Arrest of an opposition politician in Sierra Leone

Alie Kabba – Presidential aspirant SLPP 

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 June 2017

Reports reaching me from Freetown indicate that the Chairman and Leader of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, has been arrested and is being moved to Kailahun to appear in court.

Even as we patiently and respectfully await the court proceedings to take their course, I would like to strongly caution the APC government against embarking on political interference into this matter with the intent to disadvantage Mr. Mansaray or twist the course of events in any specific direction that the authorities may deem favourable to them.

We are all aware that the ADP Chairman and Leader was once a member of the APC before moving on to form his current party. The fact that he is now an opposition politician speaking out against some of the many ills being perpetuated by the APC government should not be used as hidden grounds to harass or persecute him.

The government must be very mindful of unintended repercussions of a perceived “judicial lynching” of an opposition figure simply for expressing views that may not sit comfortably with the powers on the throne.

As we continue to keenly observe developments arising out of this arrest, I want to take this opportunity to urge the government to move quickly to resolve this issue by making sure that no politically motivated pressure is brought to bear on the court or police.

The closer we approach the 2018 general elections the bigger will grow the already heightened concern in many quarters that the ruling APC government might be deploying some unsavoury “tactics” to silence or intimidate the opposition along with institutions that are involved in the election process.

In spite of any planned or unfolding roadblocks by the government, we look forward to free, fair, timely and transparent elections.

As a proud and principled member of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), I encourage every citizen to stay fully engaged and in tune with the dynamics of our national political arena, for democratic culture thrives only when citizens refuse to be shut out or intimidated.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. One Country, One People. Everyone in, No one out – Everyone up, No one down.

Your Humble Servant – Alie Kabba

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