A United States-based Sierra Leone rapper has become the first victim of a Sierra Leone police operation aimed at curtailing excessive celebrations during the December festive season.
The musician, Amara Denis Turay, better known as Kao Denero, has accused the police of causing violence by disrupting his investment over the weekend. He said Monday in a statement that despite receiving 10 million Leones from him to provide security, the police went on to cause violence and disrupt the occasion.
The artist was due to launch his latest album at the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown on Saturday when the packed field degenerated into a riot.
The police said they wanted to ensure law and order in the stadium, but the rapper and his supporters say the police deliberately provoked violence by restricting the movement of the youths within the stadium.
The police fired tear gas in the ensuing clashes.
“The ones who were supposed to provide security brought almost disaster,” Denero said in a statement issued via social media.
He said he was waiting for the alleged threat of arrest to be carried out. In a move indicating politicisation of the conflict, Denero hinted at wearing all green, an indication of support to the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party.
Known as the King of Freetown, Denero’s group, the Black Leo, is arch rival to the Red Flag Movement which is headed by another rapper LAJ, currently incarcerated in the US.
Because of his association with red, which is the party color of the governing All Peoples Congress, LAJ is considered as an APC supporter. Hence some people consider Denero as an SLPP supporter.
The police is yet to make any official response to Monday’s allegations.