APC Parliamentarians Walked out on President Julius Maada Bio
By Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The members of parliament of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) on Thursday, May 2, 2019 walked out of parliament and staged a protest march along the major streets of Freetown when President Julius Maada Bio went there to formally open the Second Session of the Fifth Parliament and deliver the State of the Nation Address.
In an exclusive interview with 40 Acres Canada, the Acting Leader of the Opposition in parliament, Hon. Ibrahim Benedict Kargbo (pictured) stated that they decided to walk out because of the continued suppression and human rights abuses that are being meted out to their members right across the country as well as what he referred to as the kangaroo method that the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) used to elect the Speaker of Parliament, the hardship in the country and the intention of the Government to use the Courts to illegally remove twelve of their parliamentarians from parliament.
Hon. Ibrahim Benedict Kargbo maintained that they will not cooperate with the government until these issues have been looked into and properly addressed.
Reacting to these allegations, the majority leader in parliament and head of government business, Hon. Sudie Mohamed Tunis, explained that those members of parliament who are appearing in courts were taken there by their opponents because most of them are accused to have been receiving salaries from government right up to the elections in March 2018, in contravention to the constitutional dictate that any Civil or Public Servant who wishes to run for elective office should resign his or her positing twelve months prior to the elections.
He maintained that the government has not and will not interfere with the work of the courts as the judiciary is an independent arm of government.
He also stated that the hardship the APC members are talking about was inherited by the SLPP from the out gone APC government, nothing that they have done so much work in a space of one year to make life easier for Sierra Leoneans.
He dismissed the allegations of suppression and human rights abuses of APC members that the APC parliamentarians referred to, pointing out that no body has been targeted because of the political party he or she belongs to but that all issues of human rights abuses are just crimes being committed by individuals against each other, which, when reported to the Police, are investigated and tried in the courts.
Hon. Sidie Mohamed Tunis said he was not aware of any body being suppressed by any individual or group working on behalf of the government.
He stressed that the government is determined to ensure that all Sierra Leoneans as well as foreign nationals living in Sierra Leone are protected and are given redress in a situation where they have been offended.