Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) is supposed to be the main opposition party in the country but series of events have shattered the credibility of the entire party membership. The latest is that a senior SLPP elected official is a common thief who was caught stealing rice. Revelations like this is why the SLPP is no longer seen as an alternative government by right thinking members of society.

John Benjamin SLPP

This latest damage to SLPP is the revelation that the man who was elected by SLPP members in Segbwema, Kailahun, to be their Constituency Chairman, is allegedly a common thief with a propensity for drunkenness.

The allegation against Segbwema SLPP chairman Mohamed Lamin Kallon, was made by no less a person than another very senior member of the SLPP, John Oponjo Benjamin who himself once served as SLPP’s National Chairman & Leader. This has further dented the credibility of the SLPP which is already well known for its trademark of violence.

The allegation that SLPP chose a common thief and drunk was made on Wednesday 15th June 2016 when the Awareness Times Newspaper contacted Benjamin for him to react to insults first rained on him by M.L. Kallon over a radio programme in Kenema district.

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M.L. Kallon is a supporter of Maada Bio, one of the main contenders with John Oponjo Benjamin for the presidential ticket of the SLPP. Bio’s supporters are referred to as the “Paopas” in local parlance which means they seek political power at all cost.

M.L. Kallon during a radio programme which was recently broadcast on Eastern Radio, in Kenema had alleged that Mr. Benjamin was jeopardizing police investigations on the slaughtering to death of one Mohamed Karim (aka Daddy George) in Kenema town during a confrontation between supporters of Bio and supporters of John Benjamin.

The late Daddy George was a supporter of John Benjamin and he hailed from Segbwema, where both Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Kallon hail from. Benjamin had openly accused his fellow SLPP members from the rival PAOPA warring faction, as having murdered Daddy George.

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Speaking live on air, M.L. Kallon of PAOPA, said the accusation made by John Benjamin that Maada Bio, Dr. Mansaray, Mayor Keifala and Fokai Demby are orchestrators of the murder and intra-SLPP violence, was completely out of track.

Hon. Kallon further called the Alliance of All Aspirants (AAA) of SLPP to which Benjamin belonged, to be conspirators against Maada Bio.

Kallon specifically referred to one Franklyn Rogers of AAA as “likely to be a lunatic.” Kallon hit at AAA members as “incompetent politicians” adding that most of them aspiring for SLPP presidential ticket are not even fit to be Parliamentarians or local councillors.

Kallon however kept his most vehement words for John Benjamin.

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It was to seek a reaction to the vehement attack that Awareness Times contacted Benjamin John Oponjo Benjamin was however quite dismissive of M. L. Kallon. He said the statements made by Hon. Kallon are unfortunate and described him as “a drunk.” Benjamin alleged that on several instances, Kallon has been caught “stealing rice”. Benjamin furthered that when Kallon was caught stealing rice one time, it was Benjamin who intervened to free him from disgrace.

Therefore, in a very dismissive tone of voice, Mr. Benjamin stated that he could not talk further on the matter as he felt that M.L. Kallon and himself can never be on the same level.

How the SLPP members in Segbwema elected a drunk and rice thief to be their Constituency Chairman is what many tell this newspaper that they now ponder upon.