Sierra Leone Telegraph: 13 August 2022:
President Bio needs to clampdown hard on his ministers and rein in his SLPP party operatives that are out fanning the flames of discord, retribution, and anarchy, in reaction to the bloody disturbance that took place last Wednesday, 10th of August 2022.
What the country needs now is moment of calm reflection and peaceful contemplation, not bellicose war chants.
Government ministers and ruling party operatives must allow the investigators of the deadly riot to do their work without the undue influence of politicians who are out to score points from this tragedy.
Sadly, the Mayor of Freetown – Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is being scapegoated by those trying to remove her from office. This is what she said in a statement: “Good day Freetonians. Immediately after His Excellency the President’s speech to the nation last night, the Minister of Information, members of the Strategic Communications Unit and the Presidential Press Secretary held a panel discussion in which they once again falsely accused me of inciting the recent protests.
“I am extremely troubled by this and utterly disappointed that government officials would use such a national broadcast to make baseless accusations.
“Let me emphatically state that I had no involvement in the incitement or organization of the protests on 10th August. I condemn all acts of violence that led to the unfortunate and tragic loss of lives and the destruction of property on that day.
“This deliberate and continued action of making false accusations publicly has already led to constant attacks of me on social media and attempts of physical attacks on FCC property. But this is not about me.
“In the past week, dozens of people have been killed, an unspecified and increasing number of people have been detained and it is my understanding that the detainees have been denied access to legal representation, and sadly thousands of traders (mainly women) have overnight lost their source of livelihood through the destruction of their market stalls.
“My heart goes out to all those who are suffering at this time. May the souls of the departed rest in peace. I believe that in challenging times we must nurture a spirit of unity and foster platforms for peaceful engagement. I call for calm in the city and for all to avoid violence.
“Finally, let me use this medium to reaffirm my commitment to peace and justice in Sierra Leone. I will continue to do everything I can to diligently serve the residents of Freetown. Thank you.”
You can watch Mayor Aki-Sawyerr speaking here:
In another related development, the head of the police force – William Fayia Sellu, has announced the lifting of the curfew. This is what his statement says: “The public will recall that following the violent insurrection on Wednesday August 10, 2022, the Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone declared a nationwide curfew which was revised on Thursday 11th August, 2022, to only apply and be enforced in places that were seriously affected by the violent insurrection i.e. Western Area (urban and rural), Makeni, Magburaka, and Kamakwie).
“Be informed that the security situation has drastically improved nationwide; and in particular, the places that were seriously affected, owing to the invocation and subsistence of Military Aid to Civil Power (MAC-P). In view of this, the curfew in the affected places (Western Area, Makeni, Magburaka, and Kamakwie) is hereby revoked, with immediate effect.”
Dr Samura Kamara, the 2018 Presidential Candidate of the APC party has also been speaking today about the deadly riots. This is what he said:
This is Dr Samura speaking:
There is no safe haven for the terrorists in this country and I repeated, Sierra Leone would never become a terror land, we have the tapes when and where their meetings took place. We being there before and each and everyone of us understood that, the English law, is rigid not flexible. The human right was devastated of how APC was terrorizing their own law enforcement officers( the police), these great people did not served you for the past 11 year?, is APC party only authorized to govern this country? if not APC, no one else?.
We have a WhatsApp chilling video, on the picture where APCs celebrating giving out money to their supporters, thinking that the coup d’ta already succeeded, I don’t have the ability to share it for the readers for now. The failed coup plotters we know you, also you knew yourself, get ready. Who so ever supporting these terrorists, I don’t call you a patriotic Sierra Leonean, no you are not. If anyone that criticizing “Bio”, have you actually watched the killings of the police officers on the street, a broad day light? do you people have conscience? is this the right way to take power?. Well let me say this to you, for you information; after gathering or collecting all evidences and play the tapes loudly for the whole world to hear and see the findings. This is not a protest, it is to overthrow the elected government.
Comparing “Sri Lanka to Sierra Lanka?”, this is our main problems in the country, imitating to bring and introduce evil to your country, when Sierra Leone will go forward then?. APC poked their noses to divide the military, my friends this plan was well organized by the life chairman, Ernest Bai Koroma before he left for Kenya, also Bio was aware of every damn plot, before he departed for London. Time will tell. APCs have a huge grudges for losing the election that is why, I am always worried for KKY, they hate him badly and he’s to be blamed for their massive defeat in the last elections. Yet comes 2023 would be more disaster for them. We sacrificed and fought for you in the war front, leaving our love once behind today, you terrorizing us, APC won’t go unpunished.
It is always futile to try to understand something at the spur of the moment, especially one with many strands or dimensions. When control is lost over anything the best reaction is to regain control before looking around to apportion blame – if need be. In this state emotions take the furthest back seat while intelligent, rational behaviour and thinking are brought to the fore.
