By Amadi Abadi
It’s premature for people to start raising their heads for the leadership of the SLPP to succeed President Bio. Of course, everybody has the right to express their aspirations for political office, but timeliness matters. Surely, the government would like to retain power in 2028 to consolidate gains being made, particularly in human capital development, food security infrastructure, tourism, and national cohesion. And for this to happen, all genuine party members should put their hands-on deck and co-operate with the government during these difficult times. Many of those who have started to campaign to succeed Bio do not have new ideas on how to grapple with the current situation. So, they should look for areas where they, too, can help the government to succeed instead of making promises to make life better for citizens as if that is not on the agenda of this government.
If this untimely campaign continues or is encouraged, mudslinging and washing dirty linens in public by opposing aspirants would begin, and when that ugly situation starts to rear its head, there will be distractions. Remember, Berewa and J.B. Dauda (then Vice President and Finance Minister respectively), became so anxious to succeed the late President Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabba, that they did damage to the party by exposing each other on radio and the print media. Berewa accused J.B. Dauda of withholding money would have funded the Bumbuna project, road construction projects, and food security programs because he did not want the credit to go to him (Berewa)
Dr. Alpha Wurie, while serving as Education Minister in the Kabba government, also commented on J.B Dauda’s many parsimonies with state coffers..
The Kabba government left five hundred and fifty million dollars at the Bank of Sierra Leone unutilized. The 2012 campaign message of the APC was “Action Pass Intention.””
J.B. Dauda, in turn, accused Berewa of using government funds to bankroll his campaign, and so the two men were not in cabinet with one voice.
The SLPP should draw guidelines for those aspiring to succeed so that in their desperations, they would not utter statements or act in any way that would impair its efforts at national cohesion.

In the Kabba government, the ambition for succession was accompanied by that of running mate.

While Dr. Kadi Sesay, Dr. Bobson Sesay and Kanja Sesay (Trade and Lands Ministers and Chairman Triple ‘R’ respectively) were backing Berewa because each of them wanted to be his running mate, Emmanuel O. Grant (then Energy Minister) backed J.B. Dauda, with the hope of becoming the latter’s running mate, if he wins the presidential nomination. So, there was a totally divided cabinet under Tejan-Kabba whose candidate was Berewa. After the SLPP convention in Makeni in 2005, Kabba sacked J.B. Dauda, Emmanuel Grant, and Banda Thomas to please Berewa, who won the party’s ticket.

The national executive of the SLPP should not allow history to repeat itself with an implosion in the party.