Last Friday’s crackdown by the Sierra Leone Police on supporters of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) dominate Monday’s edition of the country’s dailies.
Several people were detained after by armed Police who stormed the headquarters of the APC, where members and the leadership of the party had gathered to protest a court ruling that stripped the party 10 seats in parliament.
The story is carried by almost all the papers of the day, notably the Guardian, Night Watch, New Age, and Times SL. The Guardian carries it under its banner headline: ‘Tit for tat’: Let it end here.’ The paper is alluding to the widely held view that the APC and the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP), the only two parties that have ruled the country since Independence, have been
engaging on a tit for tat game.
Night Watch also carries the story under its banner headline: ‘Jobnocide sweeps parliament.’ The screamer is backed by smaller striped headlines: ‘10 constituencies robbed, 100s incarcerated and
brutalized, Teargas suffocates APC and brookfields community.
New Age says: ‘APC shrinks: …SLPP – 58, APC – 57’. The story speaks to the dramatic change in the House of parliament as a result of the High Court ruling that sparked the violence. After the March 2018 general elections, the APC, despite losing the presidency to the SLPP, maintained a huge majority in the House 68, against the SLPP’s 49. But with the last week’s ruling, this equation has changed.
Times SL, an opposition APC leaning publication, reports on the mass condemnation by other opposition parties of the police’s action on the supposition supporters. ‘As NGC, C4C, and CSOs condemn police brutality at APC office… ECOWAS sanction awaits SLPP govt,’ it says.
A second headline on the same issue goes: ‘Sierra Leone judiciary on the spotlight.’
The Calabash says: ‘High Court rules… 9 SLPP MPS in, 10 APC MPs out’ The Blade, a ruling SLPP leaning newspaper, says: ‘APC violence plan backfires… Judiciary lauded for landmark ruling.’
Other stories of the day are as follows: ‘Sierra Leone opens oil and gas exploration bids’ (Calabash); ‘New Ministers subscribed to oath of office, Persons of interest are not forced to appear at the COI [Commissions of Enquiry] (Guardian); ‘Orange Sierra Leone, DSTI sign historic MoU’ (Night Watch);
‘President Bio expresses concerns on exams malpractice (New Age); ‘Statistics Sierra Leone boss outlines top achievements, As petroleum directorate DG returns…Oil exploration licensing resumed’ (Blade).