PRESS RELEASE: APC ALARMED OVER INCREASING SPATE OF LAWLESSNESS PERPETRATED BY GOVERNING SLPP MEMBERS*
Monday 27th January 2020
The All Peoples Congress (APC) is alarmed at the impunity with which wanton destruction of properties, arson and grievous bodily harm to citizens was perpetrated by known members of the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) who laid siege to the entire Freetown Business District for several hours on Sunday 26th January 2020. During the siege, several of the SLPP’s well-known thugs including those going by nicknames ‘Ratty’, ‘Abravo’, ‘SLA’, etc. etc. were seen; as a fight which originated from right within the SLPP headquarters amongst SLPP thugs, spilled out into the streets of Freetown.
OSMAN FODAY YANSANEH
The SLPP thugs, who were engaged in open warfare against each other, were heard trading insults over preferred candidates that the various SLPP factions supported in their upcoming internal elections for national officers positions like SLPP National Chairman and SLPP National Secretary General. Stone-throwing matches between and amongst themselves eventually culminated in arson and destruction on a level that reminded innocent citizens of the January 6th Invasion of Freetown.
An audio clip being shared by SLPP members of events of yesterday has some thugs like ‘Ratty’ reminding His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and SLPP Government of unfulfilled promises to SLPP youths being amongst reasons for high frustration amongst SLPP youths.
Against the above background, the APC is calling on the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to make an immediate statement on yesterday’s exhibition of lawlessness on the streets of Freetown as this is a growing menace now within the Freetown Municipality. Few weeks ago, innocent Sierra Leoneans along Syke Street by GLOBE CINEMA HALL were attacked when SLPP thugs under the aegis of Hon. Lahai Lawrence Leema, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and SLPP Spokesman, spilled on to Syke Street after earlier launching unprovoked attacks on the APC Headquarters and houses along Hannah Benka-Coker Street and Old Railway Line, Brookfields. Many women and children along Syke Street were terrorised and the scenes of terror caught on video clips that have since gone viral.
APC also in no uncertain terms, wishes to debunk an SLPP Press Release issued today Monday January 27th 2020 but with yesterday’s date and in which SLPP, falsely and most despicably, accuses APC members of having attacked SLPP offices in Freetown. SLPP also falsely accuses APC members of wounding 27 of SLPP members right inside their SLPP party office.
The APC views these unfounded accusations as distractions from the real issues around SLPP’s display of lawlessness on the streets of Freetown yesterday; which was a sacred Sunday.
Instead of issuing a sincere apology to residents of Freetown for their egregious breach of the peace, the SLPP is making matters worse by insulting the intelligence of Sierra Leoneans with outlandish and ludicrous claims. How is it possible for APC members, who have no business within SLPP offices, to actually enter inside there, overpower the dozens of SLPP members who reside in there, leave 27 SLPP members wounded and yet no video or picture exists of APC members shown anywhere inside or around the SLPP headquarters? In this day and age of social media and multimedia smartphones, it is a sheer impossibility that nobody recorded even a single photo of the alleged APC Members in or around the SLPP offices.
*All information at our disposal is that yesterday’s violent incident at SLPP party offices which spilled out from their offices and became a street warfare, was solely an intra-SLPP matter amongst various factions of SLPP thugs.*
The press release by SLPP alleging an attack on their office by APC members is therefore nothing but an attempt to nefariously bring the name of the APC into disrepute. The APC therefore wishes to inform its membership and the general public of the following:
• The APC is not aware and was not involved in any form of attack on SLPP office;
• The APC did not plan and has no intention whatsoever to attack any SLPP member, office or property across the country;
• The APC had nothing to do with the violence and lawlessness that happened around the central business district on Sunday 26th January 2020.
The SLPP further alleges in their impugned press release that the leadership of APC had put out a ‘threat message’ following that unprovoked attack of the SLPP on the APC offices earlier this month. *NO SUCH ‘THREAT MESSAGE’ WAS EVER ISSUED AND THE CLAIM IS COMPLETELY UNTRUE. The APC views this accusation with utmost distaste.*
The facts are that the leadership of APC has always used all opportunity to pacify our supporters to remain calm and law-abiding even when provoked and consistently emphasizes the need for peace, stability and national cohesion as the bedrock for sustainable development.
The APC believes that the issue of growing lawlessness and violence in all regions of Sierra Leone, should not be politicised and therefore calls on relevant authorities as well as the International Community and Civil Society to do all that is required to ensure those responsible for such continued lawlessness and violence, are made to face justice.
*Amb. Dr. Alhaji Osman Foday Yansaneh* National Secretary General – APC
Monday 27th January 2020