeting.

Prince Harding has a very quintessential role for the effective functionality of the party, but he is no longer playing that role.

He has alienated himself from the youth and some executive members who supported him against Dr. Morie Manyeh, the current Mines Minister.

Prince Harding’s insistence on becoming the Board Chairman of NATCOM was a wrong and untimely decision. He is difficult to be reached by the party youth who are struggling to get employment. This is the sad reality! He is responsible for the current declining state of the SLPP.


Governance and the Slpp

SLPP is not only a political party, but an institution, according to Dr. Peter Tucker in his Book, History and Philosophy of the SLPP. The institutional aspect is a challenge.

One thing we must accept is that without SLPP there is no New Direction. SLPP is the vehicle used for the effective leadership Sierra Leoneans are enjoying today.

President Bio should know that all is not well and the youth are strongly not happy. They are dying in pain.

Life is difficult for the majority of the SLPP youth and some are being mocked because those who are to seek their interest are completely a disappointment.

Dr. Abass Bundu, current Speaker, House of Parliament, said: “We shall make the administration of the SLPP no longer a one-man show, it is a collective leadership.”

Amid the high unemployment rate and battered economy inherited by the New Direction administration, the SLPP youth are hugely suffering the brunt of it. This trend must change!


Time for action and effective action now!

Those who are to provide the job/s are closing their doors and the party leadership is not helping the situation.

Where is the SLPP National Secretary General, Napoleon U. Koroma? The President would have forced them to choose among the two positions. Napoleon and Prince Harding are the two important personalities in the SLPP and their absence is a huge gap.

Mr. President, the SLPP youth sacrificed their lives for you to succeed and it is time to put smile on their faces. Act now before you allow the rivalry for Chairman and Leader position to fragment the party and deepen the injury in the hearts of our youth.

President Bio is still struggling to get the right team, but like he bulldozed the APC, he should stoutly bulldoze those detractors who are undermining the peace and stability of the party and the nation in general.


Hope President Bio is listening!

Our President should not continue to give deafening ears to a problem that will affect the smooth running of the state. He must summon an immediate meeting as the Fountain of Honour because the SLPP youth made him who he is today.

President Bio must now be ready to undermine anything that will undermine the New Direction. I urge President Bio to act tough to save the party from such mockery.

This is the Pen Of The Voiceless Sierra Leoneans.

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