Sierra Leone’s ruling party – the APC, last night published a statement into the political violence which erupted in the heart of the capital Freetown last Saturday, with at least one person confirmed dead and scores injured.
Senior APC party grandees – led by their presidential candidate Samura Kamara, took to the streets to celebrate the nomination of their candidates when the violence erupted, leaving several unanswered questions as to why Dr. Samura Kamara (Photo)was among the hundreds of red cladded youths riding their okada unlawfully into the central business districts of the capital.
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It is not clear what started the violence, but there are reports of APC party supporters carrying machetes, knives and sticks at the party rally. It is believed that alcohol and drugs may have played a big part in fueling the violence.
But the APC general secretary – Osman Yansanneh, last night denied the involvement of APC party supporters in the violence. He blames opposition parties. This is his statement:
“As the Governing Party, and the Party set for victory in the March 7th, 2018 Multi-tier Elections, the All People’s Congress (APC) Party remains focused, voter sensitive and determined to continue the peaceful mobilization of its members and supporters towards winning the Presidential Elections, an overwhelming majority in Parliament, and the Local Government Elections on March 7th, 2018.
“In line with this, we came out with hundreds of thousands of persons all over the country to register support for the nomination of our presidential parliamentary candidates on Friday, January 26, 2018.
“However, it has come to our notice that agent provocateurs from an opposition party known throughout the past five years for fermenting violence even amongst its members and supporters infiltrated our ranks along Campbell Street in Freetown, burning tires brandishing knives and stabbing people to create impressions of chaos.
“These agents of chaos had earlier worn green shirts and attempted to intimidate our supporters at Lumley, Wilberforce and Wilkinson Road in the West-end of Freetown, but a swift intervention from personnel of the Sierra Leone Police prevented them from unleashing their dastardly acts.
“They then changed tactic by accessing and putting on APC regalia and therewith infiltrated the ranks of jubilant APC members and supporters to cause violence and give an impression that such an outrageous violence, as in the incidence that occurred on Campbell Street in Freetown, was the handwork of bonafide members and supporters of the All People’s Congress.
“The All People’s Congress is not oblivious of the fact that certain opposition parties are gripped by fear and panic over the large turnout of APC members and supporters on Friday January 26, 2018 and have come up with puerile and baseless press releases to console themselves and paint a negative picture of the APC.
“The party’s attention has also been drawn to how this opposition panic led the SLPP to attack our supporters and office in Pujehun on Saturday January 27, 2018.