APC blasts SLPP for continously perpetuating violence in Sierra Leone

The APC reiterates its commitment to guarantee the security, safety and continuous well-being of each and every Sierra Leonean, irrespective of ethnic group, region, religion or political affiliation. Our Chairman, Leader and Presidential Candidate, His Excellency the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, has worked very hard to ensure stability, development and progress – significant gains that we all would not want to see reversed. This is why our party and supporters have always adhered to his call to refrain from all violence, even in circumstances where our membership is provoked and attacked.

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All Peoples Congress (APC)  PRESS STATEMENT

The All Peoples Congress (APC), led by Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, condemns violence in all its forms, and categorically denounces the violence perpetrated by supporters of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) during the bye-election held in Ward 369, Constituency 104, in Freetown on Saturday 14th January 2012.

The APC reiterates its commitment to guarantee the security, safety and continuous well-being of each and every Sierra Leonean, irrespective of ethnic group, region, religion or political affiliation. Our Chairman, Leader and Presidential Candidate, His Excellency the President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, has worked very hard to ensure stability, development and progress – significant gains that we all would not want to see reversed. This is why our party and supporters have always adhered to his call to refrain from all violence, even in circumstances where our membership is provoked and attacked.

It would be recalled that the APC restrained its membership from retaliation when our regional party office, the District Party Chairman’s house, and an affiliate office were vandalised and burnt down in the southern city of Bo by supporters of the opposition SLPP. On Saturday 14th January 2012 again, in Ward 369, Constituency 104, on the admonishment of our Chairman and Leader, we had to restrain our supporters from reacting when they were brutally attacked by SLPP supporters with machetes, daggers, sticks with nails and other dangerous weapons, leading to serious injuries to our supporters. Among the victims were Lansana Fadika (who recently joined our party from the SLPP which he had served as a regional chairman), Ibrahim Lewally (the uncle of the APC Member of Parliament for Constituency 104), and Mariama Suma (the APC’s chairlady of the same constituency), who are presently admitted at the Davidson Nicol Memorial Hospital, Cole Farm, Off Wilkinson Road, Freetown. The SLPP supporters further took the brazen action of descending on and vandalising the APC’s Constituency 104 party office, situated at Savage Square in Freetown, on the same day while the bye-election was in progress.

The continuous violence of the SLPP is outrageous and totally unacceptable in modern democratic practice. The norm should be to ensure a process where elections are conducted in a free, fair, and transparent manner, without intimidation and violence, so that all registered voters who would want to exercise their franchise would do so without hindrance or encumbrance. This is what our party (the APC), led by Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, believes and stands for.

As a party that adheres to best democratic practicetherefore, we deem it appropriate to petition the results of the bye-election held in Ward 369, Constituency 104, on Saturday 14th January 2012, as it was conducted in circumstances contrary to best practice. We are also calling on the international community to pay special attention to these ugly and undemocratic developments. We note with dismay the silence of civil society groups, including the National Elections Watch, the 50-50 group, and the All Political Parties Women’s Association, who have been very vocal in the past on electoral violence and gender issues.

We make this statement from a position of strength, because we have the numbers, the majority, and the capacity to neutralise and subjugate the opponents, but would not do that in the interest of our country and democracy.

We would again call on all APC members, supporters and all peace-loving Sierra Leoneans to remain law-abiding and avoid all forms of violence.

The APC does not want this country to go back to the days of militarism and war; but it is becoming apparent that the SLPP is determined to use violence as a means of attaining power.

We as a party are determined to prevent them from having their way, using democratic means.

SIGNED

Victor Bockarie Foh

(SECRETARY GENERAL)

Sunday 15th January 2012

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