The Former Vice President of Sierra Leone, Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam- Sumana has turned down offer on behalf of his party and supporters to serve as MODERATOR in the much talked about Bintumani 3 PEACE CONFERENCE the Bio led-government is organizing in the capital Freetown.
Reasons for declining are connected to his tight schedules and impromptu notice served for the purpose. From the opposition point of view, President Julius Maada Bio won the presidency on a common platform of dividing the country through a sugar coated manifesto by putting the country into a NEW DIRECTION.
The government is saying that the Bintumani conference would serve as icebreaker to the current unease political situation in the country.
The opposition was high and low with concerns about political intimidation and intolerance from members of the ruling party. In recent time, the opposition Members of Parliament walked out on President Bio in parliament when he was there to deliver a state of the nation address after the house resume duty from holiday.
The former Vice President, others have it, is still not at ease with the Bio led government after the circumstances which led to the withdrawal of his security details amounted to lack of respect to his status befitting a former Vice President.
The allegations of ruling party surrogates intimidating opponents, secrete killer agents in the guise of militants, abuse, harassment and recklessly dismissing political opponents based on tribal and ethnic line are all issues under the line for President Bio to address.
Now, the main opposition, All People’s Congress have taken a unanimous decision today to boycott the proposed Bintumani conference on the same reasons of not wanting to work with the current administration.
The main opposition is not the only one in that path, about 72 prior to the hosting of the APC conference, Sam-Suman’s party the Coalition for Change C4C also quashed the idea of attending the Bintumani peace conference. Reporting by Alhaji M. Jalloh
About the arithmetic surrounding the Bintumani Conference, Professor of History at Fourah Bay College Joe A. D Alie wrote:
Do I hear of a Bintumani 3? May be my arithmetic is poor, because I thought we should be talking about a Bintumani 4.
For the records. Bintumani 1 was from 15-17 August 1995. It was organised by the Interim National Electoral Commission (Chair Dr James Jonah). It was at this conference that the delegates unanimously decided that nationwide elections should take place on 26 February 1996.
Bintumani 2 was on 12 February 1996 to determine whether elections should still take place on 26 February, following the palace coup of 16 January 1996.
Bintumani 3 was from 7-9 April 1999, organised by the National Commission for Democracy and Human Rights (Chair, Dr Kadi Sesay). Bintumani 3 was a National consultative conference prior to the Lome Peace Talks, following the RUF/AFRC invasion of Freetown on 6 January 1999. Its purpose was to articulate the views of civil society which would assist the government delegation (led by Attorney General Solomon Berewa) in their discussions with the RUF in LOME. The outcome of this conference was an impressive publication – THE ROAD TO PEACE. I was directly involved in the organisation of all the conferences and presented papers.
So, is the forthcoming conference not Bintumani 4, or I’m I missing something? If so, forgive me. Old age does cruel things to the mind.
Copy Right Prof J A. D Allie