Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 February 2021:
There are allegations of the beating and stabbing of a young man in the Penguia Chiefdom in Kailahun last week by SLPP supporters, ahead of the hotly contested Constituency 010 bye-election in Kailahun.
According to sources, the SLPP candidate took campaigners and police officers to Penguia Chiefdom on the day the incident happened. It is alleged that the young man’s legs were also broken by thugs.
The independent candidate contesting the election – Ibrahim Sylvester Jusu Hengela, is said to be a young student from Njala University, who defected from the SLPP after the constituency’s preferred candidate was rejected by the party.
It is understood that President Bio himself had invited the SLPP candidates for the party’s symbol to Freetown, where he personally chose a lady called Zainab Kama Braima for the party’s symbol to contest the election, rather than respecting the local party membership election process. This is what sparked the violence, the Sierra Leone Telegraph has been informed.
The president is said to have sent his personal delegation to ‘talk’ to the young independent candidate to step down from the contest.
The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) news briefing published today, reported that the three candidates and representatives contesting the bye-elections in Constituency 010 in Kailahun District – John Allieu of the APC, Zainab Kama Braima of the SLPP, and the Independent Candidate -Ibrahim Sylvester Jusu Hengela – over the weekend pledged to continue their campaigns peacefully, ahead of the 27th February 2021 Parliamentary bye-election.
In their peace messages, all three candidates admonished their supporters to be law-abiding – before, during, and after the elections.
The candidates advised their supporters and the electorate to report issues of concern to the relevant authorities and not to take the law into their hands. This they say is for the good of the Constituency on one hand and the country as a whole on the other.
Admonishing the candidates, the Chairman of the Political Parties Registration Commission- Mr. Abdullai Masiyambay Bangura, expressed the commission’s disappointment at the way and manner the supporters of the candidates have conducted themselves during the campaigns. This he says is a total disrespect to the electorate, and that this must stop forthwith.
He advised the police to bring the perpetrators and those who incite violence to book, without fear or favour.
In his statement, the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission – Mr. Mohamed K. Konneh, assured the candidates and the leadership of the parties that the elections will be conducted freely and fairly, and that the winner will be a winner for the people.
In his statement, the Assistant Inspector General of Police – East, Thomas Lahai assured all that his force will professionally police the elections without fear or favour.
He advised the candidates and electorate to be law-abiding before, during, and after the elections.
Other key stakeholders addressed the meeting, including representatives of Democratic Institutions, Office of National Security (ONS), Human Right Commission Sierra Leone (HRC-SL), National Commission for Democracy (NCD), National Elections Watch (NEW), Paramount Chiefs, Chiefdom Authorities, and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) – all added their voices to the call for a peaceful election.
Before the joint stakeholders meeting organized by PPRC and NEC on Saturday, the PPRC on Friday held a similar meeting in Sandaru, Penguia Chiefdom, after a stakeholder meeting in Daru on Thursday 18th February 2021.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph contacted the SLPP Secretary Genral – Umaru Napoleon Koroma for comment on the allegation of the beating and stabbing of the young man last weekend by SLPP supporters in Panguia, ahead of the bye-election, but no response was received at time of publishing. We will update this story as when we get response from the SLPP party.
The Sierra Leone Telegraph has decided not to publish the shocking video of the murdered boy’s mother weeping unconsolably beside her dead son.
As long as the leader believes in violence to achieve an end, what will you expect from the followers? The people of this country know the profile of the man they elected to run this country before then. Since Sierra Leoneans decided to be wicked to themselves it is the price we are paying for what is going on the country.
Last night I saw a meeting or crowd of supporters, probably SLPP, with a gentleman listing the impressive improvements done and going to be undertaken in the country by President Bio. With the Covid-19 pandemic raging worldwide, I was surprised and dissapointed to see so many people not using or applying face masks properly. Are face masks not mandatory and what about social distancing ?
Thanks to Dr Blyden, for calling it as it is. I think if our country has few more people like you, we will be in a far more better place, united for one single purpose, to develop our country. Sometimes, silence speaks louder than voice. Failure to condem this sort of politically motivated crimes, makes you an accomplice of that crime. At the moment the most dangerous time in our country history, is the silence of the good people. I am glad that you are calling out all of us, about the deafening silence of civil society groups, our religious organisations, our elders, Sierra Leone Association of journalists, peace or organisation, Human rights groups, opposition parties, for their failure to call out this Bio government, on their diabolical human rights abuses taking place under his watch.
The rise of Hitler and Trump did not happen overnight. Every one knew what they stood for, before they were voted into power. Indeed in the 1930s, as Hitler climbed slowly to power, making clear his desire to wipe out the Jewish population, some German Christian religious leaders who were later killed by the Gestapo, warned about the dangers of Hitler’s rise to power and his Nazi followers. The Pope Pius X11 the head of Christiandom in Rome, failed to condem Hitler when he started going after the Jews. Silence in the face of oppression, is an other way of giving dictators like Bio the green pass, that you are tactically supporting him. But in your heart of hearts, at 3am in the morning, you know within yourself, he is wrong.
