“We condemn SLPP unconstitutionality and brutality” – says opposition APC

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 June 2019:

Sierra Leone’s opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party has broken silence, after violence broke out between its supporters and police at its head office in Freetown last Friday, leaving several people seriously injured and dozens arrested.

In a statement published today, the party said: “We wish to make it known that our patience should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness. We are therefore weighing all our options carefully, as we look forward to appropriate remedial action by President Bio and the SLPP leadership.

“In the meantime, we call on all members and supporters of the APC to remain calm and law-abiding as they await further instructions from the APC Party leadership.”

But even as its statement is being digested, there are reports of the arrest of the APC party MP – Mohamed Bangura in relation to the violence that took place at the party office (Photo above).

Also, it is understood that the party’s publicity secretary – Cornelius Deveaux is on the run, after escaping police arrest last Friday, outside the APC party office. There are unconfirmed reports that he is seeking asylum in the US embassy in Freetown.

This is what the APC party said in its statement published today:

The APC Party wishes to bring to the attention of the general public and the international community the unconstitutional activity of the SLPP against the APC Party and the unprovoked brutalization of our members within the precincts of our Party headquarters on Friday 31st May 2019 after unconstitutional and unlawful attempts to remove from Parliament 10 of our democratically and constitutionally elected Members of Parliament.

The APC Party condemns this ill motivated and brutal assault on the party office and defenceless members. The Party unequivocally rejects the judgments against the APC Members of Parliament on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and politically designed to give the SLPP an undeserved majority in Parliament contrary to the wishes of the electorates in Sierra Leone.

The party also condemns the swearing in of the SLPP MP’s contrary to the provisions of the Public Elections Act Section 146(1-4) of 2012. Section 146(4) specifically states that “if the election is declared void, another election shall be held”.

The party finds it strange therefore that the illegitimate and controversially selected Speaker of Parliament rushed into swearing in the SLPP impostors without regard to due process and the rule of law.

The APC Party condemns the unlawful arrest and detention of 250 members of our political party on Friday 31st May 2019, and demand their immediate and unconditional release. 

Members of the international community and development partners would recall the following:

a. That there are currently 18 cases in front of the Supreme Court seeking interpretation of relevant provisions of the 1991 Constitution relating to the Commissions of Inquiry and the conduct of the 2018 elections. At least one of these cases was filed by the Sierra Leone Bar Association.

b. The APC party also petitioned 32 current SLPP Members of Parliament and, fourteen months on, none of these petitions has even been listed or assigned to a Judge by the Chief Justice.

c. The two separate petitions by the APC Party on the one hand, and Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden have not received due attention by the Supreme Court.

d. The Chief Justice has also failed to list the two separate cases filed by the APC Party on one hand, and Dr. Samura Kamara and Mr. Paolo Conteh on behalf of persons of interest requesting interpretation of Article 150 of the 1991 Constitution among others.

e. The failure of the SLPP government to even give a fair hearing to the reported killings, arson, rape and torture of defenceless APC supporters across the country following the March/April 2018 elections.

f. The unconstitutional enthronement of the Speaker and the forceful ejection of APC MPs from the Well of Parliament by the Sierra Leone Police.

g. The failure of President Julius Maada Bio to take appropriate action against the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission for his blatant display of incompetence and wilful rigging of elections as exemplified in the recent Tonko Limba and Koya bye elections.

h. Contrary to statutory provisions, the SLPP government has refused to honour and pay end of service emoluments and pensions due to retiring Presidents, Vice Presidents, Ministers, and Ambassadors, and even other public officials that were unlawfully removed from office after the March 2018 elections.

i. The unprecedented sackings of innocent Sierra Leoneans because of their alleged affinity to the APC party, with the most recent being the sacking of 257 staff at Statistics Sierra Leone and over 100 staff at the National Civil Registration Authority, and the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration.

j. Regrettably, the Chief Minister (Mr. David Francis) has been caught on tape assuring SLPP faithful in their Party office in Kenema that part of the SLPP agenda is to create job openings that will be filled by SLPP supporters when President Bio formally lifts the current ban on employment.

The APC Party regrets to state that these actions by the SLPP government using the Sierra Leone Police and Kamajors disguised as Policemen to unleash unwarranted savagery on defenceless APC supporters and office premises, undermines the peace and security of the country and risks plunging the country into civil and tribal/regional conflict.

Even more regrettable is the fact that the Judiciary is complicit in this dastardly act that infringes upon the fundamental human rights and dignity of defenceless Sierra Leoneans. This, coupled with the undemocratic usurpation of the Speakership in Parliament by the SLPP government, would only confirm that separation of powers and the basic tenets of democracy and the rule of law have crumbled in this nation.

The APC Party has exercised the highest level of restraint through all these periods of unwarranted provocation and exploitation. We wish to make it known that our patience should never be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

We are therefore weighing all our options carefully, as we look forward to appropriate remedial action by President Bio and the SLPP leadership.

In the meantime, we call on all members and supporters of the APC to remain calm and law-abiding as they await further instructions from the APC Party leadership. Be assured my comrades that in the struggles of the APC Party, there is victory for all of us. The SUN will rise again, and Sierra Leone will prosper.

SIGNED: Alhaji Amb. Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh, APC National Secretary General.

6 Comments

  1. Three Stupid Fools In The Name Of EBK, Yansaneh And Deveoux Are Controlling This So Called APC Party And Will Therefore Continue To Behave Foolishly. The Only Advice To Them Now Is To Stop Before It Is Too Late For Them. Let Them Just Continue To Wololo Until 2080. No More APC In This Country.

