The political atmosphere in Sierra Leone was recently overwhelmed with an alleged murder incident involving supporters of rival camps in Sierra Leone People’s Party.
According to report the circumstance occurred when Party Stake Holders together with the Political Parties Registration Commission visited the eastern regional headquarter town of Kenema the victim district to reinstate disposed executive members of the party.
The loss of that innocent life is really sad, and we continue to pray for his soul to rest in peace. The Sierra Leone Police report states that arrest have so far been made and the issue is currently under investigation. This is a very welcoming news, despite creeping information on how some of those investigations naturally gets cold on the way and culprits get away with impunity. However it is worth noting that there are several cases of successful police investigations and those found wanting faced the law.
I have heard most people suggest that the Police investigations are going too systematic and the principal inciters of that violent encounter are still yet to be questioned. I am not here to teach the Sierra Leone Police how to carry out their duties in our developing democracy, but to stress on the point that such an episode is an early warning sign that if they are not proactive in this case, our country might head for a bloody elections in 2018.
The Sierra Leone Police has been praised for the peaceful elections our country had in the past years, regardless of the few isolated happenings where they were accused of being unprofessional. An early warning sign towards the 2012 Multitier Elections in Sierra Leone was the Fourah Bay ward bye elections which was merged by violence, between supporters of the main political parties. Thanks to the then operational commander of the Sierra Leone Police, who is now the Regional Commander, Freetown East Assistant Superintendent of Police Memunatu Conteh, who brought all the perpetrators to book and as a result the area was relatively quiet during the 2012 elections.
It is indelible in history that as a result of the Police’s failure to be judicious in carrying out their duties ahead-of and during elections periods in Sierra Leone, the country had bloody elections where in innocent lives were lost and properties worth millions of Leones were destroyed.
The lucky once who managed to escape from the harsh realities of those moments had themselves and their relative intimidated for their divergence of views with opposing political or ruling parties. I want to be positive here and believe, that is a situation a real force for good Sierra Leone Police would not want see resurface in this most civilized era of our beloved Mama Sierra Leone. An important point one should not forget to note here, is that the forthcoming Presidential elections in Sierra Leone would be far different from the once we had in 2007 and 2012.
In these elections the tension was between the Northwest and the Southeast of the Country. Now we are not talking too much about tribalism, the nepotistic differences that sets into the political arena is among districts in these regions, which is to be opportuned to occupy that golden seat in State House, as in the case of Bombali and Portloko in the Northern Region. It is said that this is the principal cause for the recent unprecedented prevalence of intra-party violence, as in the alleged Kenema Murder at review, which is believed to be between Mr. John Oponjo Benjamin of Kialahun and Rt. Brigadier Maada Bio whose maternal is from Kenema District.
Analyzing the above it is anticipated that conflicts in the next presidential elections would not be on party basis, but among favored districts at against the disgruntle once, thereby leading to a more bloody presidential elections in Sierra Leone, if the Sierra Leone Police does not do their job professionally, particularly in handling these early warning signs.
The roles of the Police in ensuring we have peaceful elections in 2018 is key, but it is essential we realize our roles in conscientizing the youths against perpetrating elections violence. The Alleged Kenema Murder indicates that most youths of today in Sierra Leone have not learnt lessons from events where in Politicians they take up stones and sticks for distance themselves from them and make ill comments against their actions.
Although there have been instances where in politicians that condemn them on radio are accused of gettings the police compromised in the execution of their duties, the youths should at least learn from the promises these politicians have not fulfilled to them. In fact their questions should now be who among those that buy them drinks and give them money is genuine enough to provide jobs for them, instead of killing themselves.
We have heard politicians condemn elections violence, but it continue to occur in various fashions, either by shutting political party doors at rival politicians or by making some areas a no go zone for opposing factions, hence the conclusion that there is somebody behind scene giving youths thumbs-up for unleashing mayhem on others and condemns them in public statements. If certain officials are not supposed to attend a specific meeting at a party office, is it the business of political party youths to negate them from entering the meeting room, or the party’s leadership?
Just as I said most youths have not learnt their lessons and it is time meaningful organizations in the likes of the musicians in the country take up anti-violence campaigns ahead of the next elections, if not! [By Uncle Dez]