Tuesday’s courtesy by Bio on all four former aspirants according to the Maada Bio Communications Unit, was aimed to unite and reconnect the former aspirants with Maada Bio and further preach the message of peace and oneness under the ‘One People, One Country’ phenomenon.
It can be recalled that in past conventions and elections of the party, especially flagbearer elections, heads have not been meeting at a rightful point but rather, the losing sides have been resulting to instituting court actions against the winning sides.
It is widely believed that the positive move currently being taken by Maada Bio has been one of the missing factors that have been leading to negative divides among members, especially elections contenders in past conventions.
It can further be recalled that during his acceptance speech after winning the election, Bio showed nobility in appealing to all former colleague aspirants and their supporters to come together in peace and unity and join him to take the SLPP to State House after 2018 polls.
As a demonstration of that nobility and to continue in uniting the SLPP, the new Presidential Candidate paid courtesy calls to all former flagbearer aspirants in their respective residences to invite them to join him to return the party to governance.
At the residence of Engineer Munda Rogers, Bio said he was at the home of the Engineer because of the Spirit of One Country, One People. He said the party went through a political struggle but after the election as flagbearer he wanted everyone to work together. Bio also appealed to Engineer Rogers that if anyone had insulted or molested him during the flagbearer campaigns he was sorry.
In response, Engineer Rogers welcomed Bio and thanked him for the initiative to reach out to all former aspirants. He assured Bio that he has only known SLPP and will always be SLPP. Rogers appealed to the SLPP flagbearer that his excellent reconciliation drive should also go down to the grassroots level so that everyone will follow the good example.
After the visit to Engineer Munda Rogers, Bio and entourage also visited the residence of Ambassador Umaru B. Wurie. At Wurie’s residence, the SLPP flagbearer described Ambassador Wurie as his brother who he has had a good working relationship with for many years. Bio told Ambassador Wurie that the flagbearer contest is now over and he is inviting him to join the march to State House.
On his part, Ambassador Wurie said the election of Bio was not in doubt but that he wanted to show that the convention was not a coronation and that a Northerner is represented among the poll of aspirants to show SLPP is One Country, One People. Wurie told Bio that SLPP is his home and accepted the invitation from Bio to work with him for the victory of the SLPP.
From Ambassador Wurie, Bio also visited Dr. Alie Kabba at his residence where he told him that his election is the beginning of the road to develop the country. Bio commended Alie Kabba for his spirited campaign and stated he is a valued member of the party. The SLPP flagbearer aspirant assured Kabba that he will be part of the process to return SLPP to governance.
Excited about the visit, Alie Kabba described the visit by Bio that it is a visit by a brother to another brother. Kabba said the proudest moment for him will be to see a brother with the opportunity to lead their party to State House. Kabba said he was proud of the manner Bio carried himself throughout the campaign. He said that the party should have a campaign for first rounds. Kabba also committed himself that he will do everything possible to ensure that Bio becomes the next President. Kabba told Bio that it will be a great honour to work with him.
The final visit was to the residence of the former Chairman and Leader, John Oponjo Benjamin. At his house, Bio referred to Mr. Benjamin as his brother and that he has known the family for over two decades. In the spirit of unity, Bio stated that in politics no one group will succeed without the contributions of everyone. Bio told Benjamin that he is a special person in the party and that what happened during the campaign period should be put behind them.
The SLPP flagbearer also stated that his move to unite the party was because of the country; adding that the worst SLPP government is better than APC at its best.
On his part, Mr. Benjamin expressed his appreciation for the meeting stating that he is not in SLPP to run away. Benjamin said the focal point should now be how they can transform the flagbearship into the presidency. He said they have to put behind them what happened in the flagbearer campaign and encourage everyone to come on board.
The former flagbearer aspirant also suggested that they should not dismiss anyone.
In a very determined tone, Benjamin stated that this time the SLPP should not take APC to court but that APC should take SLPP to court because SLPP must win the elections.
The entourage of Julius Maada Bio included Members of Parliament and National Deputy Chairman and Leader, Regional Vice Chairman, East, Regional Vice Chairman, South, National Women’s Leader and National Deputy Secretary General.