Now, if anyone were to ask Maada Bio or his strategic communication team to give a precise reason why Mayor Aki-Sawyer was/is being blamed as partly responsible for the outbreak of deadly riots in the country they would only manage a fragmented answer bordering on fraud, because they are in sixes and sevens. They’re even ready to blame the ghosts of those they’ve sent to early graves since they assumed power in 2018.
When a large segment of a society rise against authority, it is because their collective back is on the wall, and the only way out is to fight back, come what may, they hardly need much prompting. This is how revolutions start. Has Maada Bio already forgotten what happened in parts of North Africa in 2011? Social and economic ills drove people to despair and force them to take to the streets, even with the possibility of being gunned down hanging over them.
What happened on 10th August may be the prelude to something far more evil and uncontrollable, I hope and pray that I am wrong. A good many Sierra Leoneans have lost their fear of death, otherwise they would not have confronted armed security personnel, disarm them, and beat them up, in some cases to death. President Bio needs to take a closer look at his policies and actions, rather than apportioning blame to exculpate himself. This time he was able to fly back to Lungi airport having abruptly interrupted his romantic holiday in the English Capital – London. Next time he may end up like the man whose military career he unceremoniously terminated in April 1992. Remember the late General M.S Tarawally? Leave Mayor Aki-Sawyer alone Maada and do your job for once. When next are you flying out ?
Who is a terrorist ?In the context of what took place in Sierra Leone on the 10th of August in the streets of Freetown and some parts of the country, who have the God given right to call his fellow country men and women terrorist or agitators in what seemed to many as ordinary people protesting against the high cost of living and more importantly the feeling that the Bio government is not taking their concerns seriously. Remember one man’s terrorist is an other mans freedom fighter. We want peace in our country.Previously the Pepe women in Freetown have held similar demonstration asking for government to intervene and help with the cost of living crises. This cost of living crises is even affecting advanced economies.Ghana not long ago had large crowds of people demonstrating against their government because just like the Sierra leone demonstrators they felt their government is not working for them .But no one lost their lives or the president of Ghana went on national television branding those demonstrators terrorist or insurectionist against his government .The president of Ghana is too savy and clever to make such outrageous statements .
What will the world think of our country , when our duly elected President is labeling or telling the world Sierra Leone is full of terrorist and insurectionist .This is more like an American terms been imported to our Sierra leonean political discourse.Copy and pasted the Stroming of the January 6th 2020 Capitol Hill by Trump supporters .And the only reason Boi and his henchmen are in the habit of using those words is to gain some sympathy from our American friends and the international community at large that have been Bank rolling our economy . Using the Trump supporters brush to tar peaceful protesting hungry Sierra Leoneans is not only wrong but out of kilter .There has been simmering tension in Sierra leone over litany of problems .Corruption allegations , Covid19, persecution of political opponents , the effects of the war in Ukraine, inflationary pressures which reduce the buying power of citizens have all played its part to create the inevitably we saw last week. Well according Bio and his supporters the Mayor of Freetown is responsible for all the ills in our country .One wonders when was the last time the Mayor of Freetown visited Makeni , Tumbo , all the Northern Districts that went on the rampage .She most possess super natural powers to able to carry out her duties as a mayor whilst find time to advocate violence or encourage people to be violent against the Bio government .So blaming the Mayor for Bio’s lack of good leadership and economic judgement and more importantly allowing renegades to highjack his presidency for their owe selfish goals is not only wrong but as they always say time will tell.
Mayor Akin Sawyer have been accused of everything under the Sun .So far the Bio government haven’t produced a shred of evidence to back up their claims. But as always Bio the president was silent on the matter ..Chronologically both demonstation can be linked. They both expressed the need for government assistance .The only dividing line between the two was the 10th of August demonstration took place in capital and different parts of the country.And this time some of them were calling on the removal of Bio. None of us condoned the violence and the loss of life. As for the removal of Boi , there is an opportunity for all Sierra Leoneans to expressed their opinions through the ballot box in 2023 .The fallout of what happened to our country on the 10th continued to re-vibrate in our country and around the world .To many who witness the violence or took part in the violence brought back memories of the RUF days .Especially the storming of Freetown by masquerading RUF fighters that unleashed hell and disturbed the Sunday morning of the city’s residence.We need adults in the room .To say Bio have failed us is an understatement .
Time will tell sooner or later, we loved this country dearly and God will surely dealt with these criminals, that orchestrated, supported, collaborated and financed this terrorism in Sierra Leone. We won’t allow this country to become Somali. I am asking the world powers, started from ,AU, African Union, EU, the European Union, The USA, United States of America, to come to our solidarity, help the government, not to APC to ignite, instigate, and to recruit the youths to terrorize against their own people. President Bio must defend this country, APC party is behind all this terrorism. We want to see action.
The UnitedStates huntingand killing terrorists everywhere they found them, I don’t care who are, as long as you’rea terrorist, you don’t belong to this nation.