By Matthew Jabby
Five members of the Sierra Leone Dock Workers Union (SLDWU) were yesterday arrested by the police at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay.
According to the Local Unit Commander at the Ross Road police station, Superintendent Samuel S. Sesay, Junior Alie, Saffa Bundu, Mohamed Mansaray, Abdul Kamara and Sinneh Bangura were arrested because of riotous conduct.
He said the quintet were caught verbally assaulting the interim president of the Dock Workers Union, Alhaji Thomas, adding that the move was prompted by the need to bring decorum at the quay and to forestall any breach of law and order by irate union workers, whom he said are in the habit of breaching the peace.
Matthew Amodu, a member of the Dock Workers Union, told Concord Times that the five arrested dock workers forcefully entered the offices of the Union and directed invectives at the interim president, whom they accused of masterminding the disqualification of the immediate past president, Abdul Kanasieu, to again vie for the position of president.
The interim president vehemently denied the charges, stating that “the Constitution of the Union disqualified him [Kanasieu] from contesting. I am not that power-conscious and I would leave office after the election would have been conducted.”
The mood around the quay was tense yesterday.
The dock workers have been engaged in a public spat over leadership of the Union since December last year, prompting the Minister of Labour and Industrial Affairs to postpone the election of a new executive. It remains unclear when the elections will be finally held.