By Sulaiman Juldeh Bah
Report of political violence that erupted between supporters of the governing APC and main opposition SLPP Tuesday 20th in Kamalo, Karene District poses serious threat in the March 7 elections.
The ugly incident has sparked concerns in minds of the electorates and as a result compelling supporters of opponent political parties calling on the swift and unregulated intervention of the international community on issues of security at elections.
Facts are that supporters of the two parties clashed in Kamalo during the SLPP campaign in that part of the country, which they say resulted in several injuries caused on guiltless persons.
Kamalo is the home town of the APC presidential candidate, Samura Kamara and it is considered to be a major stronghold of the ruling party.
Reports about what sparked the violence are very sketchy, but SLPP supporters say, “a convoy of their presidential flag bearer, Rtd. Brig. was attacked inside Kamalo by persons believed to be members of the APC.”
They (SLPP supporters) claimed ‘that as soon as Bio and team entered Kamalo and were about to start their meeting, they were attacked by a large crowd of people armed with stones and sticks, that their only option then was to flee the town.’
On the other hand, the APC’s account of the event states that ‘SLPP entered Kamalo with a large crowd and were attempting to put banners postcards of presidential candidate Bio at a cinema and water well owned by their candidate Samura, but were prevented from doing so.
They claim the SLPP supporter were adamant and were saying that the facilities are government owned and that if they are not allowed to put their banners there they will remove bearing photos of Samura.
That indeed the SLPP supporters did remove postcards of Samura, which no doubt resulted in the said violence.
There were reports of ugly incidents in Kono between supporters of the ruling APC and C4C leading to injuries, destruction of properties and the arrest of several people believed to be C4C sympathizers.
Tension in Kono is reported to be very high as supporters of the former Vice President, who is also the presidential candidate of C4C, Alhaji Chief Sam Sumana are battling with supporters of the APC for supremacy in that district.
The Resident Minister East, Karamoh Kabba is said to be at the center of the latest incident as he has been accused of attempting to use his vehicle to run over C4C supporters during their political rally.
He has also been accused of intimidating and arresting C4C supporters whom he considered to be a big threat to the success of APC in Kono during the elections.
Also, C4C supporters have been accused of using thugs to perpetrate violence against supporters of other political parties including the APC. The C4C have been accused of igniting the latest violence in Kono.
This is not the first time ugly incidence of political violence has been reported in Kono.
Apart from the political violence reported in Kono and Kamalo, many people are of the view that if this ugly trend continues in such a manner, it will pose serious threat to the forthcoming elections