It is incumbent upon the opposition not merely to show that the government is inadequately functioning, but to prove to the voters that there is a viable alternative body on which they could hang their hopes and dreams.
One such proof is the demonstration of unity of purpose and an indication of a definite sense of direction, that should be clearly seen hovering way beyond the raucous rumbles that often accompany competitions for individual supremacy within a party.
Even though it is a given that politics is usually a tightened draw of competitive tussle, any well-meaning political party should be propelled on the wheels of ideas, policies and programs.
Ultimately, a successful party should pride itself on the content of its policies and the care for country, not be tenuously defined by the status or ambition of individual players.
Of course, individual players are important to the party, but no single personality can be more important than the party itself.
One way to build peace and cement unity in any group that is made up of diverse strands, is to place the defined structural interest of the collective ahead of singular personality preferences.
Now, more than ever before, it is easy to conclude that the interest of the SLPP neatly weaves in with the interest of the vast majority in the country, i.e., to vote the APC out of power and replace it with a progressive and accountable government that is focused, determined and knows exactly what needs to be done to lift our people out of this unending nightmare of poverty, disease and ignorance.
We in the SLPP owe it to our people to redeem this country from the woes of the APC, and get the nation out of the hole into which it has been dumped by the greedy and corrupt political class.
We can only achieve this goal if we push hard enough to come together as patriots, who are seeking tangible solutions to our many national problems, instead of as individuals primarily interested in acquiring personal positions.
The fact is that there is only one viable alternative to the bungling APC. And that, is a focused and united SLPP.
For the Sierra Leonean voters, the question is no longer whether the APC has failed the nation; the question is “how prepared is the SLPP to right the failures of the current predatory ruling cabal, and make the future bright for all?”
How soon we come together to satisfactorily answer this central question, will determine the outcome of the next elections – in 2018.
And in answering that question, we must be prepared to welcome all patriots and lend ears to everyone in the SLPP.
As we continue to listen to each other, I hope we hear each other well with respect, tolerance and dignity.