21 May 2019

Sierra Leone: Sam Sumana Snubs Bintumani III

The opposition Coalition for Change (C4C) party has responded to an invitation extended to their Chairman and Leader, former sacked Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana, making it clear that the latter would not attend the much talked about Bintumani III in Freetown.

The Ministry of Political and Public Affairs had in a letter dated 16th May,2019 signed by the Permanent Secretary, Edward Kwamie Yankson,invited Sam Sumana to serve as moderator of the Bintumani III National Conference on Peace and National Cohesion scheduled to take place from 23rd to 25th May, 2019 in Freetown.

He was expected to speak on the topic: "Promoting Social Cohesion, Culture of Peace and Democracy".

In their replied letter of 20th May,2019,the party's Secretary General,Koigho Aloysious Foh stated that "We write in response to your letter of 16th May, 2019,inviting His Excellency to moderate a session at your Bintumani III Conference scheduled for 23rd to 25th May,2019,in Freetown. The letter was received on the 17th of May, 2019, effectively giving inadequate notice to the re-schedule activities that his Excellency has already committed to outside of Sierra Leone."

The opposition C4C party, which occupies eight seats in Parliament further made it clear in their letter that "In this regard, it is unfortunate that with the best of intentions Chief Sam Sumana will not be able to moderate the session on 'Promoting Social Cohesion, Culture of Peace and Democracy' at the said conference."

"His Excellency sends his unreserved apologies to the organisers of the Bintumani III conference."

The party reminded the government on the need to uphold international treaties and protocols as a means to enhancing decent democracy in Sierra Leone.

"In the meantime, we hope that all relevant international treaties and protocols are adhered to and that a Nation First approach is adopted as a precursor to social and peaceful cohesion, ultimately resulting in the promotion of fair democracy in Sierra Leone."

Samuel Sam Sumana was recently stripped off his state security details on the grounds that he was not a retired, but rather a sacked Vice President and that he should not be accorded such facility.

The said action was instituted after Sam Sumana mend fence with former President Ernest Bai Koroma who had unconstitutionally relieved him of his duty as vice president.

It was however ironical that he was addressed as retired Vice President in the invitation letter sent to him by the Ministry of Political and Public Affairs.

The proposed Bintumani III conference on Peace Building, Diversity Management and National Cohesion was made public by President Julius Maada Bio during the State Opening of the Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone on May 4th,2019.

But the main opposition All People's Congress (APC) has clearly stated that they would not be a party to the said conference on the grounds that the current administration was not working towards the realization of national cohesion and peace.

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