How John Benjamin Destroy SLPP


An Insider’s Account of How Bad Leadership Led To The Disappearance of Billions Meant For The Development Of The Party
Long before the 2012 presidential election, rumours were rife that the former National Chairman and Leader of the opposition SLPP, John Oponjo Benjamin was working in league with some powerful APC politicians to undermine the chances of the former flagbearer, Julius Maada Bio. The allegation was that Mr. Benjamin wanted his sworn enemy, Maada Bio to lose the election so that he will be in better stead to assume leadership of the party as flagbearer come 2017. Mr. Benjamin has constantly denied the allegation.
But with his recent open declaration that he will be contesting for the 2012 flagbearership and his constant vitriolic attacks on Rtd. Brig. Maada Bio , Mr. Benjamin may well be lending credence to the rumoured 2017 agenda.
Besides the allegation of his 2017 agenda, Mr. Benjamin’s style of leadership has been roundly criticized by supporters including an SLPP insider who described his style of leadership as dictatorial and destructive when he visited our offices yesterday. “The division within is the price the SLPP is paying today for his bad leadership”, he said.
He accused Mr. Benjamin of planting the seed of hatred within the party especially events leading to the last Delegates Conference in Bo, in which he replaced elected delegates with his acquaintances in an apparent mobilization of votes. He accused the former chairman of administering the SLPP like his private entity, adding that Mr. Benjamin failed to give full account of his stewardship before he left.
Describing his handing over note as bogus, the insider showed Global Times detailed documents of how about two billion Leones meant for the development of the SLPP disappeared from the party’s accounts, which he noted is a mark of Mr. Benjamin’s destructive leadership.
According to him, the Le 990 million (Nine hundred and ninety million Leones) raised from the flagbearer contest which was to become a seed money for the eventual winner disappeared even before the dust settled. “Maada Bio who won the contest was never made signatory to that account as was agreed upon”, our sources explained.
The Insider recalled that the United Nations Development Programme funded the refurbishment of the SLPP headquarters with more than Le 100 million from 2010 to 2011, but said the former chairman claimed in his handing over note that he disbursed from party fund Le 175 million during the same period to carry out similar work on the party office.
Lamenting the manner with which the party fund was plundered, the insider recalled the US$236,000 or Le 1.180 billion which the SLPP received from President Goodluck Jonathan as part of it share from a staggering one million United States dollars the Nigerian leader donated to political parties in the country. “By the time this new executive took over, only US$2000 was in the account. As to what happened to rest of the money only Mr. Benjamin can tell”.
Mr. Benjamin cannot be reached for comment, but has been quoted by his newspaper Metro that he left behind a handsome amount. The SLPP executive declined to comment when contacted.