COCORIOKO AUTHORITATIVE REPORT
The Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP) prospective Presidential flagbearer, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella , has been accused of importing mercenaries into Sierra Leone. The accusations came from various Sierra Leoneans on social media reporting troubling events that transpired at Sierra Leone’s international airport over the weekend when some 11 men dressed in combat-ready military gears were ” intercepted” as Dr.Yumkella made his much-trumpeted return to the country from abroad to start his sensitization crusade.
Our sources however reported that Dr. Yumkella has denied the allegations . A spokesman for Yumkella, Dr. Alusine Fofanah, Deputy Northern Region Chairman of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) has told newsmen in Sierra Leone that Dr. Kandeh Yumkella was not even aware of the security men arrested by the Sierra Leone Police
There has been no Police statement yet on the alleged interception but with regards to the identity of the men, a statement from the Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Movement asserted that ” …contrary to social media reports, the security team are all Sierra Leoneans with the exception of one white retired British security officer and Dr. Yumkella’s brother who is also a British citizen and an ex military officer in Britain.”
What is curious about the story is the question of whether Mr. Yumkella informed the Sierra Leonean authorities that on arrival, he will be guarded by foreign ex-military officers, some dressed in combat military regalia (who had arrived days in advance ) , given the state of security alert in all countries in these days of terrorism and insecurity, and especially in a country like Sierra Leone, which is a post-conflict country still recovering from a devastating 11 year war. Dr. Yumkella is supposed to address this issue later, according to sources.
The situation is also complicated by the fact that there had been threats of violence between rival supporters of Mr. Yumkella and the other prospective SLPP flagbearer, Mr. Maada Bio . A Yumkella supporter on social media said that the security officers were brought in to defend Mr. Yumkella from planned attacks by supporters of Mr. Bio.
And as if to authenticate this fact this morning, Police had to fire teargas to disperse supporters of the two rival aspiring presidential candidates who clashed at the SLPP Headquarters where Mr. Yumkella had gone to conduct a political rally.
The situation between the two men is raising the spectre of violence between their respective supporters when the battle for the flagbearership heats up.
WE BRING YOU SOME OF THE REPORTS AND COMMENTS ABOUT THE AIRPORT AND SLPP HEADQUARTERS EVENTS, PLUS PHOTOS AND THE STATEMENT FROM THE YUMKELLA CAMP.
. PHOTOS OF SOME OF THE ARRESTED MEN
SOME OF THE WEAPONS SEIZED FROM THE ARRESTED MEN
THE TENSE SITUATION AT THE SLPP HEADQUARTERS
A YUMKELLA SUPPORTER BEATEN UP BY MAADA BIO SUPPORTERS
A PARTIALLY BURNT T-SHIRT BELONGING TO A YUMKELLA SUPPORTER
PRESS RELEASE FROM KANDEH YUMKELLA CAMP
The Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella Movement (KKYM) received the unfortunate news of the interception and arrest of a close team of security personnel detailed to guard Dr. Kandeh Yumkella, one of the SLPP Flagbearer aspirants while he is on a three weeks visit of the country.
The private security team was intercepted at the Lungi International Airport while entering the airport to wait for the arrival of Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella who was coming into the country from the United States of America. The KKYM wishes to assure the general public that contrary to social media reports, the security team are all Sierra Leoneans with the exception of one white retired British security officer and Dr. Yumkella’s brother who is also a British citizen and an ex military officer in Britain. No Nigerians or other African mercenary were among them as reported in the social media.
The security team whose main duty was to ensure the safety and security of Dr. Kandeh Yumkella during this visit had no other motive.
It is unfortunate that one of the security personnel wore an outfit which is similar to military combat uniform and the others wore black jackets which resemble some other state security outfit. Besides this, only a ‘pepper spray’ and their belts were said to be of security concern. The KKYM is aware that the Sierra Leone Police is carrying out its investigations and that at end of the day nothing extraodinary will be found.
Against this background therefore, the KKYM wants the public to know that Dr. Kandeh Yumkella is a law abiding Sierra Leonean who will NOT encourage or engage in anything subversive. This unfortunate incident is nothing but a slight misunderstanding of the security details in the country and nothing else. The KKYM wants all its supporters and well wishers to stay calm, remain law abiding and to come out in their number to welcome Dr. Yumkella at SLPP headquarters at Wallace Johnson Street on Monday 24th August at 10:00am. Long Live Sierra Leone. Long Live the SLPP. Victory to Kandeh Yumkella
We will bring you more details as the events unfold.