JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY SIERRA LEONE PEOPLE'S PARTY (UK) AND PEOPLES MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (UK)
Thursday, 10 November 2011
APC Politicises Open Government Initiative Meeting in London Just Like They Are Politicising The Police, Army and Even Paddle
By letter dated 27 October 2011 and addressed to the Chairpersons of our respective political parties, the SLPP and PMDC, the Head of Chancery at the Sierra Leone High Commission, UK, Mrs Florence Bangali, informed and invited our parties to attend the Open Government Initiative (OGI) public meeting with the President, Ernest Bai Koroma, on the pretext that it will be a non-partisan event, the import of which was to interface with Sierra Leoneans living in the UK. We at once associate with the principles informing the existence of the OGI.
However, we were shocked and taken aback when the official flyer about the event was presented to the public bearing the All People's Congress (APC) emblem on it, the full details of which is attached to this Joint statement.
We are settled in our view that the occasion of the President's public meeting was used to mobilise an APC oriented political rally for President Koroma's 2012 political aspirations. We believe that this was wrong and inimical to the tenets espoused by the OGI which includes but is not limited to openness, transparency, accountability, inclusion and national cohesion. In any event, it was in bad taste and indeed an act of shameful conduct for our President to succumb to such gimmick. We note also the omission of the programme's sponsor namely, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Furthermore, given that the APC has sought to use donor money to further its political campaign for 2012 General Elections, we the SLPP and PMDC hereby call for an immediate investigation into how the modalities of the OGI event was set in train, in order to get full disclosure of how it was organised and how the funds were utilised for the event on 5 November. We hereby invite the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission to forthwith investigate the matter with a view of exploring the possibility of whether the Director of OGI abused her office.
It will be recalled that, our recent 50th Independence Anniversary was also promoted as a wholly partisan platform to maximise APC’s prospects at the 2012 General Elections in Sierra Leone.
The public has our highest assurance that our parties are amenable to cooperate and participate in all matters touching and concerning Sierra Leone, so far as it encompasses democratic values, the national interest being paramount.
By copy of this Joint Statement, the public is accordingly informed.
Sarjoh Aziz Kamara Anthony Sheriff
Secretary General Deputy Secretary General
SLPP UK & Ireland PMDC UK & Ireland
10th November 2011