Sierra Leone police accused of political meddling ahead of elections as opposition leader Dr Bright is detained

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 23 March 2022:

NGC Chaiman and National Leader, Dr Dennis Bright was invited to the CID headquarters in Freetown this morning, where he was detained by Police.

Speaking yesterday at an APC rally for the 073 Koya By-election, which he attended as part of the Consortium of Progressive Political Parties (COPPP), Dr Bright said that he had been asked by the police to report to CID this morning.

Alan Luke, former Chairman of NGC UK/Ireland branch told the Sierra Leone Telegraph, that: “This episode highlights the desperation of the ruling SLPP Paopa Government of Julius Maada Bio. President Bio’s attempt to lure Dr Kandeh Yumkella back to the SLPP was met with a snub, when Dr Yumkella replied saying: “Ar ohl word”.

“Over the weekend, CoPPP visited Dr Yumkella at his residence in Kychum. NGC continues to work with 13 other parties in CoPPP and as a sign of its commitment, withdrew its candidate Mr Ezra Bangura from contesting the Koya bye-election this weekend.  (Photo: Dr Dennis Bright at CID this morning).

“At the By-election rally, Dr Bright urged the APC to win the elections by a significant margin. It would appear that these actions and the strength and momentum of CoPPP is causing the SLPP a great deal of worry and concern.”

There are reports also that the main opposition APC Secretary General, Dr Osman Yansaneh was invited to the CID this afternoon for questioning, amid suspicion that the police are beginning to tighten their noose around the necks of the opposition ahead of Saturday’s Koya bye-election.

Earlier today, the NGC secretariat issued a press statement denouncing social media posts which sought to associate Dr Bright with a call to resort to violence.

“The attention of the leadership of the National Grand Coalition (NGC) has been drawn to a number of videos and photos that are making the rounds on social media associating Dr Dennis Bright with violence.

“Specifically, a video showing Dr. Bright talking to some young people, strangers that he met along the Freetown-Waterloo road, at Songo junction when together with other COPPP members they were going to honor an invitation by APC to attend their bye election rally yesterday.

“It is shocking that some mischievous people are trying to spin a two minutes peaceful encounter by the roadside into a story about violence.

“The NGC wishes it to be known that we strongly oppose all forms of violence and insist that the only way Sierra Leone will develop is if there is peace and stability in the country. We have never been known to be a violent party and we are never going to be one.

“We therefore urge all those who are using the social media to deliberately malign hard working and forward looking citizens to stop the distraction and let us focus on solving the problems we are facing in this country within the framework of good governance, respect for the rule of law and human rights.”

This is the second time in just the last few months that the NGC chairman – Dr Dennis Bright is being detained at the CID for questioning.

Watch Dr Bright speaking in Koya ahead of Saturday’s bye-election:

14 Comments

  1. Dr Dennis Bright ‘an architect of backwardness in Sierra Leone’ and ‘the worst post war minister of youth’? Where is the evidence – concrete evidence I mean – for such a claim? Could someone out there cite for us the chapter and verse of a rigorous comparative ministerial performance study confirming or corroborating such a claim? Otherwise, the claim is nothing other than what it is: a glib and gratuitous assertion that makes sense only when placed in its right context: vicious and toxic partisan name calling.

    That is all there is to it.

  2. It will not be a surprising to me if APC tolongbo tries to convince the NGC party, to join them comes 2023 presidential elections, thinking that the victory will be on their side? boy; you joking. Folks, you have to remind yourself, sit down and search your soul. Since ever before late 2018 elections, for how many times this President (Bio)been characterized and called with all names?, APC even mentioned that, Bio would never enter USA. There was a bogus rumors that, he was deported and so on. Sierra Leoneans do we know why up to date we lacked behind?, because of ,we are not grateful. I’ve been saying this and let some others repeat it after me, the 70s are over, now our eyes are open widely. APC doing everything with their power to regain the state house but, that gonna be a long time. APC tarnished and humiliated Dr. KKY big time during 2018 campaign, created a new policy because I can’t call that a law, Dr. Kandeh striped himself his US Citizenship just to be qualified to run. The APC party still want to run this country as a one party state, folks; let’s open our eyes!. You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all people all the times.

