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Amend the 2012 Sexual Offences Act SOE Too Suicidal With A ‘Paopa SLPP’ in Sierra Leone

Amend the 2012 Sexual Offences Act SOE Too Suicidal With A ‘Paopa SLPP’ in Sierra Leone

It is no doubt that the stance taken by President Julius Maada Bio (in photo) in trying to end rape and other forms of violence against women and girls in society is welcomed by all well-meaning Sierra Leoneans from all works of life.  However, a proclamation of a State of Emergency for same has raised serious eyebrows which have sparked a lot of debates from every quarter of the Sierra Leonean society.

Many Sierra Leoneans including the opposition parties believe that a State of Public Emergency is not needed in the fight to end rape and other forms of sexual violence against women because it does not constitutes a threat to the existence of Sierra Leone which is one of the criteria for the declaration of SOE. It is further believe that a simple amendment to the Sexual Offences Act of 2012 to include graver punishments for culprits including life imprisonment should be enough to tackle the menace rather than a State of Public Emergency which majority believe could be misused by the Paopa SLPP to cripple the opposition among other forms of threats.

Having consistently been accused by opposition parties and majority of Sierra Leoneans of blatant abuse of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone, Human Rights Violations, political intimidation, regionalism and tribalism among others, it is therefore no gainsaying that a State of Emergency in Sierra Leone under the current Paopa Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Government led by the former junta leader, Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada Bio, is certainly very risky, dangerous and suicidal.

These accusations are further justified by some of the actions of President Bio’s Paopa SLPP in the last ten months of governing which  include the beating and forceful removal from the House of Parliament, elected Members of Parliament of the main opposition, All Peoples Congress (APC) and the subsequent impositions of the Speaker of Parliament and his deputy,  the many decrees in the form of Executive Orders, the illegal removal of the former ACC boss, Bank Governor, Chief Immigration Officer among thousands of others, the beatings, gang rapes, burning of houses and killings across the country of opposition members among many others which to a very large extent, has reawakens the horrible memories of the 1992 military rule in Sierra Leone during which the country’s constitution was suspended and replaced with decrees.

Cognizance to the above atrocities committed by President Bio’s Paopa SLPP when even there is no State of Emergency, it therefore suffice to say that it is completely suicidal for the country to have a State of Public Emergency under a Paopa Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara

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