Sierra Leone at 60, The SLPP at 70: Our Collective History and Future

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SLPP

    SIERRA LEONE PEOPLE’S PARTY

SLPP

        One Country One People.
15 WALLACE JOHNSON STREET FREETOWN.

27th April, 2021.

SIERRA LEONE AT 60, THE SLPP AT 70: OUR COLLECTIVE HISTORY AND FUTURE.

The full glare of the local and international media is fixed on Sierra Leone as she celebrates 60 years of Independence. At the same time, our party commemorates 70 years of quality existence as the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) was formed exactly ten years prior to the date Sierra Leone attained its Independence as a Nation. As a political party, our founding fathers’ reflections about the destiny of our people (Sierra Leoneans) led to the establishment of our party in 1951.

The history of Sierra Leone’s Independence and the SLPP are inextricably conjoined. As the country marks 60 years of Independence, the Executive and Members of the SLPP wish the government and people of Sierra Leone a peaceful and joyous celebration. As a nation, we have shown resilience and fortitude to rise from the ashes of destruction of civil war and bad governance and on to the path of greatness.

The peaceful struggle for and attainment of Independence was made possible by the savvy and dexterous leadership of the SLPP under Sir Milton Margai. The progressive path to sustainable development that the SLPP administration of Sir Milton Margai fashioned for Sierra Leone was interrupted by over two decades of a disastrous political dictatorship (1978-1992) that created the foundations for state failure and a brutal civil war (that lasted for a decade: 1991-2002). In 1996, the people of Sierra Leone elected the SLPP administration of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. The President Kabbah-led SLPP administration ended the civil war and set the country on a path to a people-centered economic development and pro-democracy institutional reforms. However, this glorious path to postwar development was interrupted by a failed political leadership between 2007 and 2017. But we would want to remind all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans that the dreams of our Founding Fathers are still alive and that no adversity would stop us from moving towards development.

70 years of political existence has seen the good, the bad and the ugly, but as a party we have risen from despair to hope; from dejection to aspiration; and from the nadir of hopelessness to the apex of administration.  In those 70 years our party brought forth to our nation, an Independence that was intended to catapult the country to heights others have attained. We were stopped in our tracks by the murky and uncertain political dynamics of our society. Nevertheless, we are proud of our immeasurable and invaluable contribution to the development of our country.

The best moments of Sierra Leone have been under the SLPP administrations – past and present. Apart from gaining Independence for our country, it is the SLPP government that ended the eleven years bloody internecine strife that claimed the lives of thousands of our innocent compatriots. It is the SLPP that created the most enviable and viable institutions that this country can boast of. From the Sierra Leone Ports Authority to the National Social Security and Insurance Trust to name but a few, the SLPP has always shown a belief in building strong institutions. These and many more are the lasting legacies of SLPP administrations.

As the country commemorates 60 years of Independence, and the Party celebrates 70 years of existence, let us have faith in President Bio’s SLPP administration. His administration is on the right track and set to hoist us to the pinnacle of success. With the SLPP, under President Bio, quality education is assured. The fight against corruption has won Sierra Leone international admiration. We are rebranding our country’s image internationally. The world is looking towards Sierra Leone for leadership in the fight against COVID19. We are building strong institutions. We are committed to the rule of law and the Independence of the judiciary. We are accountable and transparent. We promised and delivered press freedom. Gender equality is becoming a reality. Youth empowerment/employment is assured under the SLPP. We reject violence and are committed to peace and national cohesion.

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To the general membership of the SLPP, the Executive recognizes your sacrifices. We celebrate our collective quest to build upon the legacies of our founding fathers. Like the election manipulations of 1967 and 1977 that our founding fathers experienced, we had also endured the ignominy election manipulations in 2007 and 2012. Yet, we survived it and prevailed in 2018 because, like our founding fathers, we believe the electoral victory of the SLPP is a victory for Sierra Leone. Yes! Our founding fathers persevered the indignation of proscription in 1978 after the orchestrated enactment of a One-Party Bill in Parliament that year. Yet, they did not give up. So we must not give up; we should not give in to the unhelpful tactics of our opponents. We should peacefully resist all the dirty tricks in the books of our opponents. Unlike our opponents, we did not win elections through dirty tricks. It was hard work and a commitment to build a sustainably developed Sierra Leone that led to our bouncing back to power in 2018. We should remain committed in our quest to provide hope for all Sierra Leoneans. Let us continue to hold the moral high ground and lay the foundation for decency in our body politic.  We should play our part to ensure that His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio succeeds in his efforts to create a united, gender-equal, corruption-free, peaceful, and sustainably developed Sierra Leone.

Finally, the Executive and the General Membership of the Sierra Leone People’s Party wish to congratulate His Excellency the President and his Government, our Chiefs, Community Leaders, the women, men, and children of Sierra Leone on this commemorative occasion of 60 years of nationhood, and 70 years of the SLPP’s founding.

We congratulate the people of Sierra Leone for their patience and resilience over the decades. We entreat them to be hopeful that the present SLPP government will uplift them and change the narratives in Sierra Leone.

Happy 60th Independence Anniversary!

Happy 70th SLPP Anniversary!

Long live Sierra Leone! 

Long live SLPP!

_____________________________
Umaru Napoleon Koroma
Secretary General

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