    I believe that Dr. Dennis is wise enough to be brain washed by APC, and I believe also that he was not asleep and was aware of all that happens in the late 2018 campaign year. Who was to be blamed for the APC big defeat? which party invited the Chinese nationals to interfere, campaign in their national politics just to win the election? everyone knows that answer, APC is. Think you that the Chinese Gov’t would allow that such of nonsense in their country’s politics, for a foreigners to poke their noses in China’s politics?. Thank you President Bio, to rescued this country from corrupt APC. Bio is our next commander in chief by the power of God. You paralyzed him the last time by your mouths, do it again. May God bless mama Sierra Leone.

  3. Thank you very much Kami, for your questions. Yes, the NDA is on the sidelines, waiting to intervene to get things right and make Sierra Leone a better place for all Sierra Leoneans. I believe someone who will get things done and make a difference in our people’s lives is a member of the APC. You can judge my position from my former statement. We decided not to jump into the political landscape because of the C4C, the NGC, the UPP and the PMDC. You can’t fight your parents and elders if you want to succeed. But if they fail, you will come respectfully and say to them, please, give us the space to operate. So, we will allow them another breathing space till 2023. If they succeed, we will merge with them for the prosperity of our country. Booting the SLPP and APC out of office will be a challenge and cost us roughly about $10,000,000(ten million dollars). Such a hoop sum of money will bring development to the country, instead of spending on campaigns. Thank you very much, Kami and may GOD bless you.

  4. Is the NDA a new political group in the making?

    What about your membership in the APC Mr. Sahr Maturie?

  5. Hmmm, not exactly sure the crux of Ms. Aminata Mansaray’s exasperation, other than what appears to be personal grievances toward Dr. Denis Bright. By all indications, the men seen donned in black attire outfits, during the APC campaign for the Koya bye election, belong to the APC political party, not NGC. So if indeed there is indeed an existing ban for political party marshals as purported by Ms. Mansaray, what does that has to do with Dr. Bright when he is not the political leader of APC? It’s amazing how political indoctrination have corroded our moral compass, along with our of objectivity.

  6. Permit me ladies and gentle to digress by questioning the sincerity of the message and the person at the heart of this message that is Dr. Denis Bright.

    On 3rd March 2021, there was a ban on the cultivation, grooming and use of political party marshal. This was done by the security sector in consultation with the leadership of all registered political parties in the country. And this ban culminated from violence perpetrated at campaigns and other political parties. The video that is widely on social media and for which Dr. Denis Bright was invited by the police indicates that he deliberately violated the ban that was agreed on and came to effect on 3 March 2022. While I am not competent enough to question what video or note the Editorial Board of the Sierra Leone Telegraph should publish with their article, but it would be fair to it’s readers if all sides of the story is published. In this instant that particular video was not published.

    While Dr. Denis Bright has the right to whosoever he wants to support in politics, I will categorically state that he is one of the architect of our backwardness in Sierra Leone. Dr. Bright had the enviable opportunity as the first post war minister of youth and sport and he held that position until the SLPP lost power in 2007. Grading his tenure with the APC minister that succeeded him and the current SLPP minister of youth, Dr. Bright is the worst considering that his ministry received one of the most funding after the war and yet he had nothing absolutely to point at as an impact or achievement. After the SLPP lost power in 2007, he went away and disassociated himself with the party. He became a member of the party when he was appointed minister by president Kabba and ceased to participate after the party lost power in 2007.

  7. Dr Bright is clearly a politician of great courage and strong conviction. His eloquence and sincerity of aim and purpose are unmistakable. Listening to him deliver his speech in the name of the consortium of political parties leaves me in no doubt that he belongs to that rare breed of politicians our country is crying for; politicians genuinely committed to creating and fostering national unity and cohesion in a country so politically fractured along ethno-regional lines. His party’s choice to team up with other parties in opposition rather than with the party that is in power and enjoys the full advantage of incumbency is a very commendable act of courage and selflessness. Indeed, were he looking for personal gain and the material benefit that comes with it in the context of the very deeply corrupt Sierra Leonean polity that we know, he would right now be encouraging his party’s Parliamentary Leader, Dr Yumkella, to accept President Bio’s recent ‘friendly’ overtures. That is precisely what you would expect a politician of little or no integrity to do. Dr Bright is the exact opposite.

