From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Citizens De-Cry Bullying of SLPP by APC
Mar 25, 2009, 17:22

Sierra Leonean citizens who are still reeling from the March 13th and 16th violence and brutality that was meted out at the opposition SLPP’s Headquarters by hooligans closely linked to the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) have decried to this presshouse what they term as the bullying of SLPP members by the APC.

"All of this bullying and destruction over the commissioning of an unaesthetic clock that is roman-numerically ignorant and does not even tell correct time. What will they do when they commission the Cotton Tree roundabout? They will then bring Matorma devils right inside our homes. And as for when they will eventually commission Bumbuna Light, at that time, all of us should just go and wait by the Atlantic ocean until they finish their celebrations before we will return back to our homes," Mary Johnson, a Freetown resident stated yesterday. According to Mary Johnson, she was not even an SLPP supporter but was dismayed at the reported raping and violence so far.

Meanwhile, SLPP supporters are particularly upset that the APC is trying to justify the brutality by saying the SLPP does not want to recognize President Koroma as President or accept that the APC is now in power.

"I really don’t understand it. The only conclusion I have come to is that APC members will only be satisfied if whenever we see them on the streets, we stop, prostrate on the ground and exclaim ‘Igwe’!" one SLPP stalwart, Pa Sulaiman Barrie sarcastically opined adding, "Even if we are driving our cars, as soon as we see an APC man or an APC woman, we should stop the vehicle, climb out of it and quickly prostrate shouting Igwe! Igwe!! Igwe!! until they pass by. Maybe at such time, the APC would now accept that we recognize Ernest Koroma as President and the APC as the ruling party. I don’t know what else they want SLPP to do."

"All they keep on saying is that we do not recognize the authority of President Koroma but when you ask them what exactly do they mean by this, they simply cannot explain or justify such claims. But the truth is that the SLPP since 17th September 2007 has recognized the President’s authority and fully cooperated with everything President Koroma and the APC engages in" Mr. Julius Sama of SLPP’s Constituency 108 asserted.

"Last Friday when the UN’s high powered team visited our offices, they commented on the fact that starting from the Chairman John Benjamin down to the least man all wore Sierra Leonean gara outfits since it was a Friday and President Koroma had called on all Sierra Leoneans to wear Sierra Leone outfits on Friday. So what more do the APC want from us in the form of recognition of the authority of President Koroma? The APC is just an intolerant bunch!" Madam Sera Kamara of Constituency 99 opined.

"We recognize Ernest Bai Koroma as President which is why we invited him to do the launching of our radio station. Even in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of our party’s headquarters and the raping of our women, all our MPs attended Parliament and diligently worked with the ruling APC parliamentarians to approve Ernest Koroma’s nominees for his Cabinet. What we will not tolerate is any attempt to muzzle our right to free expression and our right to democratically oppose and point out the excesses of this Government," a statement from SLPP Parliamentarians outlined yesterday.

The above are sample viewpoints from ordinary Sierra Leoneans who are concerned over the invasion of SLPP four-floored offices, the raping of women and most of all the manner with which the criminal acts have been handled so far by the Police and Government of President Koroma. It is now appearing that an international investigation might be the only way forward to address the injustices.

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