The former National Chairman/Leader of the main opposition SLPP has written off the chances of Dr Kandeh Yumkella clinching the party’s Presidential ticket, maintaining that the UN Energy Chief was not a popular political figure in the body politic of the country.
Mr. Benjamin who was speaking in an exclusive interview with Global Times on Wednesday said Mr. Yumkella’s problem is compounded by the fact that he is dealing with few people who are themselves either very unpopular or are not even known within the party and the country as a whole.
The former Chairman who was responding to a question about his relationship with Mr. Yumkellah and the 2012 flag bearer, Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio recalled his long standing relationship with the two men, whose political pedigrees he said, he personally helped to build.
“As Chief Secretary of State during the NPRC regime, I personally invited Kandeh Yumkella to Sierra Leone to work as Secretary of State Trade and Industry”, Mr. Benjamin said, adding that he introduced Yumkella to politics. “I see no reason why I should have anything against him”
Commenting on Rtd. Brig. Maada Bio, Mr. Benjamin said he has no grudge against the 2012 flag bearer. “When I was Chairman, I personally took Bio on a conducted nationwide tour to sell his image for the 2012 election. I built Bio’s image and made sure that he enjoyed the sufficient image protection during my tenure as Chairman” Benjamin said.
He however took a swipe at Dr. Sama Banya, himself a former National Chairman of the SLPP for calling on members to unite behind the 2012 Presidential flag bearer, Rtd. Brig Julius Maada Bio.
According to Benjamin, it is wrong to call on members of an organization to unite behind a single personality, but rather, he said such members should unite for the benefit of that organisation since the aim of any organisation is to bring together people from different perspectives.
Lending his thought on the ruling APC, Mr. Benjamin said it was just a matter of time for the looming leadership crises in the party to start rearing its ugly head. He said the question of who will replace President Koroma is the APC’s biggest headache at the moment.
The former Chairman called on SLPP members to move fast to iron out internal political differences failing which he said the party is doomed to fail again in the next election.