The absence of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Chairman, Prince Alex Harding at the vacation return of President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday has continued to generate concerns among party stalwarts and political watchers.
Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio and his family on Thursday arrived in Freetown to a tumultuous welcome by his ruling party supporters, after almost ten days absence from the country, which prompted wild speculations about his whereabouts and wellbeing.
The president was met on arrival at the Murray Town sea coach dock by a throng of supporters and party loyalists, who formed a long vehicle convoy to accompany the president and his family to their residence at State Lodge, as traffic in the central district of Freetown grounded to a halt.
Although numerous government officials and party faithful was present to welcome the President, the one prominent personality in the politics of the state and the ruling party was conspicuously absent.
Dr. Prince Harding aka ‘Bullet’ was recently sacked by the President as Chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), the telecoms regulatory body and the country’s highest revenue earner
The president appointed Alhaji Mohamed Fouad Sheriff to succeed the man who is Chairman and Leader of the ruling SLPP party.
His dismissal comes after a meeting of the second highest decision-making body of the party, amid talk of a leadership struggle.
Known to some by his alias BULLET, Dr Harding’s leadership of NATCOM was sometimes fraught with controversy.
There were speculations that Dr. Prince Harding had fallen out with the President just after the March, 2018 elections and that his position as Chairman of the SLPP was being threatened by the entrance into the race of Batilo Songa, the Organizing Secretary and quite recently Dr. Momodu Koroma, the party’s deputy flag bearer in the 2007 elections.
Dr. Prince Harding has refused to speak on his sacking, but has called on the mammoth crowd that had turned out to receive him in Bo to be calm and support the President as he drives the national agenda to develop Sierra Leone.
As the case may be, suspicion of dwindling relationship between Prince Harding and President Julius Bio reached its crescendo with the later absent when the President returned to the country on Thursday.
While we are still oblivious of how events will turn in following weeks, Sierraloaded will keep you informed on further developments and activities about this issue.