Monday March 23, 2015 - The lessons of our troubles deliberately ignored
as the APC again embarks on a course that led to the first armed
rebellion to free the people from the shackles of APC repression and
slavery. The inner unrepentant and undemocratic core of the party still
at work plotting another "APC rule forever" fiefdom.
Twenty four years ago on March 23rd 1991 the
first modern armed incursion into Sierra Leone territory began with the first
shots heard in Bomaru, eastern Sierra Leone. It was the start of the
first armed rebellion against a despotic, repressive and human
rights-abusing system that killed off any and all forms of opposition
It was the first armed opposition from outside against a
system that had subverted the will of the people and created hell on
earth for all who were believed to be in opposition to the stranglehold
of the peoples' desire for freedom and expression.
Thus was the RUF
rebel war initiated that was finally brought to an end in 2002 with then
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah officially declaring that the war was over.
Over a hundred and fifty thousand Sierra Leoneans - men, women and
children -the young, the aged, the infirm, the ill and healthy were
engulfed in the bloody maws of a ravenous war machine that had no
principles of warfare. It's dedication was to the god of destruction,
slavery, rape, arson, mutilation and murder in the most horrendous
It was a war that displaced millions within the country,
traumatised even more people and left many a family still grieving loved
ones many of whose fate and graves remain unknown, unmarked. Survivors,
though doing their best to carry on with life cannot wipe from memory
the mindless cruelty that was visited upon them by beasts of terror in
the form of human beings who laid waste vast swathes of territory and
made life a hell on earth for the many innocent, mainly civilians caught
up in a war that made the pillaging and murderous hordes of Ghenghis
Khan saints on a comparative scale.
Thirteen years after the war was declared over, a handful of
unrepentant, wicked and power-hungry beasts, the anti-people scum of the
APC party are at it again as they try to subvert the democratic
principles enshrined in the 1991 Constitution to suit their notion of
democracy as found in the pages of the 1978 APC One Party constitution
of Sierra Leone. This document provided the excuse for the breakdown of
decency in life and living desired by the people. It was during this
period that all
perceived opponents of the single ruling party at the time, the APC were
ruthlessly pursued underground and for those unfortunate to be within
the borders of Sierra Leone were judicially incarcerated and hanged by a
justice system that was dedicated to the orders, whims and caprices of
Siaka Stevens and his band of nation wreckers.
It was not uncommon those days to hear of "alleged coup plots"
uncovered by so-called security forces that had become Sierra Leone's
version of Haiti's Tonton Macoutes of the Duvalier era.
It was the APC
that created a system where the concept of "careless talk" was pursued
with unalloyed vigour and gave security forces unbridled power to
suppress and repress free speech.
Bars, social activities and public
gatherings were areas infiltrated by his informants who had to earn
their keep by informing on people with quite a large volume of reports
manufactured against people considered pro-democrats and who yearned for
free speech and expression.
Names like Baba Yara and others were well
known and at the Paramount Hotel an institution opened in 1961 to
commemorate the country's independence drivers of taxis in ranks around
the hotel regularly informed on visitors to the country - directly to
Siaka Stevens himself. There was one notorious informant called "See Me
No More" who fed fat on such illegal activities and were rewarded by
their masters at State House. These informants were duly rewarded for their
services in upholding the repressive state that had been created.
The Ministry of Information was forced to create a special vote from
the Consolidated Fund to cater for a group of APC informants and they
were collectively known as Information Agents and names were supplied by
the APC Secretariat as a way of keeping the machinery oiled. These were
the people who would be willing to swear on oath anything they were
instructed to say roping in innocent Sierra Leoneans in treason and
other trials that had become a feature of the Stevens era. The outcome
of trials were well known even before courts concluded sittings with
judges making it a duty to report to Siaka Stevens every evening on the
state of trials. This compromised a warped judicial system that roped in
all those considered a threat to the APC.
The scenario played out like this. All key figures were hauled before
compromised courts on treason and other serious charges. Those arrested
but against whom they could not establish any charge were held at the
Pademba Road prison without any charge preferred against them.
nearly all those charged would be found guilty and sentenced to death by
hanging. Then comes the next phase.
