APC Vs SLPP -Fire For Fire

PRESS STATEMENT FROM SLPP:

ATTEMPTED PRISON BREAK AND APC THREATS

The public will recall that on Wednesday April 29, panic gripped the entire country, after a group of prisoners rioted at the Pademba Road Correctional Center and set buildings in the center  ablaze.

Preliminary findings indicate a well orchestrated prison break with the intent to free detained persons standing trial for serious offenses ranging from treason to murder.

As a ruling party, we feel obliged to launch our own investigations into the ugly incident which almost brought the entire Freetown to a standstill on that day and led to an unwarranted loss of lives and destruction of government property. We will liaise with the security forces and will inform our membership of the outcome of our investigations.

However as a preliminary statement, the SLPP condemns the attempted prison break and futile efforts to free some high profile prisoners. It was a well calculated ploy to disrupt the peace and serenity of the country.

 At a time when government is focused on fighting the global Covid-19 pandemic, it will be most unpatriotic of anybody to distract it or scuttle the fight.

We sympathise with the families of those who lost their lives in that unfortunate incident.

The party will make every effort to visit their homes and extend our sympathies to their family members.

It is obvious from the puerile press statement of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC), that their leadership was either part of the plot or accomplices to yesterday’s act. 

In their press statement, the APC Secretary General in full knowledge of the grave offences some of their members have been charged with and for which they are waiting trial before our courts, has ignored the seriouness of the issue yesterday and as usual chosen to turn the situation into a political one. 

The government of Sierra Leone has the sacred duty to provide security for every Sierra Leonean and at the same time prosecute anyone who commits an offence against the people and state of Sierra Leone, devoid of political, tribal or regional attachments.

Whilst we do not wish to dignify their baseless claims of SLPP members masquerading as security officials and entering Pademba Road Correctional center, we wish to draw the attention of the public to threats made on social media by one of their mouth pieces carrying the nickname Adebayor exactly ten days to yesterday’s incident. In that social media stunt Adebayor informed his followers that the Pademba Road Correctional Center would be burnt if Alfred Palo Conteh is not released. He even threatened to ‘deal’ with our Leader the President Julius Maada Bio if he failed to do that. And true to his words and by extension the APC’s plot, on Wednesday April 29, the Pademba Road Correctional center was set ablaze. This certainly could not have been a coincidence, but a designed plot with the full complicity and blessing of the APC leadership.

Our party has bent backwards over to accommodate the excesses of the main opposition APC all in the interest of maintaining the peace which we fought to restore in 2002 after 11 years of a bloody insurrection.

As a ruling party we cannot afford to mortgage the peace of citizens for the selfish interests of a few misguided people.

We commend the swift response of the security forces in quelling the situation and restoring normalcy to the city and the country at large.

Our Leader His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio is unfazed by the dastardly plans of saboteurs and is determined to end Covid-19 and bring much needed development to the country.

We will continue to monitor the situation and give updates to our members.

Meanwhile, we implore all persons to be law abiding and continue the fight against the Corona scourge. The security of the country is assured and intact.

Signed

Umaru Napoleon Koroma

Secretary General.

PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE APC PARTY ON THE RIOTS AT THE PADEMBA ROAD

MALE CORRECTIONAL CENTER

The All Peoples Congress (APC) Party notes with grave concern developments that took

place yesterday at the Pademba Road Maximum Security Male Correctional Centre that led

to the burning of government properties and loss of valuable human lives.

Our understanding is that there was a riot at the Centre and the security forces, including the

heavily armed Presidential Guard and other security personnel rained live bullets on the

prisoners and Prison Officers that the public thought were in one of the safest places to be in

Sierra Leone.

Without prejudice to any of the conflicting reports so far received from Government and

media outlets, the APC notes with grave concern that some of the initial video footages that

have made their way into the public domain show videos of known SLPP thugs that our

sources told us were not inmates in that Correctional Centre. That they now found

themselves inside the Correctional Centre can only lend credence to the suspicion making

the rounds on social and other media that this alleged prison riot was another dastardly ploy

by the authorities concerned to put the lives of innocent civilians and inmates in harm’s way

including political detainees like Major Retired Palo CONTEH, former Minister of Defence;

Herbert George Williams, former Mayor of Freetown City Council; ABU Bakar DARAMY, a

member of the National Executive of the APC Party and AMADU Koita, who, at the time of

the incident, were in the custody of the security forces. The whereabouts of our Comrades

have since remained unknown and all attempts by the leadership of our Party and the legal

team to reach them have proved futile.

Reports making the rounds indicate that our comrades are currently being held under very

inhumane conditions and the health conditions of some of them have deteriorated

significantly. The APC is further appalled by the fact that armed security forces raided the

home of Palo CONTEH, harassed its occupants and took into custody his innocent wife.

The leadership of the APC wishes to make it known to the relevant authorities and the

Government of Sierra Leone that the APC will hold them singularly and collectively

responsible if anything is amiss were to happen to them and of course for the innocent lives

that were lost during the skirmishes. The APC therefore demands immediate information on

the whereabouts of our comrades, and access to them by our lawyers and leaders of our

Party.

The APC leadership wishes to inform our development partners and the international

community that the harassment and intimidation of the APC and its members have now

reached a level that is unbearable. We wish to inform the world that the fundamental and

basic human rights of our members are under threat, and this does not augur well for

sustainable peace and security.

We shall continue to consult with our members around the country and in the diaspora on

this and related incidents that clearly threaten to undermine the peace and security of our

beloved country that we have all fought so hard to uphold and protect over the years. We

hereby call on the international community for an independent inquiry into the events

precedent, during and after the riots which led to the loss of lives and government properties.

Long Live Sierra Leone!

Long Live the indomitable APC Party!

Signed:

—————————————————————

Ambassador Alhaji Dr. OSMAN Foday Yansaneh

National Secretary General