By Fatmata Yansaneh…
The Regional Chairman, Western Area, Hon. Manso Dumbuya, Med –K and 19 other party members have been arrested by the Sierra Leone Police at the residence of Hon. Manso Dumbuya in the evening hours of Sunday 5th April 2015.
The arrests were made as some members of the SLPP in the Western Area visit their Regional Chairman, Hon Manso Dumbuya to quietly celebrate the Easter Holiday like many households across the country.
According to eye witness, Police officers who made the arrests did not inform Hon. Manso Dumbuya and others about the reasons for their arrests except when they were taken to the Ross Road Police Station where they were told they have been arrested for “unlawful gathering” under the emergency laws.
The arrests cannot be unconnected with a directive from “orders from above” in a bid to intimidate opposition party members as Government continues to fear of any political actions following the recent unconstitutional actions of Pres. Koroma. Another eye witness who was at the scene of the arrests said “This is just another ploy by a weak government which has lost all legitimacy to govern. But any attempt to intimidate SLPP members will be resisted across the country. Why would police officers be sent to arrest citizens in a house just for visiting their SLPP Chairman for the Easter holiday should be beyond anyone’s imagination. This is not a police state.I was at the residence and a number of the people were only visiting Hon Manso Dumbuya for the Easter Celebration.”
Following the arrest, senior SLPP member including the Deputy National Chairman and Leader, Dr. Prince Harding, Regional Chairman, South, Hon. Soloku, Regional Chairman North, Alhaji Alpha Kallon, SLPP Legal Adviser, Lawyer Eke Halloway, Lawyer Alpha Timbo, former National Secretary General, Jacob Jusu Saffa and many others visited the Ross Road Police Station to demand the release of Hon. Manso Dumbuya, Med K and 19 others. At the Ross Road Police Station, many SLPP grassroots members and supporters turned up to show solidarity for their members who have been arrested by orders from above.
At the time of writing, it is understood that Hon. Manso Dumbuya and Med K have been detained at the Ross Road Police Station whilst the other 19 members have been transferred to an undisclosed location. The reason for transferring the 19 members to an undisclosed location was not given by the police but inside sources revealed that the 19 members have either been taken to Jui or Hastings.
Many SLPP members have reacted very angrily to the news of the arrest and warned that if Hon Manso Dumbuya, Med K and the 19 others are not released SLPP members will consider political actions because according to them if police can arrest people in their houses for Easter celebration then the next thing is to start arresting people in their bedrooms and bathrooms.
It could be recalled that under this same state of emergency many senior APC members have been holding gatherings in their houses without any arrest from the police. Mr. John Bonoh Sisay,the cousin of Pres. Koroma, under the state of emergency organised a political meeting where he declared his ambition to lead APC and no arrest was made by the police. Also under the state of emergency, the boss of NACSA, Alie Badara Mansaray organised a social gathering at his residence where he had in attendance Paolo Conteh of NERC, Joseph Kamara of ACC and many other APC senior members but no arrest was made for “unlawful gathering” even though in both of the gatherings they had at least 20 APC people. It is like members of the APC are exempted from the state of emergency laws.The pictures of the “unlawful gathering” at the residence of Alie Badara Mansaray will be released soon to the public.