An announcement would be made on the SLBS saying that the Prerogative of Mercy had recommended those to be
spared while confirming those that had to face the gallows. It was this
selective culling that saw the likes of
Paramount Chief Bai Makari N'Silk and one
Mr George Thompson of the East III constituency, among others, hanged.
His crime was that he dared to challenge the APC candidate for that area
one F B Turay.
The Paramount Chief was taken to the
gallows because, according to one Siaka Stevens confidante, he has not
shown "respect" to Stevens and for that - he had to die.
It is on record that it was the APC
that undertook the first post-colonial execution in 1971 when Brigadier
John Bangura was hanged. Others who faced the gallows included Major F M
Jawara and one RSM Kolugbonda. This was the beginning of violence
against all those believed to have been critical of the APC.
One commentator says that this judicial
murder of Brigadier John Bangura opened the floodgates for more
executions during the Stevens era. On July 19th 1975, a one-time fiery
activist of the party one Mohamed Sorie Forna was among another group of
Sierra Leoneans who faced the gallows at Pademba Road in Freetown. This
was the group in which was Paramount Chief Bai Makarie N'Silk.
Not to be outdone, a usually
mild-mannered and somewhat laid-back successor to Siaka Stevens, Joseph
Saidu Momoh was subjected to immense pressure from the Stevens era
macoutes within the APC and on March 23rd 1987 one top police officer
Gabriel Mohammed Tennyson Kaikai and others were arraigned before the
High Court on charges of treason as they were alleged to have plotted to
overthrow the Momoh regime.
However their prize victim was Momoh's
own Vice President - one Francis Mischek Minah who had gained prominence
within the ranks of the APC - something not welcomed by party diehards
who had always viewed him as an outsider enjoying the benefits on offer
by the APC.
In 1989 Francis Mischek Minah and
eleven others were hanged even though he protested his innocence to the
Attacks by organised gangs against
political opponents were common with the government providing the
necessary logistics and protection for members who were plied with drugs
and alcohol and given free rein.
Indeed it is no secret that when it
came to nominations day for candidates, Sierra Leone became a war zone.
Truckload after truckload of APC thugs were transported from one part of
the country to another - anywhere needed by the APC to suppress anyone
who dared nominate a candidate. The Mile 47 area later tagged Masiaka
was the zone that was a no-go area for non-APC supporters as vehicular
traffic was halted. This germ of violence and lawlessness surfaced again
in 2007 when even though the results showed that the APC had won,
supporters still went on the rampage to attack losing SLPP and other
In 2009, the headquarters of
the main opposition SLPP was attacked,
vehicles set on fire and those supporters trapped in the building were
subjected to massive violence with a number of the women trapped in the
building reportedly raped and subjected to violence that targeted their
When the dust settled and the SLPP
complained loudly, the police charged the victims, 22 of them to
The case was later withdrawn as many
including members of the international community were keen to see how
what was to be a kangaroo court trial would proceed. Under pressure the
rat commissioned an investigation headed by Justice Shears-Moses. The
government later issued what it called
White Paper that failed to publish the findings of the
commission. It was highly unusual as White Papers are always published
together with the original report/s.
Did we read somewhere that the APC
stated that it was not a party of violence?
Ask the opposition SLPP party on the
2009 attack on their party headquarters and for those who were around -
ask the people of Ginger Hall in Freetown the hell they were subjected
to when one Alfred Akibo-Betts and his gang of APC thugs attacked and
burnt down the residence of one Mammy Nancy, the SLPP top supporter in
the Western Area.
APC - a party that abhors violence? -
Well ask the youths of Wellington, the women of Bumbuna and SLPP
supporters in Bo when they were attacked by the security forces and
elements of the APC in a bid to stop the SLPP flagbearer from his "Thank
You" tour that had been cleared by the police.
The APC not a party of violence? - ask
members of the same party who fell foul of the powers within the party
so that you may know the circumstances that led to a top Bank of Sierra
Leone official, one BK - brother of the present Justice Minister Frank
Kargbo meeting his maker as he sped in a Niva van to a gbose gbose
confrontation between party members.