APC & SLPP CLASH IN KAILAHUN ahead of Local Bye Elections

By Pat Kawa

The pending Local Council bye election in ward 002 Constituency 001  in the Kailahun District, which has  been slated for 30th December 2015 is now a hot potato on both the plate of ruling All peoples party ( APC) and the main opposition, Sierra Leone people’s party (SLPP). Constituency 001 covers the heart of Kailahun has been perceived to be the stronghold of the main opposition Sierra Leone peoples party SLPP and the presence of other political parties in the country has not been felt in that part of the District. This time around things seemed to be taking a different dimension following the death of SLPP Counsellor Fatmata Sannoh sometime in October, 2015.

Political pundits have informed the standard Times that with the Resident Minister East, Hon Maya Kaikai and Kailahun being his home town, the ruling APC has made significant inroads in the perceived SLPP strong hold which has threatened the survival of the SLPP.

It is evident that the All Peoples Party (APC) is bent on winning the bye election in ward 002 constituency 001 in the Kailahun District, and also evident that the only way the SLPP can take the APC off-guard is to intimidate the APC supporters and embark on terror campaign strategies against the supporters of the APC.  The APC as a registered Political Party also has the right to exist and campaign in any part of the country and to interact with any other members and supporters of political parties in the Country. Supporter of the SLPP are claiming that the APC Party wants to bulldoze its way to victory in the bye election of Ward 002 Constituency 001 in the Kailahun District.

The two political parties are accusing each other of creating problems in the District. The main opposition is accusing the Resident Minister East, Hon. Maya Kaikai and the APC supporters of fermenting violence in the District while the Resident Minister Maya Kaikai is also accusing the Kailahun District Chairman Rex Bonapha as the brain behind the violence in the District.

Kailahun residents are alleging that there had been two incidence of violence in District preceding the pending bye election this year and stressing that one was on the 28th November and the other on 1st December, 2015 respectively.

As tension mounts preceding the pending Kailahun bye election is reportedly disturbing some politicians, including stakeholders in the District.

In an effort to usher in peace, sanity and restore security in the Kailahun District, the Regional Police Commander East, Alfred Karrow Kamara in collaboration with some  Senior Police Officers of the Kenema Police Station, Provincial security coordination in Kenema, Civil Society and the Media on Thursday 3rd December 2015 visited  Kailahun following reports of threats and intimidation alleged to have been orchestrated by the Resident Minister Hon. Maya Kaikai  allegedly against the Kailahun District Council Chairman Mr. Rex Bonapha and some SLPP supporters and also counter reports of alleged threat and intimidation made by the chairman Rex Bonapha against Hon Maya Kaikai and the APC supporters.

At a meeting held at the Kailahun Court Barry to map the way forward for a peaceful, credible, fair, and transparent bye election, the Regional Police Commander east Alfred Karrow Kamara explained that elections in a democratic dispensation should be done in an environment devoid of fear to belong to any political party and to associate with people of the same and other political parties. The Police Commander further said, his role as a Senior Security Officer is to ensure that all political parties have a level playing field and on the same footing. He said that any person or group of persons who attempts to prevent any electorate from exercising his/her right will be recognized as indiscipline and lawlessness punishable by law.

This measure according to Alfred Karrow Kamara is applicable to all political parties. He stated that campaigns have not been declared and no political party is allowed to campaign when NEC has not announced the stipulated date for the election. He revealed that the Police will come down heavily and strongly on any individual that violates the law.

Alfred Karrow Kamara said when campaigns would have been declared the Police will ensure that the campaign roster is made available to all so that no political party will campaign on the same day and date with another. The Regional Police Commander urged members and supporters of the two political parties to respect the law and allow all electorate to vote freely so that whoever emerges winner will be the true representation of the people.

Other speaker included the chairman, Rex Bonapha, representative of the Resident Minister Hon. Maya Kaikai, Civil Society, APC and SLPP representatives and the media among others.


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