Salone News

Bu-Buakei Jabbi stops SLPP convention

1 March 2011 at 05:04 | 302 views

By Our Correspondent.

A convention to be held March 5 by Sierra Leone’s leading opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s party, has been dramatically stopped in its tracks by a Supreme Court injunction, Monday February 28, 2011. The party was taken to court by a leading SLPP member Dr. Bu Buakei Jabbi (photo), a candidate for the leadership of the party.

Jabbi says there are serious constitutional anomalies affecting the SLPP that needed to be addressed before a convention could be held and the Supeme Court of Sierra Leone seems to have agreed with him. He said he wrote several letters to party leaders advising them not to go ahead with preparations for the convention until certain issues were resolved, but they ingored him. The Political Parties Registration Commission, the body that deals with issues affecting political parties in the country also turned its back on him, he said.

Among the issues Jabbi was worried about was the party’s failure to select a new batch of party delegates that would eventually vote for the new party executive at the convention and the failure to refuse to allow the current party executive to continue to serve the party even though their tenure had expired.

Party elders recently decided, unconstitutionally, according to Jabbi, to extend the mandate of the cuurent national executive beyond 2012 at a meeting in Bo, the country’s second largest city. He argued that if the delegates and national executive whose terms had expired remain in place, the election of new party leaders will not be free and fair.

Jabbi says a new executive should be elected and the current executive led by John Benjamin should relinquish their positions as the party constitution demands. Benjamin and his team disagree with Jabbi and accuse of him of being manipulated by outside forces.

Jabbi’s action and his determination to see that the SLPP constitution prevails has created many admirers and detractors in the SLPP, the country’s oldest party. He has also ignited the anger of many SLPP supporters who want the convention to go on despite the constitutional bottlenecks.

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling has not only delayed the much anticipated SLPP convention; it has decimated the party’s financial resources. Millions of Leones spent on convention preparations have gone down the drain.

Bu-Buakei Jabbi, a former university lecturer and private lawyer, was born in Kailahun district, east of the country. He holds a PhD in English and a law degree.