March 14, 2016 By Regina Pratt
Bo town residents have returned to the old days of going home early and closing businesses before dusk as some youths who belong to cliques terrorise residents. In most sections of Bo, residents are fearful even inside their houses at night as clique members reportedly attack, rape women and girls and cart away whatever they could lay hands on.
Business houses close early because they fear being attacked by youths who parade at night with dangerous weapons, ready to attack anyone within sight.
Some sections have suffered in particular, including Lewabu section, Kandeh town, Holy Mary by Tipper Ground, Jagbuama, New London, New York, Matru Road, Kebbie and Gbonda Town.
The cliques attack people in their houses and in some night clubs and take whatever items of value, rape women and injure some people who put up any form of resistance, a Bo resident who declined to be named said.
As early as 9 p.m. residents could be seen rushing back home in anticipation that the deadly youths could attack at anytime, said Madam Sallay, a trader at the Bo market, adding that she leaves at Kandeh Town and that they had been getting sleepless nights for weeks.
“It’s like during the rebel war when we would be awake to know when the rebels would strike,” she said.
A vigilante, who only identified himself as Daddy, said they are doing their best to secure their locality from the marauding cliques.
He said the police give them support with armed personnel, while the community provides some financial support as morale booster.
“They are our brothers,” he said, but was quick to add that “they want to kill us and render the town insecure, which we will not accept.”
However, second-in-command at the Bo West Police Station, Superintendent Muctarr Mahdi, refuted claims about attacks on night clubs in the southern city, although he confirmed rape of women allegedly by clique members, some three weeks ago.
He said they welcomed the idea of vigilante groups to help bolster security in communities at night, adding that they deploy at least two armed police personnel alongside the vigilantes.
He said they do regular patrols at night with the help of community vigilantes and that they were getting results as residents appreciate their effort to ensure the city is safe from activities of organised clique boys.
He disclosed that some mischievous youth had written a letter to the youth chairman of New York section, Thomas Shakah, informing him of a planned attack codenamed ‘stop all night work’ and copied the Local Unit Commander, Assistant Inspector General, MP of constituency 07, and the Resident Minister.
Superintendent Mahdi maintained though that the letter would not divert their attention to concentrate on that area specifically, while the cliques attack and terrorise other sections in the city.
He said they were determined to put an end to gang violence in Bo, adding that their robust action have seen calm return to the once peaceful city, especially after they arrested 40 suspected clique members.
He revealed that the most common crimes in the township were assault and sexual penetration, and minor traffic offences like overloading.
Meanwhile, some 28 youths that were arrested after a tip off by the police have been granted bail after reputable sureties stood on their behalf, according to the police officer. The 28 were reportedly at a closed door night party when police swooped on them.
Also, the 40 youths suspected of being clique members that were arrested have all been released on bail.