Supporters of the former SLPP presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential election, Brig. (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio, and those of Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella have posted their views on the social media with regards to the press release issued by the Julius Maada Bio Communication Unit and the reaction of the Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Movement (KKYM) in another news release.
The release of the Julius Maada Bio Communication Unit heartily welcomed Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Yumkella into the SLPP family and stressed on the upholding of the rules and regulations of the party which it described as the solid foundation upon which the party is built.
The release also alluded to Julius Maada Bio’s statement in a radio programme on Radio Democracy FM 98.1 a few months ago challenging the membership of the former senior UN official and promising that he would be the first person to welcome him in the SLPP if he became a registered member of the party.
In its response to the press release, the KKM considered the welcoming of Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Yumkella into the SLPP family as a provocation aimed at questioning his credibility.
The KKYM’s release took umbrage at the impression given by the Julius Maada Bio Communication Unit that Thursday 7th January 2016 was the first registration of Alhaji Dr. Kandeh Yumkella as member of the SLPP.
The movement also accused both Julius Maada Bio and Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu of manipulating the party to ensure that Dr. Yumkella is eliminated from the flag-bearership in order to give way to Maada Bio’s coronation.
The release attacked the personality of Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu as regards his role in the infamous passport deal during the AFRC regime between 1992 and 1996.
According to the KKYM release, the registration of Dr. Yumkella last Thursday was a special request from the SLPP Chairman of Kambia District, who asked the flag-bearer aspirant to register with the district since he had registered with other branches at home and abroad.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph in its response to the Julius Maada Bio Communication Unit described the welcoming of Dr. Yumkella into the SLPP family as “a provocative narrative that speaks of the ‘un-bonafide membership of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella’ and an attempt to eliminate him from the flag-bearership.
Many supporters of the KKYM have expressed similar views in the social media attacking Maada Bio’s political ambition to be re-elected as the SLPP presidential candidate at all cost, and also his silence over the arrest, detention and court action against another flag-bearer aspirant, Dr. Alie Kabba, over alleged bigamy.
Supporters of Maada Bio accused Dr. Yumkella of lying about his membership in the SLPP which they claim will put his credibility under question.
Some opined that there was nothing provocative about the press release issued by the Julius Maada Bio Communication Unit as the KKYM thought, while others condemned the vitriolic attack on Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu in the press release issued by the KKYM.
The statement of Maada Bio in the release that the registration of Dr. Yumkella was announced to him by the National Treasurer was also challenged by KKYM, saying that such announcement should come from the SLPP National Chairman and Leader and National Secretary General instead of the National Treasurer.
The KKYM insisted that both the National Chairman and National Secretary General had long confirmed the membership of Dr. Yumkella in the SLPP.
Meanwhile, many concerned SLPP members and supporters have observed that if the renewed war of words between supporters of the two flag-bearer aspirants is not put to a halt by moral guarantors and other stakeholders, it will undermine the ongoing mediation process.