March 2, 2018 By Mohamed Massaquoi
The Leadership of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) have raised serious concern over what they referred to as ‘scale of violence’ against SLPP members allegedly unleashed by thugs of the All People’s Congress Party on Wednesday 28th February, 2018, in the Western Area during their final rally in the Western Area.
According to a release from the SLPP secretariat, the SLPP East District Chairman, Mr Abib Thorpe was attacked at his residence by a group of APC thugs led by a certain Abubakarr Fofana, APC Candidate for Member of Parliament in Constituency 107.
They claimed that Mr. Thorpe’s personal vehicle, a Lexus jeep, AGX 300, was burnt down to ashes and that another vehicle, Audi car, AKY 508, belonging to Abubakar Sidique Sankoh, East District Young Generation Leader, was damaged beyond repairs and a Motorbike belonging to the SLPP Zonal Young Generation Leader was stolen.
Further, the SLPP Candidate for Constituency 108, Mr Joseph Kanu, on Tuesday night, was allegedly physically attacked at his residence and that properties worth millions were stolen with the house vandalised in Waterloo.
“In addition to the damage to properties and theft suffered in the hands of the APC thugs, many SLPP members were seriously beaten and wounded by APC thugs. For instance, Ishmael Kabia was mercilessly beaten and two of his teeth were removed. At the time of writing this release, three SLPP members are currently hospitalised in critical conditions suffering from stabbings and broken limbs,” SLPP secretary General, Umaru N. Koroma claimed.
He further claimed that while the APC thugs were destabilising in Waterloo and its environs, another set of APC hired thugs and clique members embarked on an organised destruction of posters and banners of the SLPP Presidential Candidate, Rtd. Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.
At Brimah Lane in the Easten part of Freetown, APC thugs were visibly seen destroying a gigantic banner of the SLPP Presidential Candidate. In a video clip of the violent act, supporters of the APC stood cheering the APC thugs as they brought down the banner. Across the city of Freetown, posters and banners of the SLPP Presidential Candidate were randomly vandalihesed, broken and removed by APC thugs during their campaign rally,” he claimed.
The release again alleged that similar incidents of political violence including physical attacks, destruction of properties and severe injuries were inflicted on SLPP members across the country in the last few days.
“In Bo, the house of the SLPP District Public Relations officer, Kanji Daramy was physically attacked by a group of APC thugs in the Presence of Police Superintendent Mohamed Turay alias ‘Yate Yate’ and our Councillor Aspirant in Bo Abdul Razak Kanu was arrested on the instructions of the said Superintendent,” he said, adding that Yate and other Operational Support Division officers physically attacked SLPP District Public Relations officer and beat him up.
“While we continue to urge our supporters and members to use peaceful and lawful means to seek redress in the face of the mounting violent attacks, our Party wishes to state that our members and supporters cannot continue to be victims of such organised violent attack,” he noted.
The party called on the Sierra Leone Police to speedily investigate all incidents of political violence against SLPP members with the objective to prosecute APC thugs who continue to allegedly perpetuate acts of violence.
“That the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Dr.Samura Kamara publicly condemns these systematic acts of violence perpetrated by APC thugs on SLPP members. That the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Samura Kamara takes responsibility for the scale of violence unleashed by the APC thugs in Western Area on Wednesday 28th February which resulted in the burning of vehicles, vandalising and theft of properties and inflicting physical injuries on SLPP members,” he said, and called on development partners, election observers and Political Parties Registration Commission to ensure that the APC Presidential Candidate, Samura Kamara signs the Freetown Peace Declaration to commit the APC to peaceful and non-violent elections.