Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 November 2023:
Secretary General of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party – Lansana Dumbuya, on Monday issued a public statement condemning the armed attack that took place in Freetown last Sunday morning, which saw the killing and arrest of dozens of people, many of whom are known members of the APC.
Reprisal attacks against the opposition APC is growing as security forces conduct house to house search for alleged suspects.
In his statement, Dumbuya said: “We have maintained, in no uncertain terms, our vehement condemnation of the use of brutal force by any party to gain and or retain power. We wish to assert, therefore, that Sunday’s unfortunate acts should not be confused with the reality that the APC, other political parties, as well as independent local and international observers, including the Carter Centre, have maintained that the results of the 24 June 2023 elections are lacking in transparency and fraught with statistical inaccuracies and possibilities.
“Also, the APC participated in the International Community Mediated Dialogue in good faith; we did so out of the desire for a peaceful resolution of the impasse.”
The government yesterday published the names of its “most wanted” people accused of the attempted overthrow of the government last Sunday. Most of the those listed are from the north of Sierra Leone, the political heartland of the opposition APC.
“The All People’s Congress (APC) party firmly condemns the dastardly acts of violence that occurred in Freetown on November 26, 2023. The party has carefully followed these unacceptable violent events of Sunday, November 26 with grave concern, and we have noted the various accounts of the disturbance by various government officials, we are very much alarmed by the news that there was a breach of security at the Wilberforce Military Barracks in Freetown.
“We are deeply troubled that the security breach resulted in an attack on the armoury and other locations in Freetown, including the Pademba Road Correctional Centre, where hundreds of detainees were unlawfully released by a band of assailants.
“The APC wishes to express its strongest unreserved condemnation of any acts, occasions, or statements that are inimical to the political and social stability of the state. However, we have also noted with dismay that in his statement to the high-powered delegation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President Bio pointedly associated our great party with the August 10 protests, and attributed our party’s contestation of the June 24 elections results to these violent events.
“We CATEGORICALLY condemn any attempt to associate our party with any form of violence. As a responsible political party, we strongly believe in the assumption of power through the ballot box and not through the barrel of a gun.
“That is why we have maintained, in no uncertain terms, our vehement condemnation of the use of brutal force by any party to gain and /or retain power. We wish to assert, therefore, that Sunday’s unfortunate acts should not be confused with the reality that the APC, other political parties, as well as independent local and international observers, including the Carter Centre, have maintained that the results of the 24 June 2023 elections are lacking in transparency and fraught with statistical inaccuracies/possibilities.
“Also, the APC participated in the International Community Mediated Dialogue in good faith; we did so out of the desire for a peaceful resolution of the impasse. We have remained faithful to the full implementation of its agreement and will continue to do so to the completion of the mandate of the Tripartite Investigation Committee.
“In light of the above, the APC would like to once again express grave concern about the use of our Party Headquarters as a shooting target. As usual, the APC party headquarters was not spared from the shooting spree that characterized the 26th November security breach, which led to damage to the facility.
“We further view, with utter dismay, the extra-judicial execution of one of the official state security personnel and the abduction of another at our former Chairman and Leader’s residence in Freetown.
“We also oppose the targeting of our leadership and members by ransacking their premises on false allegations. We want to reemphasize that the APC as a political party is opposed to any form of violence. We reiterate our commitment to acquiring political power through democratic means and unequivocally denounce the use of force in politics.
“Given the magnitude of the security threat, and the emerging conflicting stories and accusations, the APC therefore calls for an inclusive, speedy, conclusive investigation that is fair, independent and transparent.”
Photo below: members of the APC that have either been killed or arrested after Sunday’s armed attack.
Mohamed ‘Yettey Yettey’ Turay, another security member of the APC who was extradited from Liberia last month after he was accused of planning a coup in Sierra Leone, is also believed to have been killed by security forces.
APC Sherrif, a member of the APC party security staff was seen in a video being captured by SLPP party security agents in the outskirts of Freetown, before he was handed over to the military. His fate is not known.
President Bio had pronounced a year ago, that the APC is a terrorrist group and said it must be crushed. It seems the dismantling of the APC through state sponsored violence is well underway.
This will pave the way for a defacto one-party state in Sierra Leone, governed by Bio’s SLPP.