For fear of his popularity to woo voters Maada Bio attacked in Kono
On Tuesday, 15th December, 2015, the 2012 flag bearer candidate of the SLPP, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio was attacked by APC thugs in Sewafe, Nimiyama Chiefdom, in the final SLPP rally for constituency 025 by-election.
Rtd. Brig. Bio who joined other SLPP stakeholders in Kono started the campaign in Kangama, Gorama Kono Chiefdom where he addressed crowd of supporters and appealed to them for the need to vote the SLPP candidate, Sahr Francis Gbondo, who is referred to in the constituency as true son of the soil. The campaign in Kangama was successful as jubilant supporters in green and white rallied for change.
After Kangama, the Rtd. Brig. Bio and entourage traveled to Sewafe, Nimiyama Chiefdom for the final leg of the rally where he was expected to address another huge crowd. In Sewafe, the Rtd. Brig. Bio, the SLPP candidate, Sahr Francis Gbondo and senior party stakeholders first made a courtesy call to the Paramount Chief, PC Tortor as a show of respect for traditional authority. The paramount chief who is non-partisan welcomed Rtd. Brig. Bio, the SLPP Candidate and SLPP stakeholders and thanked them for their visit. PC Tortor is the brother of the deceased Member of Parliament whose death has led to the by-election.
After meeting with PC Tortor, Rtd. Brig. Bio, the SLPP candidate and the senior stakeholders followed by a huge crowd were en route to the rally convergence point when APC thugs believed to have been imported into Kono to cause chaos launched an unprovoked attack with stones and other dangerous weapons on Rtd. Brig. Bio and the rally crowd.
Immediately, the police started firing tear gas and live bullet to put the situation under control. However, considering the dangerous nature of the attack on the lives of Rtd. Brig. Bio, the SLPP Candidate, Senior SLPP officials and the huge number of defenceless people, Rtd. Brig. Bio was advised not to proceed with the address of the rally until the situation was put under control.
After attempts to put the situation under control proved futile and considering the personal safety of the huge SLPP members, Rtd. Brig. Bio was unable to address the huge crowd who had gathered at the SLPP rally in Sewafe. According to one of the APC thugs who were apprehended, he confessed that a group of them were imported into Sewafe by a senior APC member to disrupt the SLPP rally because of fears that the presence of Rtd. Brig. Bio in the constituency would woo many voters to vote for the SLPP candidate, Sahr Francis Gbondo.
After the attack, Rtd. Brig. Bio held brief meetings with senior party officials as planned and left Kono for other engagements. Therefore, contrary to report circulated on social media attributed to a certain “Minister Karamoh Kabba” that Rtd. Brig. Bio came to Kono at 6:30 pm after campaign hours and the incident was a fighting between two SLPP factions, the Rtd. Brig. Bio arrived in Kono during campaign hours, held a successful campaign meeting in Kangama, visited PC Tortor, was on his way to address a well attended campaign rally in sewafe when attacked and every SLPP member has been united behind Sahr Francis Gbondo in constituency 025.
Such report by Karamoh Kabba is part of the cheap propaganda and attempt to condone a disgraceful act of thuggery by handful of paid APC agents. As a matter of fact, the SLPP has been so united in the kono by-election that even on the final campaign rally the former National Women’s Leader, Mrs I.J Kabbah, who was representing the KKY Movement and representatives of other flag bearer aspirants were rallying members of the 025 constituency. It is unfortunate that a government minister, Karamoh Kabbah who is known to be a discredited figure rather than condemning a thuggery act would seek to spread lies.
The thug attack by APC should not come as a surprise to anyone because even amongst senior APC members in Kono, there have always been reports of thug and counter thug attacks on one another. However, this latest thug attack on SLPP members has led to SLPP members sustaining injuries and damage to property belonging to SLPP members. Therefore, the police would be expected to arrest those who carried the thug attack and those who sponsored the attack. This attack has also happened in the wake of a visit by the appointed Vice Pres. Foh who recently said amongst other things in a campaign in Kono that if the constituents do not vote for the APC candidate there will be no development for the constituency.
It is important to note despite the attack, many voters are still in high spirit and very determined to vote for the SLPP candidate Sahr Francis Gbondo who they believe will bring real development to constituency 025. And the people vowed that the only way to defeat thuggery is to vote against those who sponsor thugs.
Senior SLPP party officials who were in attendance at the final campaign rally in the kono by-election included the National Deputy Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Harding, 2012 SLPP Vice Presidential Candidate, Dr. Kadie Sesay, Regional Chairman East, Hon. Philip Tondoneh, Regional Chairman South, Hon. Edward Soluku, Bo District Chairman, Alhaji Kanja Sesay, Deputy National Women’s Leader, Fatmata Sawaneh, Former National Secretary General, Jacob Jusu Saffa, former National Women’s Leader, Mrs I.J Kabbah and a host of others.
The Constituency 025 by-election is scheduled to take place on Saturday 19th December 2015 following the death of APC’s Hon. Augustine Bockarie Tortor.
By The Julius Maada Bio Media and Communications Team
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