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NOTICES & DOCUMENTS  

Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) Press Release on Events in Bo
By Sulaiman Banja Tejansie (SLPP National Secretary-General)
Sep 10, 2011, 16:00
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PRESS STATEMENT

 

ATTEMPTED ASSSINATION OF SLPP FLAGBEARER Rtd. Brig. JULIUS MAADA BIO

 

Saturday, September 10, 2011: On Friday September 9, 2011, the SLPP Flag Bearer accompanied by Senior Party Officials and Stakeholders commenced his Thank-the-People tour to all districts. After a brief stop at Mile 91, Moyamba Junction and Taiama, the entourage arrived at Bo at about Mid-day. The crowd was so massive that it took over four hours to complete the four kilometer distance between the outskirts and the location of the offices of the All Peoples Congress (APC) and the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC).

 

Barely after passing through cheering PMDC supporters at their office on the left, we saw on the right youths of the APC dressed in red by the road side and in close proximity to a group of armed police officers. Few minutes later, these APC youths started pelting stones deliberately targeted at Rtd. Brig. Maada Bio. As a consequence, they inflicted serious injury to his head and was immediately rushed to a private hospital for treatment.

 

This incident caused widespread pandemonium in town. The police officers specifically assigned to provide protection for the entourage immediately disappeared suggestive of having fore knowledge of the incident. This completely left the Flag Bearer unprotected and vulnerable to assassination. The Police then started indiscriminate firing at the peaceful and jubilant crowd, resulting in one immediate death and twenty (20) seriously wounded. The Flag Bearer nevertheless proceeded with his meeting at the Coronation Field.

 

The SLPP would like to bring to the attention of the public the following observation:

 

  • Despite two official written requests, the Sierra Leone Police has refused to provide the SLPP Flag Bearer with armed security.
  • The officers assigned to protect the entourage were unarmed general duty police personnel.
  • The Sierra Leone Police allowed the APC to put on red T shirts and deliberately stand on the road side raining insults and making provocative comments at the jubilating crowd whilst the SLPP procession was in progress.
  • Immediately after the incident, the Police assigned to the entourage vanished and other police officers started firing live shots.
  • The SLPP district executive and Bo district Members of Parliament had  made earlier representations to the Police to inform them about plans of the APC to disrupt our procession. In essence the police knew about the plan in advance but did nothing to forestall it.
  • The attack on Maada Bio and the SLPP was also intended to provide the Government with an excuse to prevent our planned nationwide Thank-the-People tour from continuing.

 

We have received intelligence reports from credible sources that plans to assassinate Maada Bio have already been hatched. The stone throwing was just a precursor which was expected to create the resultant chaotic atmosphere for executing their diabolic assassination plan.  We have further received intelligence reports regarding similar planned attacks against the Flag Bearers entourage in Kono.

 

The public will recall that since the election of Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio as SLPP Flag Bearer, the APC has embarked on a sustained campaign against his persona. Realising the public has not bought into the calumny campaign but is demonstrating massive support for the SLPP, the APC has grown even more desperate and panicky and has resorted to violence.

 

The public will also like to recall that this incident occurred six days after the misuse of police personnel in Kono by the Minister of Internal Affairs and the beating of journalists after the match between Leone Stars and the Pharoahs of Egypt and Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Mead by Presidential bodyguards. Sadly enough, nothing concrete has been done beyond the usual verbal condemnations.

 

After series of incidents including the attacks on SLPP Headquarters and district offices, attacks of SLPP members at Gendema, the SLPP now has ample evidence that the APC plans to use not only state resources but also state security as instruments for perpetuating violence as a prelude to rigging the 2012 elections.

 

The SLPP strongly condemns the barbaric acts of the APC and considers it as a recipe for undermining the peace and security of the State.

 

In light of all these ugly developments, the SLPP would like to reecho our earlier  calls upon the international community, as the moral guarantors of our hard earned peace, the Political Parties Registration Commission and the  Civil Society to step in and ensure that the 2012 elections, and all the processes leading to it, are violence-free.

 

The SLPP would like to express heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and sympathy to those who sustained injuries during the procession. 

 

The SLPP would also like to assure its membership that the Thank-the-People tour to the other districts shall continue as planned. No amount of threat and intimidation shall deter the SLPP.

 


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