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NEWS : Politics  

SLPP Thugs Assault SLPP Women
By Aruna Turay
May 30, 2013, 17:22
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Julius Maada Bio
Members of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) suspected to be operating outside the interest of the notorious Pa-O-Pa group of the failed Julius Maada Bio were subjected to deadly physical attacks on Monday 27th May 2012 in Lumley, Freetown.


Prominent among the SLPP members who were mercilessly manhandled, wounded and stripped naked by Pa-O-Pa thugs were four SLPP executive members in the persons of Marion Cole, Rachiatu Macauley, John Kallon and Michael Yambasu.

 

The attacks were allegedly led by prominent Pa-O-Pa associates like Jacob Jusu Saffa, Abdul Kanja Sesay, Kabineh Kallon, Mustapha Janneh, Faiah Mansaray, and Admire Bio. They were reported given backup by several other wayward unidentified youths to perpetrate violence.

 

Eyewitnesses say the attack and riot was so deadly that the victims had to rush to the police station for rescue.


The actual incident took place at Grassfield in Lumley, where the SLPP was holding its District Executive Elections for Constituency 112.

 

This election was initially held on the 11th May 2013, but was marred by fraud and rudeness, and was cancelled. Reports have it that the same Pa-O-Pa Group interrupted the counting process in the May 11 elections when they noticed that the outcome was not going in their favour.

 

Eyewitness reports say the Monday attack was premeditated as the thugs wasted no time in descending on the executive members, who had arrived at the scene to conduct the elections.

 

Rachiatu Macauley is the SLPP West-West District Womens Leader cum District Official for Constituency 112. She is one of the victims of the deadly attack. While narrating her ordeal, she told the Awareness Times how the Pa-O-Pa group connived with certain executive members of Constituency 112 to clandestinely organize the said election, following the initial cancellation and postponement, with no authority from the relevant stakeholders. 

 

That election, she continued, was petitioned, cancelled and rescheduled for Monday 27th May 2013.

 

She disclosed that on her arrival on Monday at the Lumley Police Division to make arrangement for police presence at the election venue, she was told that J.J Saffa had already visited the Station on the same purpose and that police officers have been assigned to him already.


We arrived at the election premises and we were still trying to park our vehicle when we were rudely accosted by J.J Saffa, Abdul Kanja Sesay, Kabineh Kallon, Mustapha Janneh, Faiah Mansaray and Admire Bio, she alleged, adding that they were ordered to go back to wherever they were coming from as the elections were not going to be held. According to her, J.J Saffa and his team argued that the Constituency 112 Executive had already conducted the said elections. 


We were still trying to make sense out of what they were saying when thugs suspected to be acting on their orders arrived at the scene with pepper spray, knives, sticks and other harmful weapons, she explained, adding that in no time the thugs began to kick, slap and strip them naked.

 

We managed to escape from their hands though they continued to chase us until we get closer to the Lumley Police Division, she disclosed.


The other female victim called Marion Cole also confirmed to the Awareness Times on the phone that they were actually attacked, manhandled and stripped half naked by the Pa-O-Pa thugs.

 

She further alleged that J.J. Saffa and his team viewed the whole deadly drama but did nothing to stop the thugs apart from laughing provocatively and jubilating.

 

The victims told this newspaper that they have reported the matter to the police and that they were issued medical forms.

 

J.J Saffa denied all the aforementioned allegations when we contacted him on the phone. He further denied that he ever went to the police station to apply for security for the said election. J.J Saffa even went to the extent of describing those accusing him of visiting the Lumley Police Station on one hand, and being present at the election scene on the other hand, as dogs.

He said he was not at the scene and did not hire thugs to attack anybody.


At the Lumley Police Division, the Local Unit Commander confirmed to this Reporter that his Division is investigating assault complaints made by Marion Cole, Rachiatu Macauley, John Kallon and Michael Yambasu.


LUC Kabbah-Kamara said the complainants alleged that they were manhandled by unknown thugs and members of the SLPP.


The LUC said statements were obtained from all the complainants and medical forms were issued. The matter, he said, is being seriously investigated.


SLPP National Chairman and Leader, John Oponjo Benjamin, also confirmed to the Awareness Times, in an interview that the party has been briefed on the said matter, and that internal investigations are ongoing.

 

All attempts by this press to reach the rest of the accused persons proved unsuccessful, but this press stands willing to publish their own sides if they so desire.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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