Times Press News Paper
The last 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary elections held in the country witnessed some very unpalatable scenes. Violence was very prominent in some parts of the city of Freetown and the provincial headquarter towns of Bo, Kenema and Kailahun. In the city of Freetown, cutlasses and other weapons were used to instill fear in the minds of the voters. The situation left a number of voters taking the back steps to cast their votes and waited late evening when they noticed that signs and semblance of violence has been contained by the police in collaboration with the military.
Most of the voters including foreign observers pointed accusing fingers at supporters of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party as the perpetrators of violence. The police, it would be recalled arrested a numbers of perpetrators with weapons such as cutlasses, bottles and other deadly weapons, but were later released for reasons which the police have yet to explain to the public. Recent documentary evidence available and published in this edition has revealed similar plans by a group that described itself as Members of the Task Force (East) of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, which is in the planning stage to perpetuate similar activities come 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections and the group is demanding from selected members of the party executives assistance as part of their strategies to succeed in the coming election.
Although, the road to the 2012 elections is far, the group believes that with the necessary assistance giving to them there is the strong possibility for the SLPP to emerge victorious. “We need materials like drugs, marijuana, motor bikes, cutlass, daggers, knifes, 3 cows, 5 sheep, a bundle of satin, insect, palm oil for spiritual sacrifices and Le1,700,000”The commander of the group wrote.
This letter of request originated from 18, Hanga Road in Kenema, the Head Office of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party and sent to the Members of the Executive (SLPP), 13; Wallace Johnson Street in Freetown. In an interview with the recently elected Chairman of the Party, Mr. John Benjamin in relation to the request, allegedly by the Task Force Members in Kenema, he said “This could be the handiwork of some mischievous elements who want to give a bad name and painted an ugly picture of the party” Painting an ugly picture of the SLPP is not enough to convince the general public, especially those who witnessed and were victims of the ugly pictures of the 2007 elections, when some people were stabbed with knife, the hand of a police officer attached to the Central Police Station was matcheted all in the name of politics and winning votes.
Mr. Benjamin further stated that with the advent of technology so many things can be done with computers and recalled when anonymous letters were sent to him by unknown persons, which author and machines were later discovered by the police when he reported the matter to them. “Nothing was done to apprehend the author of the anonymous letters by the police” He said.
But Mr. Benjamin’s funny and careless way of dismissing what could be seen as a diabolical plan did not go down well with some members of the public who got a tip about the request and plan. A Major serving in the Sierra Leone Armed Forces said that his department had been receiving disturbing intelligence reports over the past couple of months relating to plans to disrupt the fragile peace we are enjoying “We would not leave any stone unturned, irrespective of who you are or the status of the individuals” He said. Members of the Office of National Security (ONS) are keeping seal lips on the matter, saying that they cannot divulge state secret to the media.
What has triggered arguments among certain high placed government officials in response to the ONS secrecy defence is that any plan to destabilize the peaceful co-existence of the people should not be considered a state secret, but the affairs of the public. Reportedly, investigation carried out by this press has revealed that the group is in constant coordination and communication with their members in other parts of the country.
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