A cabinet minister in the government of President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone on Saturday, reportedly took a handgun at a polling center north of the country, and threatened to shoot at a supporter of the main opposition, eyewitnesses, and a reporter for Radio Shallom, a local station, said. Radio Shallom (89.5 FM) of Koinadugu district stationed reporters at polling centers around Kabala, to provide coverage on the just concluded district council chairmanship bye-election.

Alhaji Sheku Koroma of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party, and Lawrence Teteh Kargbo of the main opposition All People’s Congress party, contested for the chairmanship post.

The reporter said Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs Amara Kallon, was reportedly seen with a pistol at the polling center along the Makeni highway, and threatened to shoot at a supporter of APC – during an argument.

The polling center is just a stone’s throw from the offices of the National Electoral Commission here.

“It was during this heated argument that the deputy minister was seen taking out a pistol from his vehicle, and threatened to shoot at one of the APC members, and anyone who may disrupt the process,” the reporter said on air while reporting for Radio Shallom.

Hon. Kallon, in fact, hails from Koinadugu district.

The incident, the reporter said, emanated from arguments between supporters of both contesting parties – over the legality of a ballot paper.

And eyewitnesses who were present at the scene confirmed that the deputy minister was seen publicly with the pistol, and that he threatened to shoot.

“I saw the deputy minister taking out a pistol, and threatened to shoot at an APC member,” Umaro Barrie, an eyewitness who was at the center to cast a vote, confirmed to TV-News24.

Eyewitnesses and the local reporter said Hon. Kallon, the deputy minister, and Dr. Kaifala Marah, acting chairman of APC in Koinadugu district, were both present at the scene during the argument.

The argument, eyewitnesses said, escalated and resulted in chaos; when the minister asserted that it’s their time – and they can do whatever they want, without legal consequences.

Residents living around the vicinity of the incident said it left them shaken, and in a panicked state.

Police, the reporter said, later intervened in the matter, thus easing tensions.

“The minister later left the center to another direction, driving towards the Makeni highway,” the Radio Shallom reporter said.
Eyewitnesses said Dr. Marah, once Sierra Leone’s Finance Minister in the administration of Ernest Bai Koroma, Former President, was slapped and pushed to the ground.

It’s unclear who allegedly physically assaulted him – and TV-News24 hasn’t independently confirm both incidents.

TV-News24 however contacted, and reached the deputy minister twice over the telephone to comment on the allegations. Hon. Kallon first said he was too busy with the election, and couldn’t respond to media inquiries – but promised to do so later.

He later said he was still too busy as he’s the SLPP bye-election campaign manager – again, he didn’t provide a response. Thereafter, several other telephone calls placed to his number weren’t answered. And a WhatsApp text message and voice memo left for him were also not replied or responded to.