    Unalloyed patriotism is at the core of his political beliefs, thoughts and actions. And one must hope that Sierra Leonean voters will come to appreciate what he and his party stand for and make them a key choice of theirs in June 2023. We have to think and believe that all is not lost for our poor, struggling country even though its sixty years or so of existence marred by poor and corrupt duopolistic governance, economic backwardness, deep-seated poverty, civil strife and political instability seem to leave no room for optimism. This is because politicians like Dr Bright believe and rightly so that a duopolistic system, no matter how deeply entrenched it may seem, should not be seen an act of God, as a pre-ordained, inalterable national political destiny. Rather, it should be seen as being nothing more than something that is man-made. And what man has made man can unmake, remake or reshape to suit his needs in accordance with changes in time and circumstance. This requires an active political attitude: a political mind and spirit that is constantly on the offensive, believing that in human affairs nothing is set in stone. In other words, change is human and political change is no exception. Dr Bright and his party display such active attitude and such combative mind and spirit in abundance.

    Exclusive rule by either the SLPP or the APC for the best part of the last sixty years should never be seen as an inevitability as far as the next sixty years are concerned. To believe otherwise is to throw in the towel, to indulge in defeatism, in pointless fatalism, and to thus embrace the path of inaction, of stasis, brought on by feelings of negativity, impotence and pessimism. What Dr Bright and his party are telling us is that our political destiny is in our hands. We can make such destiny what we choose it to be. After all, what is history if not the record of changes, of alterations in the way we live our lives, including our political lives, over time? Dr Bright and his party’s teaming up with other political parties with the aim of ushering in an era of governance characterized by genuine democratic rule and by political tolerance, inclusivity and consensus building may well signal a change of political direction for our country. Reader, if the slogan ‘New Direction’ has any meaning at all, look no further.

  8. While other countries go to the moon and develop technologies, we fight each other in the most barbaric way. There is enough minerals to cater to the needs of all Sierra Leoneans. This scenario is based on greed, stupidity, pride, lust. All of the seven deadly sins.
    Even in Europe, we are divided into tribal groups. This is a tragedy that we are so rich yet so poor in human values and ethics.
    The notion of tribe over nation defeats the Westphalian concept of a state, which is based on unity. Why don’t we just divide into tribal enclaves and go back to the stone age. We produce diamonds, yet the budget does not mention it. Our children go to school and university, yet they cannot speak English to a proper standard, their mathematics is absymal.

    We are a riverine country, yet our people do not have water to drink, we have vast arable lands, yet we have no food. Our marine resources are the envy of the world. All the luxury seafood of the world, oysters, shrimps, mussels, barracuda,and lobsters are in abundance, yet our people lack protein. Even by West African standards, we are underdeveloped. Lack of basic infrastructure, a society riddled by corruption, an illiterate populace, a shameless, stupid, and greedy elite, furthermore a sycophantic population, that lack the basic necessities, yet they dance for cups of rice and akpeteshie. This problem can only be fixed by revolution, there is no hope in all the parties. A peaceful revolution, where the people have enough and stand up to be counted.

  9. Class Sit! We are sitting down. “Anyway na Way”. “Political Wanword is allowed”. “The Boat political machine is allowed”. “COPP force one” took off yesterday, political altitude – 2023, political destination 8° 58′ 0″ N and 12° 49′ 0″ W, with the APC constitution coming into effect today. It was a warning shot to the “Fatima Bio SLPP”. Yeah. Now to business. Many were asking what was wrong with Sahr. No problem actually to be candid. Working in the background to help your county develop is also part of the game. Now that COPP is in full force and their alliance seems to be holding so far, the campaign for change for a better Sierra Leone will solidify. No doubt about that. I’m not surprised about how the police, especially IG Sovula’s role in all that is happening. Let’s be realistic, ladies and gentlemen, on this glorious platform. IG Sovula will never do anything that President Bio or the “Fatima Bio SLPP” does not like. They will sack him the next minute if he attempts or does so. Also, we live in a society where most public officials don’t care about scandal or integrity. Let’s see if IG Sovula will continue like this until the 2023 elections. It will be good to resign if he feels that he is doing it not from himself but from above. If not, they will blame him in the future. Future, I mean, post “Fatima Bio SLPP”.

    Unless we change the laws that govern the appointment of certain officials(ACC boss, Inspector General of Police, etc., our country will continue to be governed by rouge public officials appointed or nominated by rogue presidents and politicians. That’s it.
    I watched and listened to a radio(98.1FM) discussion between Mr Tunis of the APC and Mr Leema from the “Fatima Bio SLPP”. I would advise Mr Tunis of the APC to use the word “Kick their Butts” out of power instead of “Kick” you out of power. The reason is that “Kicking their Butts” is funny, politically degrading, not an insult, shames them, and, more importantly, puts them in anxiety with confused thoughts. See how President Bio is struggling to fire the Auditor-General. President Bio can’t sack the Auditor-General as he could sack the ACC boss or the Inspector General of Police. That’s why the next government needs to make reforms to help these “yes sir institutions” and our democracy.

