Sierra Leone’s PPRC meets political leaders to discuss growing tension and violence

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 February 2020:

Following the recent spate of violence in Freetown among supporters of Sierra Leone’s two main political parties – the SLPP and APC, the body responsible for regulating the activities of political parties in the country – the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), yesterday held a meeting with both APC and SLPP to discuss ways to end the violence and tension.

This is what the PPRC said at the conclusion of those talks:

“The leadership of the All Peoples Congress Party and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, today the 3rd February 2020, met with the Political Parties Registration Commission and in attendance were ,the Office of National Security (ONS), National Electoral Commission (NEC )and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), to discuss the spate of violence around the precincts of their Party offices.

“The commission conveyed the growing frustrations and concerns of the public and the effects of these violence on the image of the country.

“The two parties were reminded of the fact that, since independence, they have been the only two political parties that have had the opportunity of governing the country at various times. They therefore owe a debt of gratitude to the people of this country, for according them that privilege. (Photo: Former president Koroma – left and president Bio in 2012).

“The frequent breaches of the public peace by both parties, are by no means a demonstration of such gratitude and certainly not complimentary of the leadership of both parties.

“Other state institutions present, also expressed similar sentiments and admonished the two parties demonstrate respect for the law and the people of this country, that have accorded them all privileges and trust.

“In their responses, the two parties denounced violence and call on democratic institutions like the JUDICIARY ONS,SLP NEC, PPRC AND SLP, to rise to their responsibilities and adopt decisive measures aimed at curbing these violence, without let or hindrance.

“In a bid to de-escalate the Political tensions and intolerance between these Parties, it was resolved that:

1 Continuous engagements between the two parties be encouraged and promoted.

2 That the inter party dialogue committee to meet more frequently.

3 That a communication link be established between the two parties. To that end, a six man communication committee was constituted three from each party.

4 That the leadership of both parties, shall arrange mutual visits to their respective party offices, preferably within this week, as a demonstration of good will

5 That both parties shall continue to admonish their supporters to be law abiding.

6 That a meeting of all political parties be summoned under the leadership of APPA, with a view to discussing and adopting General resolutions, respecting the conduct of political parties.”

2 Comments

  1. The SLPP has been rattled by the show of solidarity and comradeship of the APC in their gathering of the abandoned mini convention in Port Loko. A perfect display of friendship, togetherness and belief that the party is as strong as ever, and ready to govern. It appears, initially the SLPP wanted to play the democratic card, and hoped that the convention would end up in chaos and confusion amongst the delegates, that will trigger the process of apprehending certain figures in the leadership of the APC party.

    After almost 2 years of constant bombardment of supporters of the APC, with countless human rights atrocities, the SLPP was also quite interested in seeing or evaluating what was left of the (APC) party. Though, the aura of happiness and positive vibes associated with the occasion, especially the solid support from the diaspora, inflicted an unexpected counter punch against the SLPP, that is still sending shockwaves in the jittery paopa movement. Inevitability, the convention had to be stopped on legal technicalities – a decision that merely strengthened the original intention of the SLPP to incriminate the APC hierarchy.

    Lacking confidence, acumen and knowhow in reviving the economy, it appears the SLPP are still in the process of trying to sell their legitimacy in power to the nation, as many people are now convinced that they came to power through the back door. As a result of overt intrusion of sovereignty, as certain regional and international stakeholders were determined to effect a regime change that will suit their economic and political interests.

    The outcome of the elections in 2018 was like a long-awaited windfall, that never seemed to come early enough, for the ‘new direction’ SLPP. And certain actors in the party believe the only way to safeguard power is by instilling FEAR and VIOLENCE to the people through a paopa mentality. And, as usual, consequently shift the blame to arch rival – the one and only main opposition APC party.

    Since the SLPP came to power, President Maada Bio has been all over the world prespresumably searching for investments into the country without a glimpse of any meaningful success. Of course, no one should restrain the movement of the president in his quest to ‘deliversify and transform the economy’. But there is a pattern developing here: Most of the time the president is away in his mission to attract reputable and credible investors into the country, there is a state of anarchy and tribulation induced at home by the paopa movement.

    How can one invite a friend to his house to do business, when there is news of an altercation taking place there? In spite of the recurrence of an inhospitable investment environment, President Maada Bio seems to be indifferent and in silent mode. Is President Bio in full control of his government, or is he part and parcel of this dangerous agenda? Why does he keep running away when the country needed him most? By what level of motivation would a President prefer to put his country in turmoil?

    The problem is the APC are not angels either. Today they appear to be stretched to the limit, but they are still withstanding their constraints in order to keep the peace they had nurtured in the country. Ironically, as they are being pushed around, the APC is becoming stronger, more mature and wiser in standing its ground amid SLPP antagonistic and tribal tendencies. The question is, do the SLPP intend to continue poking deep towards APC’s red line of tolerance? Is there a hidden agenda in the ‘new direction’ SLPP paopa movement?

  2. “ In their responses, the two parties denounced violence and call on democratic institutions like the JUDICIARY ONS,SLP NEC, PPRC AND SLP, to rise to their responsibilities and adopt decisive measures aimed at curbing these violence, without let or hindrance.”

    How can these institutions perform their respective duties when they have been politicized? As we have observed in the past, the government of the day has total control and decision making of the leadership of the above institutions. Instead of performing their respected duties, the leadership of all those institutions take orders from above. The APC was doing it and now the SLPP has perfected the art. So we are going no where as a nation.

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