Monday March 18,
- The second term syndrome - Desperate Ernest Bai Koroma
arms the APC armed wing, the OSD. Incidents of violence
against the main opposition SLPP in the past a dress
rehearsal for rigging November polls in favour of the
smoke and mirrors President Ernest Bai Koroma using
intimidation and extreme violence as the tactics of
does not require the wisdom of Solomon nor the detective
skills of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to read
through the plot of the Ernest Bai Koroma government to
know that reports so far of recorded violence against
the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party, the SLPP,
by the ruling APC party had been a dress rehearsal for
the November polls this year. It has been and continues
to be a test of the resolve of the people of Sierra
Leone as well as the international community, including
the guarantors of our fragile peace to put in place all
the necessary measures that would prevent Sierra Leone
going back to a crisis situation that would threaten the
stability, peace and democratic credentials of a country
that is emerging from a brutal war, the genesis of which
could be traced to the terrible governance of the past.
This is now reinvented, recreated and nurtured by an APC
set-up led by Ernest Bai Koroma and his thugs aimed at
getting a second term in office at all costs.
no accident nor a chance incident that the Shears-Moses
report lies unattended and not acted upon by President
Ernest Bai Koroma as the contents, indeed the
recommendations of that report had exposed the
government as being a part of a master plan to rig the
November polls for a desperate Ernest Bai Koroma who
would do anything, we mean everything to get his
much-desired second term. These are examples of part of
the dress rehearsal for the violence and
elections-rigging planned before, during and after the
November polls that would see elections in opposition
strongholds postponed after violence and acts of
intimidation initiated by the APC. This is nothing new
as we know the APC and what they are capable of doing
when it comes to vote-rigging and bad governance. We
would urge our dear readers to ask one E. T. Kamara who
was at one time Secretary General of the APC how the
postponed Bo elections ended with all eight APC
candidates declared unopposed.
- The Day President
Koroma was sworn in, APC supporters and thugs vandalized
and comprehensively looted the SLPP Headquarters in
Freetown. One man reported killed. No police
investigation into the death of a Sierra Leonean as then
Police Chief Brima Acha Kamara publicly stated that the
acts of vandalism were carried out by SLPP supporters
who had not been paid by the party.
March 12, 2009:
Ward 323, Sorogbema Chiefdom, Pujehun District
- Elements of the APC
led by the Resident Minister Southern Region, Mr. Musa
Tarawally and backed by a contingent of armed OSD police
officers and APC party supporters imported from Bo and
other areas brutalized residents in the Ward. Some
people, mainly women and children, were forced to flee
across the border into neighbouring Liberia, while
others hurriedly fled into the surrounding bushes.
Vehicles and motorcycles belonging to SLPP campaigners
were destroyed and burnt down. The wife of an SLPP
Chiefdom Chairman was stabbed.
March 16, 2009:
SLPP Headquarters - Freetown
- In broad day light,
the APC thugs aided by the police, launched another raid
on the SLPP headquarters in Freetown and this time
succeeded in entering the office. These hoodlums
comprehensively vandalized the party office, looting and
carting away anything they could lay hands on.
At least two vehicles belonging to opposition party
members were set on fire as elements close to the ruling
party and State House aid and abet the violence.
September 9, 2011: Bo
- The SLPP Flag Bearer
and supporters were attacked by APC supporters and thugs
in which the newly-elected flag bearer Rtd Brigadier
Julius Maada Bio, was
September 3, 2011:
Koidu Town, Kono District
- The nation yet again
witnessed violence by APC. This time, it was APC members
shooting at each other in Kono. The APC Minister of
Internal Affairs, Musa Tarawally accompanied by armed
security personnel, was attacked by alleged thugs of the
APC Vice President Sam Sumana in Koidu Town.
the reported incidents involving the main opposition
SLPP and the ruling APC, it has always been, without any
exception, opposition SLPP members who would be hauled
before the courts whose officials and functionaries are
slowly beginning to compromise justice in favour of the
ruling APC. This was the same situation that led to our
troubles. The shooting incidents and clashes in Kono
involving APC functionaries only has not been properly
investigated nor acted upon if so done because it was
the APC vs APC - the same parts of an untouchable
law-breaking and violent entity.
is why we are requesting the United Nations Security
Council to view the recent importation of war weapons
for the use of the armed wing of the APC, known as the
OSD of the Sierra Leone Police as something extremely
serious and very dangerous for a country that is still
trying to consolidate the gains made after a brutal war
that left thousands killed, hundreds of thousands raped
and millions traumatised.
international community and the guarantors of our peace
are therefore requested to revisit UN Security Council
1941 of 2010.
would urge them to seriously consider the redeployment
of UN blue helmets from Liberia into Sierra Leone to
provide the necessary security for the November polls.
We would also advise that those UN blue helmets so
deployed contain elements of the previous mission who
know the country well. They should not be total
strangers but staffed by troops who had served in Sierra
Leone and overseen elections in 2002.
- our observations last year. Little did we know that
the government was already making preparations for
arming the OSD, the armed wing of the APC party.
September 7, 2011
- Political violence and the threat of violence -
guarantors of Sierra Leone's fragile peace and fledgling
democracy must act now lest things get out of hand with
disastrous consequences. We do not have to wait for a
Kenya-type post-election violence and subsequent ICC
trials. Time to act...and now.
Reports that there had
been violent confrontations between supporters of two
key members of the ruling party headed by President
Ernest Bai Koroma must be taken very seriously, not only
by Sierra Leoneans who have had to put up with more than
forty years of political violence and now want to enjoy
peace, but by the international community which has
tagged Sierra Leone as a post-conflict country that is on
the right path to peace, democracy and the rule of law.
Reports say that Interior minister Musa Tarawally (left)
and Vice President Sam Sumana (right) have been named as
being at the core of the disturbances in Kono district
where it is reported that Musa Tarawally whose
responsibilities include the police has taken upon
himself to have a phalanx of state-paid armed OSD
(renamed Siaka Stevens ISU attack beasts) police
officers whom he directs and orders to discharge weapons
with deadly consequences. It is to be recalled that
violence and the threat of violence against perceived
opponents, had for a long long time been the calling
card of the All People's Congress (APC) party since the
time of Siaka Stevens with the army drafted in to serve
such political purposes when Rtd Major-General Joseph
Saidu Momoh took over from him.
Guarantors of our peace
and democracy must also note that even after the then
ruling SLPP accepted the result of the 2007 polls that
ushered in the Ernest Bai Koroma administration, every
excuse has been manufactured to attack SLPP members
ranging from the sacking of the SLPP offices through
allegations of rape by APC operatives to the use of
excrement in Kono on the offices of the SLPP in Kono.
will also be recalled that one SLPP Presidential
aspirant, Usu Boie Kamara was prevented by the police
when he tried to enter the district to campaign support
from SLPP members in the district. We have seen the
illegal use of state security forces in the political
arena before and how this plunged the country into our
troubles and we would urge the government to take all
necessary steps to ensure that personnel of the national
security forces are not used by individuals for
political and other purposes.
The Sierra Herald condemns
any politician who makes it a duty to be accompanied by
armed personnel in a country that is no longer at war.
We would urge the government to rein in the excesses of
the Interior minister and the Defence minister Paolo Conteh who love to parade armed men as their personal
All ministers are supposed to be
"protected" by trained and qualified bodyguards from the
Special Branch of the Sierra Leone Police. It worked in
the Sierra Leone of yore where the rule of law was
supreme and we see no reason why it should not work now.
The display of firepower is bound to create disaffection
within certain sections of the community and this is not
good for our fledgling democracy and new-found peace.