Police in Sierra Leone have prepared its officers in readiness to be deployed to various parts of the country in the event that a protest planned for Monday 11th and 12th September holds as scheduled.
Since last week, there have been rumors of protests over the rising cost of living, fuel prices, and discontent regarding the June 24 presidential elections. The strike was coordinated via viral messages shared on social media, especially on WhatsApp. These messages were traced back to Adebayo, a Sierra Leonean living in Holland and the head of the People’s Power in Politics (PPP) group.
On Sunday, the Chief Minister, David Moinina Sengeh called on citizens to boycott the planned protest on Monday maintaining that all public offices would be opened for regular daily activities as well as normal business transactions within the country.
The opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party had also denied involvement in the planned demonstrations, asking its supporters to stay away from it. Similarly, Sierra Leone police has said the protest is ‘illegal’ noting that there was no security clearance granted according to the law.
“We (the police) have not received any application for a demonstration as of yet and all the news about it has been on social media,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Brima Kamara said in an interview over the weekend.
He said the police will implement a two-track approach which is first, to warn people not to participate in it and second, is for the police to restore normalcy which is to arrest anyone that come out to protest.