APC Condemns Violent Attack on Party Supporters in Tonkolili District
The Leadership of the All Peoples Congress (APC) Interim Transitional Governance Committee (ITGC) has brought to the attention of the Office of National Security, Sierra Leone Police, Political Parties Registration Commission, Local and International Elections observers and other Democratic Institutions the occurrence of serious violence and physical attacks launched against a good number of our party supporters and their families in Bendugu Town, Sambaia Chiefdom, Constituency 056 on May 22, 2022.
APC raised this concern in a press release issued on Tuesday 24 May 2022.
According to APC, the attacks resulted in major physical injuries on their members and supporters, adding that it was willfully and deliberately calculated to prevent APC Campaign for the forthcoming bye elections for Constituency 056, scheduled for Saturday 25th June, 2022 by the Electoral Commission-Sierra Leone.
“It should be noted that the Parliamentary seat became vacant when SLPP Member of Parliament for Constituency 056, Hon. Alhaji Musa Bamba Foray Kulio Jalloh was installed as Paramount Chief of Sambaia Chiefdom, Tonkolili District. As part of its oversight functions to conduct free and fair elections in Sierra Leone, the Electoral Commission at stakeholders meetings in the Constituency had agreed that the APC could launch its campaign on May 22nd 2022. In flagrant violation of this stipulation by the Electoral Commission, the Paramount Chief who is the former Member of Parliament representing the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in Constituency 056 sent out messages instructing constituents to come on the same date in which the major opposition, All Peoples Congress was scheduled by the Commission to launch its campaign for what he described as “Communal Labour Day,” the party stated.
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“Our information is that the Paramount Chief had initially threatened to punish anyone in his Chiefdom who dares to use any political or other public event to rival his declared “Communal Labour Day”. Buoyed by the order of the paramount chief, the APC Party campaign schedule was violently interrupted by supporters of SLPP and the Paramount Chief leading to spates of intimidation, harassment, physical assault and ugly violence unleashed against our party members and supporters. Victims of the said attacks are currently receiving and responding to medical treatment,” they added.
APC furthered that their investigations revealed that one Shekubah Saccoh, son of Section Chief, Foray Saccoh allegedly led a group of thugs who embarked on destroying posters carrying the APC Symbol and image of the APC Candidate, Jawa Sesay in Bendugu Town.
“The situation further degenerated to a full scale violent attack resulting to severe injury of four of our supporters,” the party noted.
They added that, “On another note, Manseh Jalloh, son of the Paramount Chief allegedly led a group of thugs calling themselves “Soja Team” intensified the attack on APC members and supporters thereby creating panic in the Constituency. Efforts to reach the Paramount Chief and his administration to put the situation under control proved futile.”
APC noted that they strongly condemned the continuing spate of violent attacks and aggressive intimidation against its members and supporters and views the alleged involvement of Hon. Paramount Chief Alhaji Musa Bamba Foray Kulio Jalloh and his son in what appears to be political thuggery into the politics of the Constituency as totally appalling and unacceptable.
“The APC remains committed to democracy and the rule of law and calls on its members and supporters to exercise restraints. The APC Party remains strong and committed to fully participate in the democratic process and to winning the bye elections in Constituency 056. The Party therefore calls on the Sierra Leone Police and all elections stakeholders to keep an eye on this all important electioneering process,” the party stated.