Hon. Momodu Maligi, the campaign coordinator for the main opposition party, All People’s Congress (APC), issued a call for calm yesterday following a brutal attack on APC supporters in Bonthe district, Southern Region of Sierra Leone.
The incident occurred as the opposition party prepared to launch its campaign, adhering to the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone’s (ECSL) allocated date.
Despite following the necessary protocols, the APC campaign faced vehement opposition from supporters of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Roadblocks were erected by the ruling party supporters to impede the access of opposition supporters to the designated meeting point.
Hon. Maligi expressed his dismay, stating, “We were met with brutal confrontations from ruling party supporters who mounted roadblocks to stop opposition supporters from accessing the meeting point.”
The situation escalated when enraged SLPP youths on motorbikes, displaying the slogan “SLPP Bonthe District,” launched a vicious attack on APC party supporters, resulting in injuries to several key executive officials. The violence perpetrated against the opposition supporters was alarming and posed a serious threat to the democratic process.
Law enforcement authorities eventually intervened; however, to the dismay of the APC supporters, the perpetrators were allowed to walk away under police protection.
In response, Hon. Momodu Maligi led his party supporters to the local police station to lodge a formal complaint. Despite the provocation, he urged his supporters to remain peaceful, refrain from retaliation, and abide by the law.
The Southern Region Campaign Team, led by the APC, has expressed concern over the incident and called for a thorough investigation into the violence. They emphasized the importance of a peaceful electoral process and urged all parties to engage in a fair and respectful campaign, free from intimidation and violence.
The incident in Bonthe District serves as a stark reminder of the need for political parties to uphold democratic values and ensure the safety and security of all citizens. The forthcoming elections in Sierra Leone must be conducted peacefully and inclusively, enabling the electorate to make informed decisions based on the merits of each political party’s agenda. The actions of a few should not undermine the democratic process, and it is incumbent upon authorities to take swift action against those responsible for the attack on APC supporters.
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