By: Ilyasa Baa
The main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) party has come under serious criticism for igniting violence in the political landscape of Sierra Leone stretching back to the historically controversial position taken by its founder Siaka Stevens in 1961 when he broke away with his Election Before Independence Movement at a time the Sierra Leone People’s Party leader Sir Milton Margai was striving for the West African state to gain independence.
National Deputy Chairman of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) party, Sheriff Barrie said the country started missing peace and unity when APC took that path over six decades ago noting that from those days Sierra Leone was missing the peace and the beginning of political violence in the country leading to coups. He said bad governance and the endorsement of a one party state led to violence and a bloody rebel war. “The Judiciary has not been independent under both the SLPP and the APC”, he said, noting that during the APC regime, promotion of Magistrates to the position of Judges was an issue and continues to be an issue under the current dispensation, he maintained.
“Our ideology is nation first and that the country surpasses everything with a motto known as Respect for All. He said the NDA wants to tell the APC and SLPP that peace is highly important for any political party to maintain for the good of the country at large.
APC members including Allie Conteh said peace is not the absence of war only but has to do with the respect for the rule of law in the country.
They accused that under the present dispensation, there is no political tolerance citing the removal of APC Members of Parliament as a disadvantage accepted by the APC in the interest of maintaining peace and national cohesion in the country.
According members of the ruling SLPP, the party resonates with Unity, Freedom and Justice. They stressed that the SLPP has done much to maintain peace even when in opposition not to talk about now that it is in governance. “Our party in 2018 was elected into State House because Sierra Leoneans believe in the party as one that is very peaceful.
Meanwhile, all eyes are on Sierra Leone as the country goes to the poll on 24th June, 2023 with the media, Civil Society Organizations preaching for peaceful elections.