30 January 2014

Sierra Leone: UDM's Mohamed Bangura Called to Answer to Political and Financial Impropriety

Two senior executive members of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) have raised grave concerns over the internal democratic workings of their party, which they say is being seriously undermined by the party's Chairman and Leader, Mohamed Bangura.

In a press release issued on Tuesday in Freetown, the UDM Secretary-General, Editayo George Temple and Director of Communications, Marcus Bangura, jointly expressed concern about the direction in which the UDM is heading, as it is "under siege, fraught in shambles and masquerade", apparently referring to the leadership style of their garrulous and publicity-seeking leader.

The release also called on Mr. Bangura and the rest of the executive to resign ahead of the party's national delegates' conference, which they say should be held on 16th March this year.

The release further noted: "There is a clear and unfettered evidence that the leadership [of Mohamed Bangura] is characterized with facade democracy, hemmed with despotism, intolerance, manipulations, suspension, and relegation of National Executive members to mere spectators," adding a long list of undemocratic acts allegedly perpetrated by their leader, including electoral malpractice and financial misappropriation.

"These concerns have been going on for a very long time unchecked and unrestrained. It therefore undermines the UDM Constitution and liquidates the democratic principles of the party. This is not good for emerging political parties. We need to stop this ugly development and move forward to seek action and restore sanity so as to enable the party to grow tall and consolidate its third force position, which is a viable springboard to governance," the release stated.

The two senior executive members of the UDM said the release is meant to notify members of the beleaguered party, the Political Parties Registration Commission, political parties and the general public that the UDM should hold its national delegates' conference on 16th March, 2014.

"This simply explains that all National Executive positions shall become unfilled or vacant, including that of the Chairman and Leader. This means that the embattled Chairman and Leader, Mohamed Bangura, ceases to be Chairman and Leader of the UDM until the National Delegates' Conference is held to elect new executive members as provided by the Constitution," the release further stated.

The duo urged Mr. Bangura to ensure that the UDM holds its national delegates' conference devoid of any political manoeuvring and manipulations, adding that they still believe in the party's vision, guiding principles and philosophy in order to transform the political landscape of Sierra Leone.

Also, the release called on Mr. Bangura to put in place effective structures in the party, lest it is seen as a one man party, run by a single individual. Thus, the UDM leader is urged to "refrain from making haphazard, obnoxious and inflammatory statements attacking persons on behalf of the UDM; to resolve the constitutional problems of the party as advised by the PPRC; and to submit and make available to members a comprehensive, audited, reliable and timely financial report on income and expenditure since 2012.

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