  2. We are not in the 70s anymore and believe it or not, democracy has established. Violence is not the key way forward, we have to copy from the neighbors and some other big countries like, USA, Britain, France and so on. Let us assume if Chief Sam Sumana was not illegally removed, we would have a different story today.

    Have a look – this is my take: Late Siaka P. Stevens came from a Limba tribe. J.S. Momoh was Limba, the former President Ernest Bai Koroma is a Limba as well. Also he was about to bring another Limba brother, a man that carrying two last names (SAMURA, KAMARA).

    It seems to me like the Temnes are sleeping, or not educated. Koroma had no power to dismiss or remove a country elected Vice president for his own personal gains. There will be a stability in the country no matter what, but let APC wake up and select another party leader. Both E.B.K. and Osman Foday Yansaneh need to go, let them go home and rest. Thank you

  3. I personally believe that the APC party has already set the stage for the next battle since they filed the bogus petition just to react to the SLPP‘s petition by doubling theirs to 32. Now they are waiting for the court to throw away those bogus claims, then they will start crying injustice.

    The APC succeeded this time around by diverting the attention of their supporters from what happened at the Bintumani 3 when Dr. Alpha Kanu openly challenged their leadership and they tried to use the situation at the APC party office to show solidarity that they are not divided. But sooner or later they have to expel Dr. Kanu from the party, and that’s when ‘Hell will break loose’ and the divisions will be exposed.

    Finally the good news is that despite the doom and gloom news, the APC has been spreading, peace and democracy is still thriving and the sky has not fallen.

    My only advice to the APC party is – Next time, please move your protest to your million dollar Coliseum or party office in Makeni close to your leadership, which I believe has enough toilets that can be used for ‘Thumb Sucking’ as a means of a pacifier whenever you are going through the whining or crying period, rather than putting school children around the Brookfields area under duress.

  4. Good news from the APC LEADERSHIP through their NATIONAL SECRETARY GENERAL. This very timely call for calm is a very important and strategic move by the APC LEADERSHIP to illustrate that, they are ABOVE and in CONTROL of the SITUATION and their SUPPORTERS. Telling their SUPPORTERS to refrain from CHAOS, VIOLENCE and ANARCHY is very encouraging.

    THUMBS UP for the APC LEADERSHIP for their wise move. Moreover, it seems to me that, the peace initiative by Dr. Yumkella has started to bear FRUIT. FANTASTIC STUFF Dr. Yumkella. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY for using your EXPERIENCE and EXPERTISE to make sure that PEACE prevail in the country. It is always very simply/easy for political parties to control their SUPPORTERS if the WILL is there. What most times is difficult, is the political side of the problem.

    Just see what has happened. All the political parties including the ruling SLPP have condemned what happened. No one should blame President Bio (the executive) or the SLPP for this BLOODY and UGLY MESS. The JUDICIARY triggered this problem in the first place, because of the way the entire PETITIONS from the political parties were handled (we are talking here about the selective justice and justice delayed). Then came the police with that miscalculated BRUTAL FORCE.

    Am I right to say that the JUDICIARY and the POLICE were the SCAPEGOAT of all this? Both the POLICE and the JUDICIARY have not made any STATEMENT. It seems strange to many people including myself. DIFFICULT EH? YEAH, talking to myself. Heads just have to roll I reckon. PERIOD!

  5. Until former President Ernest Bai Koroma is forced to resigns from his position as “Chairman for life” in the APC party, the APC party will continue to disintegrate. He has planted the seed of discontent in the APC party and now he is trying to make good on his promise to destabilize our country.

    We all recall that when Former President Kabba handed power over to the APC party following their victory, he retreated quietly to enjoy his retirement until his death. However, Ernest Bai Koroma, has no intention of retiring from active politics. His first master stroke was to deliver a death blow to any aspiring leader in his party so that he will continue to manipulate the party for his own selfish interest. He sees himself as the de facto president and he is relying on his ignorant supporters to make it impossible for the SLPP party to govern.

    The blame for the melee that ensued at their party office should lie squarely at the feet of Ernest Bai Koroma, and his lackey in the person of Osman Foday Yansaneh, who ordered the APC supporters to come out in large numbers wearing red in anticipation of the court ruling.

    It is one thing to summon APC supporters to congregate at their party office to show solidarity with their comrades who lost their petition case but when that call is a veiled threat to disturb the peace as seen on most of the videos, the Police is bound to act to restore peace and order.

    And to hear them talk about probity and the rule of law, when they are the purveyors of violence and the government that is known to set all the bad precedents in our country, is laughable if not for the threat it poses for our peace and tranquility.

    I am glad for the show of force by the police and I hope this will put them on notice that any further onslaught will be met with equanimity from our abled police force. Enough is enough!

  6. It appears that the APC is doing all that it can to get into a direct conflict or confrontation with the SLPP. What has the SLPP got to do with a confrontation between the APC and the Sierra Leone Police? Is the Inspector General of the Sierra Police an employee of the SLPP? Why is the APC not condemning the police or the Inspector General of of the Police?

    Additionally, the petitions filed by the SLPP against the APC Members of Parliament were adjudicated by a judge of the High Court. If the APC is not satisfied with the rulings of the High Court, why not appeal? What has the SLPP got to do with what happens in the High Court?

    The Inspector General of the Police, Dr. Richard Moigbe is an APC appointee and the police itself was armed to the teeth by Ernest Koroma and the APC to oppress opposition parties in Sierra Leone. It is however interesting that now the same police has turned against the APC for its lawlessness, APC crybabies are crying foul.

    All APC should do is desist from lawlessness and its members would not have any problems with the police or the courts system. But again what would one expect when you have irresponsible folks like Osman Yansaneh, Minkailu Manasaray and Cornelius Deveaux fronting a political party?

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