Representatives of 13 Political Parties have on Monday 13th September, 2021 committed themselves to harness the collective strength of their various political parties through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and use available resources to oppose, reject and condemn bad governance, all violations of the rule of law and the rights of citizens, in the Country.

Awoko reports that it all happened at the New Brookfield’s Hotel along Jomo Kenyatta road, New England Ville in Freetown, where representatives from the 13 political parties in opposition including representatives from the International Human Rights Commission and Civil Society Organizations witnessed the signing.

Before the formal signing of political parties, the representatives with approval from their various parties agreed to explore every opportunity to further tighten collaboration as opposition parties into a union that will generate a common electoral agenda.

During the formal courtesies to officially unveil the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP) which has been in existence for over a year, it was observed that the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and the National Electoral Commission (NEC) were absent and according to the COPPP administration official letters of invite were sent to the two election management bodies.

Femi Claudius Cole, Leader and former Presidential Candidate for Unity Party (UP) was appointed and given the opportunity to serve as the Chairperson of COPPP reason being that she is the only woman presidential candidate that is a member of the consortium.

“Today 13th September marks my 60th birthday, and some people believe that 13 is not a good figure, but I believe that this date chosen to sign the MoU is a turning point in the country’s political history that will shape the future of the many young people who had lost hope in the politics of Sierra Leone”, Femi Cole noted.

Secretary-General of the All People’s Congress, Alhaji Foday Yanssaneh gave a clear background on the foundation of which COPPP was found as a result of longing and a collective belief and ideology of 13 registered political parties to work with one aim to address the 4 core values in the democratic land scape. He added that the All Political Parties Association which was formed as a body responsible to seek the interest and to uphold democratic principles and put government on its toes when it comes to matters of national interest did not live up to what it was established for, rather “Today’s APPA has turned itself into something else that is not worthy of emulation”, Yanssaneh noted.

He hoped that coming together as a consortium, members representing their party will think country first rather than serving party interest for the benefit of a selected few. Foday Yanssaneh said country is above loyalty and ideology, therefore representatives should think twice in their dealings, noting that COPPP is for progressive minds and not for people seeking self-interest.

Dr. Dennis Bright, Chairman of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) Party read the 15 point Memorandum of Understanding witnessed by legal practitioner and member of the consortium, Charles Francis Margai.

The 13 political parties representatives maintained that their main aim is to defend democracy in Sierra Leone and to vigorously oppose all types of political oppression or intimidation to close the political space. The consortium commits itself to use every available means including the responsible use of the social media to educate its membership and the public on the benefits of the collaboration, so as to prevent misunderstandings that could frustrate the joint determination of parties to protect democracy and foster sustainable national development.

Wadi Williams, a founding member of the consortium urged Sierra Leoneans to make use of an opportunity that will progressively drive the country to another level, taking it out of its present socio-economic challenges.

“We are not against government, but we are partners who believe in good democratic principles and this is why we are challenging government to be more inclusive and encourage those who want to make a difference positively to walk progressively, in order that posterity will have the solid foundation to build upon and be proud of their ancestors”, he concluded.