Given the unruly behavior put by APC supporters that barricaded themselves into their party headquarters building at Old Railway Line on Friday May 31st from where they threw stones and bottles at OSD personnel, the signs are very clear that APC wants another bloody civil war in this country simply because the majority of the people voted against them in the 2018 presidential elections in favor of SLPP’s Julius Maada Bio.
Since gaining independence in 1961, APC has been the SLPP’s main antagonist. After the March 2018 presidential and general elections which saw the removal of the APC party from office, there have been concerted and coordinated attempts by the APC to disrupt and destabilize the smooth running of the SLPP government. This has made the SLPP Government to accuse APC of making good on its electoral promise of making Sierra Leone ungovernable if they lost the March 2018 elections.
On the other hand, executives of the APC say that members of their party are deeply aggrieved and unhappy about the SLPP government’s use of its powers in marginalizing and criminalizing the APC party. As such, APC refused to attend the Bintumani III national peace dialogue conference; stating that genuine steps for national cohesion cannot be reached by the SLPP administration when it violates the principles of the rule of law, democracy and pluralism and ethnic solidarity.
“A national conference called by a ruling political party in the midst of attacks and oppression of the Opposition will unlikely yield any peace dividends when undertaken by the oppressor who bad-mouths those he intends to summon to the conference,” an APC communiqué read.
On the other hand, President Bio giving the rationale for the conference said: “This Bintumani III conference is about soliciting the views of Sierra Leoneans on the remit, the shape, and the mechanics of the proposed independent peace and national cohesion commission. The eventual establishment of that commission will be a huge step in efforts to further consolidate and strengthen our democracy…
“We have made huge gains. We are a stable democracy. We have a free press. Civil society organisations operate and speak up freely. Our communities are integrated at all levels. We are a nation at peace. We need to consolidate and institutionalise those gains. We therefore need a viable infrastructure to help us build on past efforts.
“Mindful of the lessons contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and looking back on our past with total candour, I announced during the State Opening of Parliament in 2018 the launch of a National Consultative Conference with a focus on “peace building, diversity management, and the rebuilding of national cohesion.” “I also proposed the setting up of “an Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion.” The commission will be established by an Act of Parliament. I anticipate that it will comprise representatives of every facet of Sierra Leone society.
“So this Bintumani III conference is about the voices of women, men, the old, the aged pensioners, our youth, children, persons living with disabilities, Chiefs, community leaders, Imams, Pastors, journalists, civil society, members of the security forces, nurses, doctors, civil servants, private business men and women, our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, our neighbours, and ordinary citizens - Each and every voice matter.”