April 4, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Following allegations against some senior members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) of their involvement in politics, the Chief of Defense Staff has assured Sierra Leoneans that he would be ready to work with the president-elect after the winner of the runoff presidential election is announced.
Lieutenant General Brima Sesay made the statement during a press conference at the Ministry of Defence, where he stated that a lot of resources have been spent by both the government and international bodies on the RSLAF and that they would not betray the confidence the citizenry has reposed in the military.
He said professionalism and diligent service to the nation are key priorities to members of the RSLAF.
“The military is apolitical. There is no division among my men and we are operating as a unit and we want to maintain that. The Ministry of Defence strongly condemns and takes great exception to misleading allegations that has the tendency of undermining the integrity of the RSLAF and the peace and stability of the state. We want to assure the general public of our unwavering determination to remain apolitical, professional and respect to the constitution of Sierra Leone. I am ready to support any president elected by the people regardless of the political party,” he assured.
The CDS was reacting to remarks few hours earlier by the National Secretary-General of the opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) that some senior ranking personnel of the RSLAF have hatched a plot to assassinate their presidential candidate, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.
Umaru Napoleon Koroma, while speaking to the press on Monday at the Radisson Blu Hotel, alleged that the plot to assassinate their presidential candidate was part of a strategy by the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC) to undermine a peaceful transition.
Koroma also complained about heightened intimidation and an unprecedented level of deployment of armed military and police officers on polling day.
“It is now apparent that the ruling All Peoples Congress, after being rejected at the polls, is now very determined not only to obstruct the electoral process but most importantly to create chaos. There is now an active plan to assassinate the presidential candidate of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, Brigadier Julius Maada Bio,” said Koroma.
Gunshots were reportedly fired around the vicinity of Mr. Bio’s Juba Hill residence after polling closed on Saturday.
However, aside denying the allegation, the CDS also urged the Inspector General of Police to speedily investigate the allegation.