Sierra Leone’s ruling SLPP accuses opposition APC of attacking its supporters

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 January 2019:

Violence broke out in the central business district of Freetown yesterday Sunday, involving a large group of youths, just blocks away from the ruling SLPP party office. Stones were thrown and several properties were damaged. Some of the rioters were carrying knives, sticks and machetes, according to reports.

It is not clear what sparked the rioting and violence, but both the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC parties are accusing each other of starting the rampage which led to several SLPP supporters reportedly arrested as well as injured.

Last night the ruling SLPP’s National Secretary General – Umaru Napoleon Koroma, (Photo) issued this statement:

“The Secretariat of the Sierra Leone People’s Party is perturbed by the unsuspecting attack on its members in their party headquarters by identifiable members of the main opposition All Peoples Congress on Sunday January 26 2020.

“The attack which was unprovoked led to the serious injuries inflicted on about 27 members of our party. This very well planned and orchestrated foray came in the aftermath of a threat message put out by the leadership of the APC after a scuffle that ensued during the funeral ceremony of one of our members by the name of YD Sesay earlier this month.

“The general public would recall that after their devastating defeat in the 2018 general elections, the main opposition APC through its vanquished flagbearer Dr. Samura Kamara, vowed to create all sorts of problems for the incoming administration.

“The APC even vowed to make the country ungovernable in the aftermath of their defeat in the 2018 election. Furthermore, the APC has always looked for avenues to generate chaos and mayhem with the intention of scaring investors from the country.

“The SLPP has bent backwards over to accommodate the excesses of the APC which are now becoming unacceptable and intolerable. The smear campaign on our presidential candidate and now President Julius Maada Bio, and  the unknown variables in the matrix of national development, have left them bemused.

“The SLPP is assuring all of its members and the peace loving Sierra Leoneans that measures would be put in place to protect them at all times.

“As a law abiding party, we would want to assure all, of our vigilance in keeping with the terms of reference of previous Commissions. We want to appeal to all to stay calm and go about their business.” End of SLPP statement.

Listen to an SLPP supporter speaking about what he said took place:

But in response to these accusations the APC have today issued a denial. This is what the National Secretary General of the APC party said:

“The All Peoples Congress (APC) is alarmed at the impunity with which wanton destruction of properties, arson and grievous bodily harm to citizens was perpetrated by known members of the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) who laid siege to the entire Freetown Business District for several hours on Sunday 26th January 2020.

“During the siege, several of the SLPP’s well-known thugs including those going by nicknames ‘Ratty’, ‘Abravo’, ‘SLA’, etc. etc. were seen; as a fight which originated from right within the SLPP headquarters amongst SLPP thugs, spilled out into the streets of Freetown.

“The SLPP thugs, who were engaged in open warfare against each other, were heard trading insults over preferred candidates that the various SLPP factions supported in their upcoming internal elections for national officers positions like SLPP National Chairman and SLPP National Secretary General. Stone-throwing matches between and amongst themselves eventually culminated in arson and destruction on a level that reminded innocent citizens of the January 6th Invasion of Freetown.

“An audio clip being shared by SLPP members of events of yesterday has some thugs like ‘Ratty’ reminding His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and SLPP Government of unfulfilled promises to SLPP youths being amongst reasons for high frustration amongst SLPP youths.

“Against the above background, the APC is calling on the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to make an immediate statement on yesterday’s exhibition of lawlessness on the streets of Freetown as this is a growing menace now within the Freetown Municipality.

“Few weeks ago, innocent Sierra Leoneans along Syke Street by GLOBE CINEMA HALL were attacked when SLPP thugs under the aegis of Hon. Lahai Lawrence Leema, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and SLPP Spokesman, spilled on to Syke Street after earlier launching unprovoked attacks on the APC Headquarters and houses along Hannah Benka-Coker Street and Old Railway Line, Brookfields. Many women and children along Syke Street were terrorised and the scenes of terror caught on video clips that have since gone viral.

“APC also in no uncertain terms, wishes to debunk an SLPP Press Release issued today Monday January 27th 2020 but with yesterday’s date and in which SLPP, falsely and most despicably, accuses APC members of having attacked SLPP offices in Freetown. SLPP also falsely accuses APC members of wounding 27 of SLPP members right inside their SLPP party office.

