Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 January 2018:
The Campaign Spokesman for the opposition NGC – Dr. Julius Spencer, has joined other opposition parties in condemning the brutal APC violence and loss of life which brought the capital Freetown to a standstill yesterday.
One man was stabbed to death and several others – including police officers, sustained serious injuries. This is the NGC’s reaction:
“The National Grand Coalition (NGC) is appalled by the violence unleashed on the residents of Freetown yesterday by members and supporters of the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) under the guise of celebrating the nomination of their presidential and parliamentary candidates. (Photo below : APC presidential candidate – Samura Kamara at the violent APC rally yesterday).
Eye witness reports indicate that there was widespread intimidation of traders and other Freetownians, robberies, etc. And there are unconfirmed reports of several people being stabbed, resulting in a number of deaths.
While the NGC is disturbed by this turn of events, it is not surprised because it knows the APC is still stuck in the politics of the past and is incapable of freeing itself from these kinds of practices.
There are indications that many of the youths who took to the streets yesterday were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, something that has characterised APC activities over the years.
It is instructive that even though large crowds of party supporters were out on the streets on Saturday when the NGC nominated its presidential and parliamentary candidates, there were no reports of violence or lawlessness and the people of Freetown were able to carry on their normal activities.
However, yesterday, when it was the turn of the APC to go through this exercise, all hell was let loose on residents of Freetown and businesses in the Central Business District had to shut down.
There were even reports of attempts being made by some APC supporters to break into the UBA bank branch at St. John and the police had to fire tear gas to disperse the unruly crowd.
The leadership of the NGC calls on members and supporters of the APC to desist from the acts of lawlessness that were exhibited on the streets of Freetown yesterday and to generally comport themselves in a manner that will ensure peace and tranquillity at all times.
Meanwhile the NGC wishes to commend the police for a job well done, for without their interventions, the lawlessness of the APC would have manifested itself in even more dastardly ways.
The NGC also calls on the Sierra Leone Police to speedily investigate the incidents of violence and bring the perpetrators to book.
The NGC expresses its heartfelt sympathy to all those who were caught up in the violence, were injured, or lost loved ones as a result of what transpired. We pray that you will be quickly healed physically and emotionally.
What happened yesterday is a clear indication that the APC is incapable of changing the way it has been used to doing things over the years and therefore cannot bring about the change the people of this country seek.
It is time to consign this decadent political party, along with its policies and practices, to the dustbin of history and the NGC is confident the people of Sierra Leone will do just that on March 7 when they go to the polls.”