Armed guards are keeping guard at an SLPP (Sierra Leone People’s Party) ‘ATAYA BASE’ at Calaba Town in Freetown to prevent the recurrence of another violence. Portraits of President Julius Maada Bio and Vice President, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh have been brought down.
The spree of violence raises questions about the party’s chances in winning the 2023 elections.
No SLPP member, for now, is permitted to enter the base so that peace and security can prevail. The violence cost the life of an SLPP member, and the suspect is under investigation for murder.
Investigation carried out by this press shows that suspicion of unprofessional handling of the matter by the deceased’s elder brother led to the felling down of the President portraits.
It was reported that the police had released the suspected murderer, and the news led to the destruction.
The investigation also indicated that violence emanated from an argument between two factions of candidates vying for the chairmanship of the Freetown East district.
Manso Dumbuya, the incumbent has shown interest in running for the seat, with another candidate; Brima Keita who has also expressed an intention to go for the same seat.
The political race between the two political candidates has generated threats and conflicts that undermine peace and security in that part of the country.
The violence signals a wave of violence that would likely sweep the party in a convention where party officers would be elected. SLPP has come to be synonymous with the ruling SLPP as recent trends indicate.
The party headquaters on Wallace Johnson Street was recently engulfed in violence that led to the destruction of President Bio’s portrait. SLPP youths resorted to violence when they were ordered by the executive to leave the premises of the party.
The order did not go down well with the youths who felt disillusioned and disappointed. Like all other elections, service of the youths was employed by politicians to bulldoze their way through.
The youths were marginalised after the party’s victory as no politician comes to them to pay them back. The general feeling has always been the BABOON WOKE, MONKEY EAT philosophy which has pervaded and permeated the country’s politics for years. The current disposition seems to have operationalised that philosophy than any other political party and at any time in the country’s political history.
Politicians are always inclined to using the youths to realise their political goals, but dump after they have realised their goals.
But, they always turn their backs against those who help them when fortune comes their way. This is not the first time intraparty violence in SLPP is taking away the life of a member.
When SLPP was in opposition, similar incidents of Violence occurred in the eastern headquaters of Kenema where a member of the party was brutally stabbed to death. Kenema also saw violence when SLPP youths took to the streets in a show of violence. A personnel of the Operations Support Division (OSD), the military wing of the Sierra Leone Police, was disarmed by the mob. The OSD police officer was a close protection personnel attached to the former Resident Minister, Maya Moiwo Kaikai.
Violence within the SLPP has always caused a cause for grave concern quite recently.
The party is known to have acquired erudite men within their ranks. By virtue of the presence of men with quality academic credentials, the party is expected to provide guidance for other parties. But a great many Sierra Leoneans have been taken aback by the violence unfolding in the party.
The question of how a party of intellectuals would fastly condescend to such level of violence, incivility and political thuggery in modern and democratic Sierra Leone remains to be answered.