“The APC views these unfounded accusations as distractions from the real issues around SLPP’s display of lawlessness on the streets of Freetown yesterday; which was a sacred Sunday.

“Instead of issuing a sincere apology to residents of Freetown for their egregious breach of the peace, the SLPP is making matters worse by insulting the intelligence of Sierra Leoneans with outlandish and ludicrous claims.

“How is it possible for APC members, who have no business within SLPP offices, to actually enter inside there, overpower the dozens of SLPP members who reside in there, leave 27 SLPP members wounded and yet no video or picture exists of APC members shown anywhere inside or around the SLPP headquarters?

“In this day and age of social media and multimedia smartphones, it is a sheer impossibility that nobody recorded even a single photo of the alleged APC Members in or around the SLPP offices.

“All information at our disposal is that yesterday’s violent incident at SLPP party offices which spilled out from their offices and became a street warfare, was solely an intra-SLPP matter amongst various factions of SLPP thugs.

“The press release by SLPP alleging an attack on their office by APC members is therefore nothing but an attempt to nefariously bring the name of the APC into disrepute. The APC therefore wishes to inform its membership and the general public of the following:

  • The APC is not aware and was not involved in any form of attack on SLPP office;• The APC did not plan and has no intention whatsoever to attack any SLPP member, office or property across the country;• The APC had nothing to do with the violence and lawlessness that happened around the central business district on Sunday 26th January 2020.”The SLPP further alleges in their impugned press release that the leadership of APC had put out a ‘threat message’ following that unprovoked attack of the SLPP on the APC offices earlier this month. NO SUCH ‘THREAT MESSAGE’ WAS EVER ISSUED AND THE CLAIM IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE. The APC views this accusation with utmost distaste.”The facts are that the leadership of APC has always used all opportunity to pacify our supporters to remain calm and law-abiding even when provoked and consistently emphasizes the need for peace, stability and national cohesion as the bedrock for sustainable development.”The APC believes that the issue of growing lawlessness and violence in all regions of Sierra Leone, should not be politicised and therefore calls on relevant authorities as well as the International Community and Civil Society to do all that is required to ensure those responsible for such continued lawlessness and violence, are made to face justice.” End of APC party statement.

As is now becoming all too familiar to Sierra Leoneans, the police remain mute. There has been no statement from the police about Sunday’s violence, nor previous violent encounters between the ruling SLPP and the APC.

It seems the Inspector General of Police who is leaving his post in a few weeks on retirement has already packed his bags and cleared his desk, as law and order in Sierra Leone continues to disintegrate.

This is the scene after the rioting:

 

9 Comments

  1. This almost slept my mind, the other day I read a comment that someone wrote on this platform, which was a reply to another comment that suggested that the country is in dire need of a political paradigm shift. The person stated that it would be irrational for the country to model a new political structure because SLPP and APC are in SaLone’s DNA – something in that line. However, there wasn’t any premise to reason as to why the person who replied felt that Salone’s DNA rests on the APC and SLPP mantra. Frankly speaking, that was a blanket statement, at best, which implies that the person who wrote it did not give it much thought before making his/her statement.

    However, I believe that the person who commented, if he/she would have taken some time to think it through before making the said comment, he/she would have said it is simply an addiction for the people of Sierra Leone to think that life starts and ends with the two party system that we have been manipulated into accepting.

    The addicted idea itself is analogous to that of a drug addict. In that, we hardly see a drug addict quit after becoming an addict, even if the drugs that he is consuming is tearing his life apart, because that is just what drug addicts do. The same goes for whoever thinks that the only viable option that the country has is the two party system that we have been dealing with and are dealing with now.

  2. It seems like man has always been able to find ways – safe spaces – to impulsively project the contempt that he has for his fellow men. Because for as far as I can remember, I have always seen safe spaces being used to showcase the hatred that humans have for each other. Whether it be through politics, tribal lines, territorial imperatives – so forth and so on – the motive for utilizing these safe spaces is to almost always display the primal impulses of loath that we have for our fellow men. Indeed, a very peculiar situation that we have got in our hands.

