The Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) together with the National Grand Coalition (NGC) has on 23rd April 2023 formed an alliance described a Progressive Alliance for National Development.
At the signing of the agreement for the benefit of both parties, they announced that President Julius Maada Bio will be their main presidential candidate for this year’s multi-tier elections.
This comes after the two political parties agreed on a strategic progressive alliance which aims at forming an inclusive government with ministerial and other appointments to members of the NGC if President Bio emerges as the winner of the presidential elections.
Speaking at the official launch of the alliance, Honorable Kandeh Yumkella, Leader of the NGC said the formation of the alliance was not an easy decision but one that came as a result of the shared vision of both parties for the nation.
“Today marks a historic day in Sierra Leone as the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the National Grand Coalition (NGC) come together to form the Progressive Alliance. This decision demonstrates our unwavering dedication to placing the interests of our nation first and collaborating to create a brighter future and more prosperous future for all our people,” Honorable Yumkella said.
Prior to the 2018 elections, the former UN Undersecretary General was a member of the SLPP, but on several occasions, he was denied access to the party offices in Bo and Freetown. His membership was also not acknowledged by the party executive, due to all the intimidations he faced he quit to form the NGC in 2017 and later contested for the presidency the following year.
In his Keynote Address President Dr Julius Maada Bio said in 1951, their Founding Fathers built the SLPP upon the foundation of a great aspiration: One Country, One People. They combined a largeness of vision with a largeness of heart. They built a party that would provide a broad umbrella for every Sierra Leonean.
“Our Founding Fathers did not hesitate to build alliances. They frequently extolled the virtues of National Unity or of a United Front. This was what brought Sir Milton Margai, Chief Bai Farama Tass, Chief Bai Shebora Yumkella, Lamina Sankoh, Kandeh Bureh, Mohamed Sanusi Mustapha, and several others together to seek national statehood and build a brand-new nation,” he said.
Signing the agreement, President Bio said, “I want to express my gratitude for the commitment and dedication of our two parties in coming together for the greater good of our nation. I am pleased to note that for the past several months both leaderships of the SLPP and NGC have engaged in extensive discussions rooted in the desire to form an Alliance that is strong, strategic and transparent.”
He said that as leaders, they were guided by a purpose larger than their individual ambitions, and that they resolved to work together towards transformative and inclusive development in Sierra Leone, believing that by joining forces, they can achieve greater impact and create more positive changes for their beloved country.
He pointed out that Transformational Development by the SLPP and NGC is a testament to their commitment to inclusive governance and national cohesion as their vision is unified, and their ideas are cross-fertilized.
“We are united in our love for Sierra Leone. Our Alliance will accelerate the development efforts that my administration has been undertaking,” he added.