By Alie Mozart Sesay
The Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has used its narrow and questionable victory as a license to vilify the All People’s Congress Party (APC) and to govern in their first 100 days in military autocracy, the APC Secretary General has said in a statement.
He told the press that Sierra Leone’s post elections has had strained socio-economic uncertainties, resulting from political intolerance, harassment, intimidation and violence. The APC Secretary General, Ambassador Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh was speaking from the APC Party Headquarters at Old Railway Line, Brookfields, central Freetown, Wednesday, July 25th 2018, where members and supporters of the Party gathered to assess the first 100 days of the Bio-led SLPP government.
Reading from a ten-page long Assessment Report, the Secretary General highlighted issues on the Economy; Education; the Bio Leadership; the Legislature; the use and abuse of Executive Orders; the state of Democracy and Human Rights and the Judiciary, with a conclusion that President Julius Maada Bio has spent his first 100 days, ‘bouncing between a series of blunders in quixotic military manner’, adding that: “Based on the evidence cited above, such as abuse of power, disdain for democracy and the rule of law, abuse of human rights and civic incompetence among other signs of unfitness for the highest office of the land, President Bio is ill-prepared to steer the Ship of the State, as he is unable to inspire the Nation. This is the view of market women, farmers, school children, ‘okada and kekeh’ riders, Civil Society, the youths, persons with disabilities and the citizenry of Sierra Leone, at home and abroad”.
On the Economy, the Secretary General said Sierra Leoneans have not seen any improvement amidst the noise of fiscal responsibility in the acclaimed management. He added: “We have heard of donor-driven assumptions, most of which started under the APC management of the economy that endured for many years, until after the shocks in the iron-ore market and the Ebola Virus Disease, and if the SLPP continues with the recovery plan initiated by former President Ernest Bai Koroma-to put back on track, the plans for a middle-income economy, it would be in the national interest and the credit of the APC for a sustained management of our economy”.
He also stated that free education has been long contemplated by the Constitution, and every administration has considered a well-hewn plan and, together with costs within the national budget, urging the SLPP administration to take the logical necessary steps towards the provision of free education, so that it becomes sustainable, since every parent would would want free education within the framework of a good system, contrary to the pitfalls that lie ahead in the proposed overhaul of the 6-3-4-4 to 6-3-3-4 system that is done in a hasty manner, and not before an enquiry by thoughtful educators, to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of both systems.
Speaking on the Bio Executive Leadership, Secretary General Yansaneh maintained that all political parties and the citizens require the evaluation and assessment of the ascendant SLPP administration which has masterminded to diminish the majority status of the APC through intrigue in Parliament, and subverted the proper establishment of Parliament, underscoring that “this is an outrageous abuse of power to rank the APC-a Majority Party, when it holds the majority Seats in Parliament. The SLPP administration, through frivolous court injunctions, usurped the APC Parliamentary majority and undemocratically overturned the will of the people; and consequently, not only has the Bio administration disenfranchised voters in our stronghold, but unconstitutionally established a lopsided parliament to favour the SLPP, by plotting to elect a Speaker, contrary to the Constitution of Sierra Leone, and the Standing Orders of the House of Parliament”.
Among other abuses highlighted in the Report include the abrasive dismissal of Ady Macauley, the former Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC); the cowardly attacks on the elected Mayor of the city of Freetown, Her Worship Yvonne Aki Sawyer, by SLPP hoodlums-on her way to office; the heinous murder of the APC Tonkolili District Youth Leader, Issah Kamara aka Adel, as well as the Lumley Zonal Chairman, Abu Bakarr Kamara; the ensuing harassment of former APC Ministers, coupled with violent attacks on supporters of the Party across the country; the forceful displacement of women and children of APC families from their places of birth to distant districts; the extension of lawlessness by SLPP supporters’ looting and burning of houses belonging to APC adherents; attacks on APC offices; unwarranted detentions and travel bans on political opponents; the gang rape on one Sata Lamin-an APC loyalist, by more than seven identified men; the arbitrary termination of workers perceived to be APC supporters by Executive Orders including the dismissal of one-hundred and one staff from State House, the former Chief Immigration Officer, the NATCOM Chairman, dissolution of Boards and the dismissal of all Board members plus the Sierra Leone Human Rights Commission (SLHRC), the National Commission for Democracy (NCD), the frivolous termination of fifty-six Regent Chiefs in the North plus two, from Kenema and Kailahun Districts-in the East, the rash and unlawful repartition of Diplomats and non-payment of benefits of former Ministers, Diplomats and other former government operatives; the endless and unabated persecution of APC supporters in the South East; the forceful displacement of APC supporters, mostly women and children from Kono to Massingbi; the unlawful breaking into, and unwarranted searches of the houses of APC supporters and former government officials including the former Internal Affairs Minister, Alfred Palo Conteh; the beating up of APC Members of Parliament; the forceful removal of a High Court Judge from his rightfully assigned vehicle, broad daylight by the Government Vehicle Recovery Team; the embarrassment of the former President’s daughter and husband in their home by the Government Vehicle Recovery Team; the poorly investigated and written Governance Transition Team (GTT) Report, which selectively named former APC Ministers and government officials as suspects, and promoted SLPP officials believed to bear equal or similar responsibilities; the blanket order for former Ministers to surrender their ordinary and diplomatic passports to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), as if they are criminals or all subject to investigation; the intimidation and arrests of opposition party members including the Leader and Chairman of the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, for criticising President Julius Maada Bio, and more.
These, according to the Report, have equated to Sierra Leone’s post-elections environment, having a strained socio-economic uncertainties, resulting from political intolerance, harassment, intimidation and violence, thus make a total zero governance of the SLPP administration. The delivery of the Assessment Report was moderated by Cornelieus Deveaux, National Publicity Secretary of the All People’s Congress Party, and ended with a question and answer session.