    However, I’m not so certain if the idea that nothing good never come out of warring with people who live directly next to us has ever come to mind. Based on historical occurrences, and analyzing the way things have been going lately in our beloved country, it sure doesn’t seem like it. On top all of that, we have men who claim to be educated, but are enabling pattern of destruction, such as this to take its course . Indeed, it’s such a pity.

  3. Whenever such an incident happens like this you do not have to attack immediately, we all have to condemn it instead. Nobody knows or has any knowledge that would happen in 2023 poll my brother, threatening you don’t even know or having a idea if you will live to see that day; always have good intentions for yourself and others.

    The SLPP GOV’T clearly understands that, they are not going to rule Sierra Leone forever that’s a fact. Also let us assure that it is not only SLPP supporters you are seeing on the street; this propaganda has been played for long time in the 70s. APC party supporters used to slaughtered animals in somewhat populated areas at midnight; you will hear a human voice shouting (please don’t kill me) and then in the morning the same APC supporters will invade the area and accuse SLPP as party murderers, then so people became scared to support SLPP.

    We used to have a one party state; Pop Sheki retired and handed power to J.S. Momoh, where were Sorie Ibrahim Koroma (S.I. Koroma) and C.A. Kamara Taylor at the time? Let us thank the junior officers that sacrificed and put their lives in danger with kangaroo or guillotine, now one of them is our head of state today. H.E.DR.RET.BRIG.J.M.B.

    Also let us always acknowledged that, SLLP party led by late Pres. Kabba brought peace to this country and Bio is the father of Democracy in Sierra Leone and that is why they paid him off, whether you are agree with me or not. SLPP is not selling words to anyone, but their actions will tell. Brother, bragging about come 2023 for the SLLP to start packing their suitcases, well let us pray – that is only I can say for now. APC gbagbaty is over.

    Even the U.S. Congress congratulated Bio for his peaceful handover power to the civilian gov’t in 1996, and they welcomed his leadership, so who are you to criticize them?. APC has failed this country with all its promises to run the country as a business concern. It has never happened to any other country for Chinese foreigners to interfere in to their politics openly; only in Sierra Leone, under the leadership of the APC. The videos are posted online the whole world watching it. The condemned Chinese prisoners being sent to your country to do labourer work that you are not hired to do instead, under the leadership of APC.

    I can make a prediction that, some of you were not even employed since or before 2018 poll started were you?. H.E. can’t govern and take Sierra Leone all alone, we have to join together and stop criticism. I don’t care what he does, since you hate him and will never credit this young man – why all this?. If Sierra Leone prospers, it is prosperity for all of us, let’s pray for the country. May God bless H.E. and may God bless Sierra Leone.

  4. The great Confucius once declared,that a leader was like the wind,and his people were like grass; and wherever the wind blows, he emphatically insisted,there also will the grass lean. Ingenious! Indeed,there’s no two ways about it; he was right on the money! Those insightful words of wisdom spoken countless scores of years ago,still remain true today. If our nation is now seen as being unstable,and volatile,look nowhere else to cast the blame but at State House.

    Maada Bio is now Captain of the ship,he is solely responsible for the direction it sails. If it drifts into turbulence,and troubled,and uncharted waters,only he is to be held responsible,and tried in the peoples court of discernment,and public opinion. Vote Red! Again,this troubling,recent event,clearly shows that those now in power,are not responsible,or serious people at all.

    Just two days ago,these head scratching losers,assembled themselves together,like ears of dry, tasteless, inedible corn in a bag, in a fruitless attempt to pinpoint,and assess their levels of gross,confounding incompetencies,and the reasons for their unproductivity,and countless,shocking, failures.(lol)

    And as if that was not enough to worry about,discontented,hungry,criminal, thugs,are now spreading mayhem,openly threatening the peace,and their authority by demanding through violence,promises made in good faith to them that are still pending,and unfulfilled. (lol) Again,for the SLPP to think they can tarnish the image of the APC by shifting blame, here and there, spreading deceits and lies, is outright ludicrous. Gentlemen, its never gonna work! Nope,not in today’s Sierra Leone.

    This President has all the authority, personnel, resources,and tools needed to ensure, and guarantee peace,and security for all citizens of Sierra Leone,yet he has let his loyalty and allegiances to partisan politics and tribal sentiments override his sense of judgement.

