Hopeless Hope in Sierra Leone?
Election campaigns so far are trumpeting the clarion call for compatriots to resound the mantra ‘violence free’: before, during and after the electioneering process.
International observers are in Sierra Leone for the elections and to name but a few, the African Union, the European Union and the International Community.
The BAR Associations called on all Sierra Leoneans to stay away from election violence and fraud, because they as custodians of the law and are ready to uphold and maintain law and order and that defaulters will face the full penalty of the law.
The police had declared their neutrality in these elections, which by all indications is a good thing but must compose themselves when executing their duties in order to avoid a recurrence of situations where police actions are refer to as ‘hard handiness.’
However, the campaigning so far seems violent free but there are isolated cases of violence perpetrated by youths from mainly the two traditional political parties.
During the SLPP rally on Saturday October 27th, there were ugly situations like the vandalizing of a vehicle and its owner that was having campaign stickers of the APC presidential candidate at St. John, Campbell Street intersection. That same evening, when the rally came to the Dwazack Community, some youths were using obscene language on bystanders especially when bystanders are putting on other party colors, which resulted into a brawl (stone throwing) between the SLPP and some Dwazack youths purported to be loyalists of the APC party.
The Congo Town situation was also very ugly when the SLPP flag bearers arrived and were welcomed by missiles streaming from different directions in revenge for another party member of the APC who was allegedly molested at the Congo-Cross bridge.
In Kono, a Lebanese businessperson known as Ali Baylaylay was allegedly mistreated for having left the SLPP for the ruling APC party was another incident of election violence.
In the reminiscence above it has emerged that the anticipated hope to go to polls and accept the result as a peaceful gentle breeze is dwindling as the clock ticks.
The idea of political rallies must be properly scanned and see if we exclude them from our electioneering timetable and save ourselves a peaceful respite.
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