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Condemning that Kono Attack on PMDC:An Editorial by Awareness Times (Original Date: Tuesday June 27, 2006)
Jun 25, 2008, 19:26
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The Ruling APC Partys We Yone Newspaper yesterday June 24TH 2008, published a thinly veiled insinuation against Awareness Times in which we stand accused of having kept silent in the face of alleged political intimidation by the erstwhile SLPP Government. We believe the following Editorial first published by us exactly two years ago, should provide impetus for an apology from We Yone to be issued to Awareness Times.

Condemning that Kono Attack on PMDC
An Editorial By Awareness Times
Original Date: Tuesday June 27, 2006 [ TWO YEARS AGO ]

Sometime last year when supporters of then to be registered Peoples
Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) blocked the way of V.P. Solomon Berewas motorcade along the entranceway to the CKC compound in Bo, we were very open in criticizing the PMDC for that uncalled-for action.

Again quite recently, on the issue of the gun-totting incident at Bumban in the Bombali District which involved an associate of the Leader of the All Peoples Congress (APC) party, we were indeed not hypocritical with our position and condemnation.

It is in this same light that we want to register our strongest condemnation of those politicians who incited the incident which occurred in Kono District during which PMDC supporters were intimidated at Sewafe in the Nimiyama Chiefdom and later pelted with stones at Bumpeh in the Nimikoro Chiefdom, all in the Kono District.

We also wish to compare and relate the death of Ken Moore to the wounding of Police Officer PC2385 Thoronka who sustained grievous body harm from the missiles stoned at the PMDC convoy he was deployed to protect. Like late Ken Moore, who was killed whilst doing his duty, Officer Thoronka did not deserve what was meted out to him and we hope those politicians instigating those acts of violence will take due note and warn their supporters accordingly. Police officers are not sacrificial lambs to be stoned at! They are there to protect us all regardless of our political shade. As we march towards 2007, all political players should ensure that citizens do not become refugees and displaced persons again.

We view this development as unfortunate and a potential powder keg that will explode if the trend is allowed to continue unchecked. The memories of Krubola and other political bloodlettings during elections under the APC are still fresh in some of our minds. We dont want to see children losing their fathers again in this 21st Century from political intolerance!

As we face the 2007 elections, Sierra Leoneans in what ever shape or form; of what ever political inclination, should be vigilant in identifying potential trouble spots and as it is, to condemn strongly what ever it is that appears to be a threat to the peace and quiet of the country before, during and after the election.

That is why, as a newspaper, we are expressing grave disappointment at the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) which is being accused of orchestrating this sordid act, for keeping silent over the issue.

Seventy-Two hours since this incident was reported, neither the SLPP as an entity nor its Executive Members have issued a statement condemning the action against the PMDC and the police officer.

As the ruling party, we believe it is a moral responsibility on it to ensure the protection of all citizens, regardless of their political, regional, tribal, sectional affiliation. In so far as we are concerned, the SLPP has fallen short of this sacred responsibility.

Kono undoubtedly, is a hotly contested ground for all the major political parties but the contest should be conducted in an atmosphere of tolerance, humility, nationhood and patriotism.

This is all the more reason why the Government of President Kabbah should condemn the unsavoury action of last weekend.

In the words of the former President of The Gambia, Sir Dauda Kairaba Jawara, "Political contest is not a contest of enemies. It is a contest of ideas and policies which need to be sold convincingly to the populace to buy. The option therefore is left with the majority of the people."

Past Friday, when President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah reopened Parliament, he was resonate when he stated optimistically, "The multi-party political system is now better understood, and is gaining strength. Our people are now getting used to political competition."

Sadly enough, this note of confidence and assurance had barely been effectively circulated when certain people in Kono started creating obstacles to the realisation of this optimism of our President.

What a shame!

NOTA BENE: The Editorial Team of APCs We Yone Newspaper can find this our two year old (June 2006) article at the Independent Media Commissions Archives as well as in the Sierra Leone Library Board or at our Internet Website.

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

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