    The world is watching,observing,and keeping records of all that is happening in Sierra Leone today. Be advised – cease and desist from your lawless, criminal ways…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  5. Change is the only permanent feature of our world. The pace of change may be fast now but it will be faster. Unless our authorities remain cohesive, they could be off the will of survival. Whether in public or private sector, we live in a world where courage, creativity, confidence and competence provide the path not only to being at the leading edge, but to survive. Nobody manages change, what we must do is manage people to bring change. Thanks. (Samuel the Seer)

  6. Wow, I don’t even know where to start. I mean, what is exactly going on in our nation? This pattern of political violence, thuggery, and vandalism is gradually becoming an eyesore for our nation. What has happened to our law enforcement and political leaders? While the average citizen is struggling to make ends meet, it appears the leadership of our major political parties will stop at nothing to make the situation worse for everyone else. I just don’t understand why each of these 2 parties breeds and grooms thugs.

    What is the purpose of having law enforcement officers, if their expected duties of providing security and maintaining law and order at all levels has been usurped by trained political thugs? Time and again, we have heard and in some cases observed via video recording of well known political thugs and criminals displaying their thuggish behavior right in front of law enforcement officers, with absolutely no action being taken to hold them accountable. It’s as if the thugs are more powerful than the law enforcement officers. What message are these crooked and corrupt politicians communicating to our younger generation?

    Why condone violence and thuggish behavior to serve your personal selfish needs? It’s really sickening to say the least. I am sick and tired of hearing these barbaric events taking place every few weeks or so in our nation. While our neighboring countries are busy developing themselves, we are laser focused on annihilating each other. Are we indeed cursed as a nation? This is really insane.

    Each time political violence and vandalism occurs, we keep hearing accusation and counter accusation. The sad part of this whole thing is that, each time such barbaric acts occur, the perpetrators are well known. On each occasion, for reasons unknown to me, the law enforcement officers allow these barbarians to majestically walk scot-free. I does don’t get it. If it is APC thugs, why not arrest them at the scene and charge them to court; and likewise, if it is SLPP thugs, why not arrest them and bring them to justice?

    Why are we turning a blind eye simply because these thugs belong to our political party? Where is the leadership of our president? How long will president Bio allow such barbaric acts to continue in our nation. What happens to the duty of a commander in chief? Aren’t we told that president Bio was going to instil law and order in the nation? Why is our nation disintegrating and gradually becoming a MAFIA state?

    Please Mr. President, much is expected from a commander in chief with a military background. You have all the power and tools to instil sanity and peace in our nation, yet you choose to remain silent while this cycle of incivility continues. Please do something before it’s too late.

  7. Is the SLPP trying to fool the people of Sierra Leone or fooling themselves? After carrying out their barbaric campaign on the APC and other political parties and leaders, now, they are waging the same campaign on themselves. They want to paint their image of barbarity by provoking violence and barbarity on their very selves and at the same time blaming and lying on the APC. This is total deceit. They know they have failed in all fronts. The APC thought them matured politics despite all their violence and barbarity against them. No COUNTER PUNCHES were made as I always advised.

    Good APC. Keep that strategy up. Control your supporters and advice them to refrain from violence. It’s difficult but, it’s the best pill to keep them lying against you and formulating barbarity which is proving disastrous for them. I know that and they too. The investors are scared and running away in the minute.

    SLPP supporters are hungry because the “gron dry” and they have nothing. Patience among their supporters is running out because promises have not been met. The IG has started packing his suitcases which will be followed by them packing their suitcases come 2023. Nobody will buy the words coming out of their mouths. Their words won’t just fly. Have they seriously started packing their suitcases? God will surely bless the APC for the lies those barbaric actors are saying against them. To be continued.

    • SLPP and APC must STOP. And I repeat – must STOP MISUSING and ABUSING our youths for their selfish ends. Teach the youths to honour and respect agriculture, tell them only agriculture and vocational training can improve their lives. Put resources together if you love or care for them. Everyday SLPP and APC, to hell with them!! Sierra Leone is greater than these two. Do something meaningful for our youths, stop dragging them into your damn dirty politics!! And for those of you warmongers and violence agitators in this forum, please send your children and families to do the fighting for your hopeless political parties. STOP THIS NONSENSE!!!

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