    The Democratic National Alliance is closely studying the COPP situation and will wage out the mother of all campaigns after the APC elects their leader and flagbearer. I will be out here once until the Sierra Leone Telegraph Newspaper declares campaign. God bless Mr Abdul Rashid Thomas, all Forumites, The Democratic National Alliance, The COPP and the Republic of Sierra Leone.

  10. The Sierra Leone police are not doing any favours to the government but instead are making it worse with these arbitrary arrests and detentions. These methods from the old rule book will set the stage for an election defeat next year.

    This government is very unpopular at the moment due to a number of factors including the way they have handled the economy amidst a global economic crisis which has increased the hardship on the people . The President has appointed cronies who are not up the jobs instead of bringing in technocrats to manage the economy.

    The NGC leader must be released to continue his role in holding the government to account in whatever way legally possible.

  11. What happens to Dr Bright shows Sierra Leone under the poapo one directionless government is slowly but surely sleep walking to become a police states .lets make no bones about it. The Sierra Leone police that constitutionaly is given the powers to be upholders of the law and protecting the rights of ordinary citizens like you and me are now criminally conniving with Bio’s government to suppressed and subjugate the opposition leaders in Sierra leone.

    Does it occurs to this Buffon of leadership and some of the rank and file in the police force that is engaged in this sort of institutionalised state craft support at the behest of Bio is not only underming the security of Sierra Leone , because even opposition leaders can’t say anything or express an opinion that is polar opposite of Bio’s out dated tried and tested government economic policies that since he was voted in have only exacerbated the problems facing our country.

    Despite the gloss and propaganda that there are no political prisoners in Sierra Leone, the facts remain no one is allowed to express themselves without risking an invitation to CID Headquarters by the Sierra leone people’s party police to explain themselves.At the same token we all know when thuggish elements within the Bio orbit make incendiary statements , the inspector General of police is quick to brush inflammatory statements under the carpet. No action required not even a caution for causing public nuisance.Because here we are talking about Bio’s people. They are the only people in Sierra Leoen that enjoys the real meaning of the Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful assembley. The latter can never be associated with Bio’s thuggish elements within his circles. For the rest of us we can either put up or shut up.

  12. Since the NGC party has finally come out from the closest by disguising themselves as COPP to join the APC party, the voters will teach their members a lesson that they are no longer gullible. The NGC successfully deceived voters that they wanted to be the alternative to APC and SLPP or “Alusine and Alhassan” now they have finally declared their original intention which I believe is the dislike of President Bio, by trying to prevent him from the presidency and now his re-election. There is also a possibility that the brown envelope from the lifetime leader of the APC party, who left our nation in Austerity but now is the richest person in our country has finally won. This is not “ Putting the country Fos”.

    Thanks to our security apparatus for being proactive by preventing the APC to implement two of their 99 tactics ( Violence and Intimidation) against our Residence Minister Dr. Alpha Kanu and the voters of Koya Chiefdom. The reality is, the rapid development and the Free quality education is threatening the APC in their so-called strongholds so they need help from the NGC.
    The strongholds of the SLPP is now solidly under control due to the rapid development of electricity, free quality education , agricultural and infrastructural developments.

    My humble prediction is 2023 will be won by over 60% for President Talk and Do Bio in the first round.

    • Nonsense, what do you mean by ‘coming out of the closet’, expressing their volition. Boys this sort of articulation is not only spiteful but completely dishonest. So everyone must be SLPP or else you’re nobody. Wunor stop den thing ya so, i doubt even Bio himself could buy your garbage thinking.

  13. As general elections approach, with PAOPA realizing their underserving term in office gradually slipping away, the Sierra Leonean citizens, especially those in the realm of active politics, should brace up for a barrage of thuggish, intimidation, and lawlessness, emanating from this MAFIA group.

    With Lahai Lawrence Leema serving as a publicity secretary for PAOPA, along with him being the police boss as a deputy Internal Affairs minister, top opposition politicians might as well gear up for frequent arrests and intimidation; since Police IG Ambrose Sovula, is always ready to execute ORDERS FROM THE ABOVE coming directly from Leema. Never did the citizens of Sierra Leone ever imagine our nation will go back to the dark old days of the 70s, with Pa Sheki at the helm of affairs. Sad!!

Tell us about your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.