January 30, 2018 By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Head of Sierra Leone Police Media (SLP) has confirmed the arrest of 56 people believed to be involved in riotous conduct following the nomination rally of the All Peoples Congress (APC) aspirants in the March 7 elections last week Friday.
Superintendent Ibrahim Samura, who was speaking on Radio Democracy’s “Gud Morning Salone” programme yesterday, said Campbell Street, in central Freetown, has become a hotspot for violence and chaos because the leader of a certain gang resides in the area.
“When the incident occurred at Campbell Street, based on the arrest we did, we started having intelligence which led us to 104 Campbell Street, where police discovered 43 cutlasses, 16 shovels, 5 pickaxes and some other items which police believe were offensive and used for armed robbery,” he said.
The police media boss said they’ve observed that criminals who are currently helping them with their investigations would look for an opportunity to unleash violence, often in the mid of crowds.
He claimed that the hoodlums would normally target political parties like the Sierra Leone Peoples Party and All Peoples Congress to unleash their dastardly acts because they always take advantage of the crowded scene.
Superintendent Samura said the gangs would disguise as APC or SLPP supporters and take part in rallies, with an ulterior motive to perpetrate violence.
He therefore advised political parties not to encourage them as he referred to them as ‘criminal gangs’.
“For example, Members of Blood (MOB) wear red colour.That’s why if we arrest someone in red let no one tell me that it’s an APC supporter. The same goes to the arrest of someone in green should not be referred to as SLPP,” he said.
The police media boss said security should be everybody’s business, thus urging citizens to come forward and provide intelligence that would help law enforce officers, especially in the lead up to, and after the crucial elections, adding that the police alone cannot enforce the law without support from the people.
Superintendent Samura described the incident at Campbell Street as unfortunate, noting that Freetown has several criminal gangs waiting for crowd pulling events to embark on criminal activities.
Meanwhile, the SLPP and other opposition parties have condemned the violence, which they blame on the ruling party because according to them, it was an internecine bloody battle between two rival gangs aligned to and supported by the APC. On their part, the APC has tried to deflect the opposition opprobrium by sensationally accusing the SLPP of sponsoring gangs to infiltrate their nomination jamboree last Friday.