The reason for the cancellation according to APC officials who spoke with AYV was attributed to the fact that a preliminary meeting involving all APC members including those in the Diaspora and from branches needs first to be held before the press can be adequately informed on what the APC makes of the GTT report; alleged police-heavy-handedness among other burning issues.
It could be recalled that since taking over power in April 2018, after winning the presidential election but failing to win parliamentary majority, there has been an uneasy truce between the SLPP-led government of Julius Maada Bio and the defeated – now opposition APC.
Supporters of the APC are accusing the SLPP government and party of muzzling freedom of speech and right to protest, allegedly with help from the police.
To make matters worse, opposition politician – Mohamed Kamarainba was arrested by the police, following comments he is thought to have made on radio, criticizing President Bio and his government for the implementation of policies he describes as “inimical to the country’s democracy.”
The police denied the report saying Mr. Kamarainba was not arrested but only invited for interview at the CID.
In response to accusations of political intimidation and stifling of democratic freedoms, a senior ruling SLPP party official told this press that the APC is determined to cripple and bring down the SLPP government. They are still onto this day refusing to accept defeat at the polls”.
In a recent press statement the APC National Publicity Secretary Cornelius Deveaux said: “The APC condemns the actions of the Police and considers such, including the brutal stabbing of an APC supporter resident at Government Wharf, a continuation of the spate of violence and intimidation meted against opposition parties and their supporters following the controversial election of Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP as president of Sierra Leone in April 2018.”
However, the SLP on the other hand condemned what they see as the increasing use of the social and mainline media especially by politicians, in making public statements that are likely to cause political instability. The SLP had also issued a statement making their position on the above issues clear.