Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 May 2020:
Dr. Dennis Bright, Chairman and Leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) party has today issued a statement about the increasing political instability and rising tension in Sierra Leone, following the shooting dead of several prisoners in Freetown by presidential guards, as well as the arrest and detention of opposition politician – Dr Blyden.
This is what he said:
“The National Grand Coalition (NGC) is very concerned about recent events in the country, particularly the violent incident that occurred on 29th April, 2020 at the Pademba Road maximum security Correctional Centre and the accusations and counter-accusations that have been levelled at each other by the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). (Photo: NGC Chairman – Dr Dennis Bright).
This event and the accusations that are being made are escalating tensions in the country.
Furthermore, people claiming to be defending the interests of these two parties are currently using the social media to fan the flames of hate and even sound the drums of another civil war.
No true Sierra Leonean would want to see the men, women and children of this country go through the pains, horrors and brutality of a civil war, AGAIN!
As political parties, whether in Government or Opposition, we all have a sacred duty to ensure that our people live in peace and not in a permanent state of fear and insecurity. And certainly, no political party should be proud to drag their people back into bloodshed and death.
This is why the NGC is appealing to the leadership of the APC and the SLPP to immediately pull back from their current confrontational postures in order to de-escalate the rising tensions in the country.
However, the NGC is also calling for a FULL and IMPARTIAL investigation into the incident at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre which resulted in such a significant loss of life.
Currently, the social media is awash with theories, claims, threats, testimonies and so-called eye witness reports that have plunged the entire nation into total confusion as to what really happened, why, who did what and what next.
The bereaved parents, relatives and the nation as a whole deserve to know the truth so that justice will be done. Our heartfelt condolences go to the bereaved and may the souls of those who died rest in peace.
At this time, what is most important in our country is unity of purpose in our fight against the real common enemy: the Coronavirus or COVID-19. This disease has the potential to kill our people, destroy our economy and turn our beautiful Sierra Leone into a wasteland. We should not make this happen.
Our primary focus at this time should be to work together to contain the spread of the virus, protect individuals and communities and save the nation. In this regard the NGC is doing its bit.
We all must agree that our people have suffered long enough. So now is the right time for political parties to show that they care for the people by joining hands to save them from the coronavirus, not tear the nation apart with interparty conflicts.
The NGC is willing and ready to help in any way it can and will endeavor to engage the leadership of both the APC and the SLPP in the search for a new path of cooperation in the interest of the nation.”