EXCLUSIVE REPORT FROM COCORIOKO
IF I HAD NOT APPEALED TO MY SECURITY FOR RESTRAINT, THERE COULD HAVE BEEN BLOODSHED–Vice-President Solomon Berewa
Thursday November 24, 2005
Sierra Leone’s Vice-President , Mr. Solomon Berewa , yesterday said that he had to appeal specially to his security not to respond to the acts of lawlessness that prevented him from entering the campus of Christ The King’s College , Bo , last Saturday. The Vice-President emphasized that he made the appeal to his security because he wanted to avoid bloodshed .He stated that if he had not done so, there would have been serious trouble that could have endangered live and property .
Vice-President Berewa was giving his own version of the Bo incident to COCORIOKO in another exclusive interview. last night . Sounding calm and composed , Mr. Berewa said that the behavior of the people who barred him from entering the campus was so terrible, he had to do his best to avoid any reaction from his security that could have led to violence.
Contrary to what was reported by many newspapers based in Freetown, Mr. Berewa said he did not enter the campus to attend the Prize-Giving ceremony where he was to have been the Guest Of Honor . He stated that he was so disgusted by the behavior of the unruly crowd that he turned back and returned to his Lodge. “I have never seen the like before”, the Vice-President said of the hostile action.
“What was the protest about ?” The Editor of COCORIOKO asked the Vice-President . “It was not a protest,” Berewa responded . “It was just lawlessness. There was no reason for it. I went to CKC because I was invited there .I did nothing to anybody that deserved the treatment I received . ” The President said his opponent, Mr. Charles Margai , was disturbed by the massive support he ( Mr. Berewa ) received in Bo and the huge crowd that turned up to welcome him and thus he decided to stir up trouble.
Mr. Berewa said he will not elaborate on the incident because it was under investigation by the Police.
“There are rumors in the diaspora that if he is implicated in the disturbances, Mr. Charles Margai might be charged with Treason . Is that true, Mr. Vice-President ? ” . Responding , Mr. Berewa said that he was in no position to state the nature of the charges that might be brought against Margai or whether he will be charged at all. ” As I said, the matter is being investigated . It is left with the Police . If they find sufficient grounds to charge him, they might do it, but I don’t know what the charges will be or whether he will be charged ” , Mr. Berewa stressed.
Disturbances broke out in Bo , the Southern Province capital, over the weekend when crowds alleged to be in support of Mr. Charles Margai blocked the entrance of the CKC campus and prevented the Vice-President from entering the campus. The incident led to a clash between a detachment of Police sent to break up the blockage and the demonstrators.Police allegedly fired teargas and rubber bullets and engaged in running battles with the defiant crowd.
Mr. Margai, who was also invited to the CKC Prize-Giving ceremony , was arrested and later released.