Government of Sierra Leone refutes Opposition’s lies

The outrageous lies that Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) Presidential candidate , Maada Bio , told the international press have been effectively refutted by the Government of Sierra Leone. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported the political desperado, Maada Bio , had accused the Sierra Leone Government of provoking violence ahead of the Presidential elections in November . According to the AP ,  Bio had  ”alleged late Monday that the government wants to use the violence to call a state of emergency and extend the president’s tenure. “  The  news agency also reported that “Bio said the ruling party has sent armed ex-combatants to register to vote in some provinces and ruling party loyalists are being sent to foreign missions to vote.”

INFORMATION MINISTER I.B. KARGBO

These despicable lies by the former junta leader , who took part in extrajudicial killings during his rule , riled Sierra Leoneans all over the world and our phones were ringing off the hook yesterday , forcing the Government to respond . The Department of Information and Public Affairs of the Sierra Leone Mission to the United Nations called the Associated Press and the Washington Post to complain that the story was absolutely false and misleading and was deliberately designed to damage the image of the government .  The Department also sent a press statement to AP and the Washington Post refutting the allegations by the  ex-junta leader  . This prompted the AP and the Washinton Post to adjust their stories that the Sierra Leone Government had dismissed the claims of the SLPP Presidential candidate  as misinformation and propaganda by a former junta leader.

HERE IS THE FULL STATEMENT SENT TO THE AP AND WASHINGTON POST

 

The Government of Sierra Leone is disturbed by a report that was published by your esteemed news agency, titled : “Sierra Leone opposition:  Gov’t .provoking violence” .
The Government of Sierra Leone wishes to refute all claims made by the opposition presidential candidate , Mr. Julius Maada Bio, in the said article accusing the ruling party of provoking violence ahead of November polls. The claims are the result of a campaign of  misinformation and propaganda the former junta leader , Mr. Bio,  and his supporters have mounted against the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma ahead of the elections in a desperate bid to gain power .
The Government of Sierra Leone has not provoked violence and is fully committed to the maintenance of  law and order and peace and security in the country . The opposition is trying to deflect responsibility for acts of violence  last month in Sierra Leone perpetuated by their supporters during Bye-Elections at Fourah Bay Constituency 104, ward 369 . In the said event, five members of the ruling party were brutally stabbed by supporters of the opposition. In another incident at Moyamba in the Southern Region, opposition supporters wounded and kidnapped a civilian believed to be a member of the ruling party.
 
Right now, many members of the opposition are on trial in the capital Freetown on various charges of malicious wounding with intent,  disturbing the peace and kidnapping .There is not a single member of the ruling party on trial, attesting to the fact that the ruling party is not involved in the spate of violence in the country as claimed by the opposition. See report here on the trials by independent newspapers : 
http://news.sl/drwebsite/publish/article_200519519.shtml
President Ernest Koroma has strongly condemned the acts of violence and assured the nation that people who take the law into their hands will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. He has also assured citizens that the November elections will be free and fair in keeping with his government’s commitment to promote multi-party democracy in Sierra Leone.
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SIERRA LEONE’S MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS, Alhaji I.B. Kargbo, who is the official spokesman of the government also called the AP and refutted the claims  by Maada Bio,  allegations also designed to create chaos in Sierra Leone.  The AP  has reported the Government’s version this morning. READ :

SIERRA LEONE GOVERNMENT REFUTES VIOLENCE CLAIMS

Sierra Leone’s ruling party says they may use libel and defamation laws to refute claims by the top opposition presidential candidate that the party is provoking violence ahead of November polls.

Information and Communication Minister Ibrahim Ben Kargbo said Wednesday the government may take legal action unless Julius Maada Bio, a retired brigadier general, produces proof of his claims that the party is sending armed ex-combatants to opposition strongholds. That could allow the government to call a state of emergency and extend the president’s tenure.

He says the allegations are “an attempt to tarnish the image and good works” of the ruling party.

Sierra Leone is still recovering from a brutal 1991-2002 civil war. Tens of thousands were killed in this West African nation.

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THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS, Hon. Sheka Tarawalli , in a brief interview with COCORIOKO , expressed dismay at the litany of lies being fed the international world by Maada Bio and his disciples . He said that Bio believes he can come to power through lies but he fails to realize that the international community has representatives on the ground in Sierra Leone and who may brief the principals abroad that the junta leader’s allegations are lies.

The Deputy Minister said that as a responsible government, the APC will not engage in lies as being done by Maada Bio and the SLPP  but the government will effectively refute their lies whenever they are told.

 

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