Chaos at Ward 196 Bye-Elections at Tonko Limba : See the various reports

Yesterday’s Council Bye-Elections at Ward 196, Tonko Limba Chiefdom, Kambia District was marred by acts of violence, intimidation and chaos. We bring you snippets of reports sent in by former Government officials, Dr. Sylvia Blyden and Karamoh Kabba.

21 hrs · 


Editor of Awareness Times Newspaper, Mr. John Koroma, has just been attacked by a combined team of Sierra Leone Police officers and persons openly identifying themselves as SLPP supporters inside TONKO LIMBA during the ongoing Bye Elections out there today Saturday 29th September 2018. His reporter who was with him escaped the violence and has fled for his life!

Mr. John Koroma, who is fully accredited by NEC to observe the Elections, has been moving from polling station to polling station monitoring the voting process this morning. He got wind of complaints of strange and violent developments at Mile-14 Town in TONKO LIMBA.

On arrival at the scene on his chartered motorbike, he started to observe the developments which were indeed of a violent nature. At this point, despite he had on his clear identification as a Journalist and he also had his NEC ACCREDITATION BADGE, he was accosted by the persons who were said to be SLPP thugs imported into Tonko Limba this morning. These men openly told John Koroma that they are SLPP government supporters. They ordered the uniformed Police Officers to detain the journalist on an accusation that the journalist was *”guilty of being too inquisitive”.*

To the amazement of all and in full view of the public, John Koroma was thrown to the ground, forced to sit on the ground and the Police and SLPP supporters then seized his phone, pen and his notebook.

Accompanying this update is a photo of John Koroma with his NEC ACCREDITATION BADGE given to him this week by NEC for him to observe the elections in Kambia. This photo was taken earlier.

The newspaper has been trying to reach the Inspector General of Police and the Secretary General of Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).

Meanwhile, Mr. John Koroma is still in the hands of the Police and the SLPP thugs at Mile-14 inside TONKO LIMBA. There is no phone coverage inside Mile-14. His reporter who was with him, has had to escape from the scene to file this report.

He left the editor John Koroma seated on the floor surrounded by Police and thugs alleging openly that they are SLPP and were sent by President Maada Bio.

Meanwhile, Awareness Times can authoritatively report that a female police officer who tried to stop the SLPP thugs from forcefully entering a polling center, was threatened that she will be burnt alive inside her uniform and nothing will come out of it. The thugs are alleging repeatedly to the full hearing of all, that they were “sent by Maada Bio”.

Instead of arresting the thugs, the senior police commander instead openly advised the female police officer to move away from the scene “for her own safety”. The female officer moved away.

More updates later. The level of violence that has erupted at polling stations inside Tonko Limba Chiefdom today is a serious cause for concern. Sierra Leone does not deserve this! Sierra Leone deserves better.

© *Awareness Times Newspaper reporting from Tonko Limba at 10:30am on Saturday September 29th 2018.*

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 18 hrs · 
 SLPP thugs have started a fight at Mile 14. They have brought in militant people with military headdresses with ‘ARMY’ inscription on them.

They have brought in buses-load of voters who are not Thonko People or voters in the ward. The biggest built-up of SLPP here is from everywhere else but Thonko Limba.

The SLPP is targeting two centers with the first and second highest votes in the ward respectively; Masunthu, 1037 and Mile 14, 1011 votes out of about 6000 votes in seven centers.

We have instances of allowance of forceful voting of unregistered infiltrators in this bye election. The police has arrested one Aminata Samura from Waterloo, Freetown for voting instead of a resident voter in Thonko Limba.

She has testified that many more like are have voted in Masunthu and Mile 14 centers.

Pockets of resistance struggles have been reported between the Thonko people and SLPP thugs. The SLP has fired live bullets at unarmed people.

But let it be known that the Thonko people are resisting in self defense at the best of their ability because SLPP has brought fight upon a very peaceful tribe in Thonko Limba.

This is a distress call from Thonko Limba. The SLPP is using state authority to render the police a lame-duck.

Let it be known that these people of the Limba tribe will not fall very easily without collateral damage – they will resist their oppressors to the best of their ability and without the heavy arms the SLPP and their police are carrying.

 20 hrs · 
More update from Thonko Limba, ward 196 bye election:

Aruna A Kamara of FTN/AYV and Ibrahim Sorry of SLBC have been assaulted and molested by SLPP thugs without regards to their NEC media accreditation status. We want you to take these updates seriously because these peaceful people of mostly Limba tribe in Thonko Limba are fearless warriors and I warned that they don’t get aggravated.

Karamoh Kabba
23 hrs · 
 There’s much more intimidation going on in Thonko Limba, ward 196 bye election. SLPP has come in with truckloads of thugs to intimidate and ask APC party agents out of polling stations. The police is helpless as they are being threatened with dismissal if they don’t comply with the SLPP intimidation. A journalist has been arrested for taking pictures and he’s presently in police custody. He was humiliated and asked to sit on the floor. We are afraid that this will degenerate into the latest cases of human rights abuses by the SLPP. Developing story from Thonko Limba. Please share wide.

September 27 at 2:24 PM · 

 Updating from Tonko Limba in Madina, the heart of the matter with respect to the bye election in ward 196 the APC is poised to win. But let us start with a shameful occurrence this week in Tonko Limba:

The SLPP Resident Minister supplied expired Maxam tubes of tooth paste to school children in the ward and lied that they are a part of President Julius Maada Bio’s Free Education programme and asked them to vote for SLPP in exchange on the backdrop that Julius Maada Bio told the richest man in the world that his Free Education programme provides for school feeding and uniform instead of asking the richest man in the world, Bill Gate, to take the tab for those components that are lacking in the programme. What business does tooth paste has in the programme that is yet to meet all its promised items?

What a shame!

But guess what!
They asked her to explain to them what’s SLPP. Upon taking her time to explain, the people dismissed her and went ahead to tend to their farms and gardens stating that they already have free education from their party, the APC.

This is a developing story. I will bring you every detail moving forward.

The reported death of a boy during the bye elections in Mile 14 is devastating. Our hearts go out to all the victims & their families. The brutal beating of Awareness Times’ Journalist John Koroma by the Police must be condemned. Also the arrest by Police at the AYV Empire of Journalist Fayia Amara Fayia. The Police’s act is horrendous and unacceptable. These savageries are harsh and are negative reflections on the image of President Maada Bio. The government should immediately and impartially investigate these crimes and for the perpetrators to be held to account. Political parties and NEC bear huge responsibility in ensuring the elections are free from violence and intolerance. Journalists and activists should be able to do their work without fear. It time to sack the Inspector General of Police.
©️Pipul Pikin

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