Sheer Dishonesty & Hypocrisy APC Slams Bias CSOs, Others
In the last two and half years, citizens in Sierra Leone have witnessed and continue to witness shear dishonesty and hypocrisy in an unprecedented level from so-called civil societies, media and other state institutions they least expect.
Many of the Civil Society activists, media practitioners, state institutions such as the ONS, Sierra Leone Police, PPRC, Human Rights Commission among others who are supposed to speak for the citizenry and defend their rights and who have been very active and effective during the last regime have since the coming of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) led government either become ruling party agents, deaf and dumb or are now working against the masses who they are supposed to speak for and protect.
Most of them according to many citizens have either become ‘’political vuvuzellas’’ for the ruling party or have suddenly become deaf and dumb to the excesses and human rights abuses of the current regime.
They now have resorted to fighting against the masses they are supposed to protect and speak for.
From the killings in Tonko Limba, Tombo, Lunsar, Pademba Road Correctional, Makeni and many more, these so-called CSOs were visibly seen to have kept mute on the atrocities of the security forces since they seem to have negative impacts on the ruling government.
Almost none of these so-called civil societies, state institutions and others were able to speak against those excesses.
In a strange twist of events however, these same CSOs, journalists, state institutions are now seen everywhere condemning youths who went out on Thursday 8th October, 2020 to show solidarity with the former president who they has been wrongly targeted by the New Direction Government.
In response therefore to the shear hypocrisy and dishonesty of these so-called CSOs and others, the main opposition in Sierra Leone, All Peoples Congress Party (APC), in a press release has condemned the spate of Hypocrite State and Non State Institutions in their mad rush issuing bundles of press statements condemning and naming of different names of the people Makeni in Bombali district who came out peacefully in support of the former President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma last week Thursday 8th October 2020 whom the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government of President Julius Maada Bio have accused of corruption during his reign as President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
In respond to various press statements from The Office of National Security (ONS), The Sierra Leone Police (SLP), the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) and lots of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) condemning the people of Makeni who peacefully came out on that they to express their support for the former president and called on President Bio to stop the attack, harassment and intimidation of the former President Ernest Bai Koroma, the APC party issued a press statement on Tuesday 13th October 2020 against those who are condemning the people of Makeni for such a peaceful protest. The release started by decrying every act of lawlessness and every threat to the peace and stability which their party has sustained in Sierra Leone throughout their tenure in governance.
The press statement signed by its party’s National Secretary General, Amb. Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh notes “We must register our disappointment over the failure of state and some non-state institutions to denounce the endless spate of human rights abuses, violation of constitutional rights of expression and assembly, abuse of processes and victimization perpetrated by the government of H.E Julius Maada Bio since his assumption of office in 2018”. The release continued that Sierra Leone enjoyed peace and political calm for almost two decades since the end of the war, and much of that dispensation was superintended by the APC, adding that former President Koroma’s administration had all the hallmarks of democracy, peace and stability and there were no political prisoners; opposition politicians suffered no form of harassment while the rights of expression and assembly were guarded with utmost candor. It noted that Sierra Leone excelled in international rankings on peace and tolerance and the former President received global attention for his demonstration of statesmanship and they conducted Presidential elections in 2018 without any form of intimidation of the opposition and handed over power peacefully despite the blatant irregularities that attended the results.
“Since this government entered State House our party officials and supporters have become the object of countless incidences of oppression, incarceration, killings and trumped-up legal charges. As a political party we have made several petitions to the Supreme Court on issues ranging from elections to the conduct of the Commission of Inquiry but all of them were discountenanced with criminal arrogance. Yet none of these institutions bothered to denounce this as recipe for chaos. The government on several instances has used both police and military forces to stifle peaceful protests of citizens, and in most cases live rounds of ammunition were fired at unarmed civilians. Many have died and many more injured by this show of brute force by state security personnel.” The release maintained.
The APC release said senior members of their party who were either Ministers in the former administration or current Members of Parliament have consistently been arrested and molested by officers of the current government adding that one such case is Alfred Palo Conteh, former Minister of Defence, Minister of Internal Affairs and head of the National Ebola Response Centre was incarcerated for several months on bogus treason charges. He was later acquitted of the said charges but he is still behind bars despite several attempts by his lawyers to bail him pending the determination of his appeal against other less serious charges. The APC complained that the Anti-Corruption Commissioner (ACC) has on a number of occasions ordered the detention of people who were already persons of interest and were being investigated by the Justice Biobelle Georgewill Commission of Inquiry on the same issues raised by the latter.
They figure out how the National Electoral Commission’s rogue handling of Bye Elections across the country and how the former Chief Electoral Commissioner would in one instance announce results declaring the APC candidate winner and later reverse his declaration in the interest of the SLPP candidate.
They said “In another instance (in Constituency 110) the Commissioner’s refusal to announce the victory of the APC candidate even though the results indicate a clear victory only reveals a trait of ineptitude attendant with blatant disregard for democratic processes in a fashion that is out of place in the civilized world. We need not mention that in each of these elections SLPP rented thugs led by senior officials of their party who are also government ministers have showed up to disrupt the voting process, harass peaceful citizens and destabilize voting materials in the full glare of the police. Neither arrests nor investigations were made to look into these several acts of violence. Additionally, while there is a ban on secret societies and masquerades, Sierra Leoneans have witnessed on several occasions when masquerades show up at celebrations organized by government officials and sometimes no less a person than the President dancing with them. No press statements were made to condemn such act of lawlessness”.
They rhetorically asked the APC is minded to wonder how long will state institutions turn a blind eye to all of the horrible acts of injustice perpetrated by the government only to issue out statements to condemn the gathering of people who have lost confidence in the institutions that are constitutionally mandated to protect them. For how long will this lip service to democracy and the rule of law continue?
They said former President Koroma has on several occasions expressed his willingness to be probe by the Anti-Corruption Commission (APC) as he is confidence that he diligently served the country well and he still remain to be a law abiding citizen.
The APC ended their statement by calling on their numerous supporters to be peaceful and abide by the rule of law as their resolve is strengthened to guard against any collusion by state institutions to cloak the truth and to work within the confines of the law to defend against campaigns of calumny executed by the SLPP government against the former President and members of their party.
By Ibrahim Alusine Kamara
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