The failure to condem your illigal detention and trial, and that of Major Poalo Conteh’s illegal detention,and the youngman’s Mr Sesay’s detention for Facebook postings, the killings in Makeni, Pademba Road, Lunsar, Tumbor, the violence in Kono speaks volumes, about how our country is sleep walking to a lawless state.It might given Bio the sucker to do more horrible things, without a hint of regret. The killing of this youngman, have brought home the stark reality, silence is not an option. We cannot afford silence in the face of an overwhelming brutish force led by Bio, and truculent native thuggish SLPP supportsers. Otherwise we are slowly, but surely sleep walking towards a brutal police state. May God bless Sierra-leone.
Yikes! I just saw the video of the mother weeping her eyes out on top of her deceased son. So much for the winner takes it all. That’s right. I suppose this is what it means when so called educated men in our community irresponsibly spout the absurdity of “the winner takes it all”. Apparently, the “winner” can simply whip animosity in the midst of what is supposed to be a democratic process and watch innocent lives lost.
Foolish me, for all this long I had thought that the people of Sierra Leone are winners in the outcome of our electoral processes…. May that child soul rest in perfect peace. He has exited a world that simple doesn’t care about a black child. I hope he is now in a better place.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, what has happened in Kailahun Constituency 010, in this February 2021, is scary. The photos of Women and Children fleeing their homes into the forests and bushes, have haunted me over the past few days but that video breaks my heart completely. See our Kailahun sister weeping over the corpse of her son killed during those Elections Campaign Violence. I wonder what kind of country I am living in where we all look the other way as Women and their Children are terrorized like this? I’m so worried for my #SierraLeone as the various elements (including Civil Society, Journalists and Democratic Opposition Political Parties) that should make a Democracy functional are not properly working.
Where is the LOUD condemnation of what happened in Kailahun? Where are the press releases from the Women’s Groups and the Child Rights activists? Where are the Civil Society Organisations? Where is the Human Rights Commission? Where is the National Commission for Democracy? Where is the All Political Parties Association? Where is PPRC? Where are ALL OF US for God’s sake? Is everyone blind, deaf and dumb to this UNACCEPTABLE state of affairs? Do our Kailahun people deserve this SILENCE from us? No, they don’t. My heart bleeds.
The Criminal SLPP Cabal is in hot waters once again folks, this time around they have gone totally ‘HAYWIRE’ – Murder is the Case that they have Given themselves.(lol) I have always maintained that this President already has his hands stained with blood, and you can be rest assured wherever innocent blood has been mercilessly spilled once before, our harmless majestic earth that was forced to witnessed it all in the depths of misery, anger, sorrow and grief will without doubt demand not only for Justice but for more. True. Ignoramuses – Murder is the case that they have given themselves so that they will be able to hold on to power for just a brief fleeting moment in time that comes and goes in the twinkle of an eye. How sad! A young man is now gone and a heartbroken mother is left behind to mourn like a hen whose chick has been snatched away from her nest, by a hawk never to be seen again.
So heartbreaking and sad that the lives of our citizens are of very little value to the Old soldier in State House and his drugged-out gang of hoodlums. 2023 where art thou? Are you still galloping very fast on your way like a Kings horseman on a mission to deliver an urgent message that concerns serious issues of Life and Death? Or are you another sizzling fiery bullet fiercely zipping through the skies, fired from a long range snipers’s rifle towards its intended target? The wait has been too long, our people have suffered for far too long – 2023 a throng of struggling masses are waiting for the words of HOPE you bring in your songs for sustainable progress and CHANGE in Sierra Leone.(lol)
Bio government is not good at doing things. Let them say bye bye to the people of this country.
Political violence ahead of the bye-election in constituency 010, in Penguia chiefdom, in Kailahun district by SLPP supporters against this young man that lost his life, may his soul rest in peace, was a predictable outcome. This sort of violence, doesn’t just happen at the spur of the moment. They are well planned, and well executed by party operatives that see the president as their “Grand wizard” of their movement. And they are only doing his bidding to be in his good books.
Of course he got the Candidate of his choice in Mrs. Zainab kama Braima. President Bio might not have struck the fatal blows that took away the life of this young man, but his actions, pronouncement, and involvement in the choice of parliamentary Candidate, bypassing local SLPP sensibilities and structures in place, might have given some violent party supporters the nod to take the law into their hands.
Regardless of what took place, I hope the police arrest the culprits, so the family and friends of this young man, can get the justice they deserve. Or get the local MP in the nearby constituency to raise the issue with the police, and within the Wells of Parliament. Politcal violence is unacceptable. We can’t allow some SLPP Supporters known for their truculent nativism, to normalised political violence. Last year they were deployed in Kono during the funeral of a local respected Chief. And now they seemed to be creeping behind their political supporters all over the country. Bio needs to rein in their violent instincts, before its too late. 2023 is just round the corner.