Political violence as elections approach in Sierra Leone

Umaru Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 March 2018:

The Leadership and general membership of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) have been seriously perturbed by the scale of violence against SLPP members, unleashed by thugs of the All People’s Congress Party (APC) on Wednesday 28th February 2018, at their final campaign rally in the Western Area.

In Waterloo, the SLPP East District Chairman, Mr Abib Thorpe was attacked in his residence by a group of APC thugs led by a certain Abubakarr Fofana – the APC Candidate for Member of Parliament in Constituency 107. Mr. Thorpe’s personal vehicle, a Lexus jeep, AGX 300, was burnt to ashes.

Another vehicle, Audi car, AKY 508, belonging to Abubakar Sidique Sankoh, East District Young Generation Leader was damaged beyond repairs. Additionally, a motor bike belonging to the SLPP Zonal Young Generation Leader was stolen.

This is Maada Bio speaking about political violence:

Furthermore, the SLPP Candidate for Constituency 108, Mr Joseph Kanu on Tuesday night was physically attacked at his house, properties worth millions were stolen and the house vandalised in Waterloo.

In addition to the damage to properties and theft suffered in the hands of the APC thugs, many SLPP members were seriously beaten and wounded by APC thugs. For instance, Ishmael Kabia was mercilessly beaten and two of his teeth were removed.

Three SLPP members are currently hospitalised in critical conditions, suffering from stabbings and broken limbs.

Whilst these APC thugs were destabilising in Waterloo and its environs, another set of APC hired thugs and clique members embarked on an organised destruction of posters and banners of the SLPP Presidential Candidate, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.

At Brimah Lane in the Eastern part of Freetown, APC thugs were visibly seen destroying a gigantic banner of the SLPP Presidential Candidate. In a video clip of the violent act, supporters of the APC stood cheering the APC thugs as they brought down the banner.

Across the city of Freetown, posters and banners of the SLPP Presidential Candidate were randomly vandalised, broken and removed by APC thugs during their campaign rally.

Similar incidents of political violence including physical attacks, destruction of properties and severe injuries were inflicted on SLPP members across the country in the last few days. In Bo, the house of the SLPP District Public Relations officer, Kanji Daramy was physically attacked by a group of APC thugs in the Presence of Police Superintendent Mohamed Turay alias ‘Yate Yate’ and our Councillor Aspirant in Bo Abdul Razak Kanu was arrested on the instructions of the said Superintendent.

At the Bo Police Station, in the presence of other police officers and civilians, Superintendent Mohamed Turay alias Yate Yate and other OSD officers physically attacked our District Public Relations officer and beat him up.

Furthermore, in complete disregard to respecting the dignity and honour of women, on Wednesday 28th February the SLPP Constituency Chairperson in constituency 58 Madam Demoh A Bangura was physically attacked by the APC councillor aspirant in Madina town and seriously beaten.

As stated in previous statements, we view these systematic and widespread violent attacks and intimidation by the APC thugs as conflict instigating factors to undermine the electoral process and peace and security of our country.

While we continue to urge our supporters and members to use peaceful and lawful means to seek redress in the face of the mounting violent attacks, our Party wishes to state that our members and supporters cannot continue to be victims of such organised violent attack.

Therefore, we are demanding the following actions:

  • That the Sierra Leone Police speedily investigate all incidents of political violence against SLPP members with the objective to prosecute APC thugs who continue to perpetuate these acts of violence
  • That the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Samura Kamara publicly condemns these systematic acts of violence perpetrated by APC thugs on SLPP members
  • That the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Samura Kamara takes responsibility for the scale of violence unleashed by the APC thugs in Western Area on Wednesday 28th February which resulted in the burning of vehicles, vandalising and theft of properties and inflicting physical injuries on SLPP members
  • That our development partners, election observers and Political Parties Registration Commission ensure that the APC Presidential Candidate, Samura Kamara signs the Freetown Peace Declaration to commit the APC to peaceful and non-violent elections.

Author

Umaru Koroma – National Secretary General, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

1 Comment

  1. This is something well known in advance. We knew the APC thugs will use violence to intimidate other political parties. Will this type of situation continue in Sierra Leone? Why can’t people realize that we in Africa will always remain in that situation.

    Is APC afraid of losing the elections? They must abide by the laws made to safeguard people’s lives. I cannot understand this type of situation. All the news received from Sierra Leone is not that good. Please brothers and sisters make the world see Sierra Leone as a peace loving nation.

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