Make politics a gentleman’s game!
For far too long Sierra Leoneans, especially those having nothing or little to do with active politics have suffered from the culture of political violence either between different political parties or intra-partisan.
Given its context, the outbreak of a brutal civil war in March 1991, which witnessed the country’s darkest chapter of violence, can be aptly categorized as political violence of the highest order, which resulted in the indiscriminate maiming and killing of mostly innocent Sierra Leoneans.
During the One-Party rule under the All Peoples Congress party in the 70s and 80s, the country was also characterized with bloody politics that saw the wanton destruction of life and property.
In recent years in the 90s and beyond, the culture of political violence continued unabated. The two major parties, the All Peoples Congress Party (APC) and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) have gone down the annals of history as the fermenters and perpetrators of political violence either within their rank and file or at inter-party level. Both parties had suffered unprovoked attacks from each other in the name of political reprisals, leading to bloodshed and sometimes loss of life.
It is against this gloomy background that we view the recent eruption of bloody violence in the ongoing lower level elections of the ruling SLPP in their eastern regional stronghold of Kenema, specifically in Ponduru bordering Kono district over constituency/ Zonal chairmanship election; and in Freetown involving a Young Generation Leader, as a cause for alarm.
These ugly incidents no doubt depict the culture of political violence in society that needs to be addressed drastically; they have sent a shock wave among the populace, casting a shadow of apprehension in anticipation of what will be the nature of 2023 general and presidential elections.
We unreservedly condemn political violence and urge the leadership of the Political Parties Registration Commission charged with the responsibility of regulating the conduct of political party activities, the National Electoral Commission, responsible for the conduct of elections, Political Parties and the Government, to halt this madness of political violence and make politics a gentleman’s game.
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