The Presidential spokes man of the main opposition party the All Peoples Congress (APC) Alhaji Alpha Kanu has said in an exclusive interview with Awoko that the party has withdrawn all ex-combatants or ex-fighters who had been providing security for the leader and the party headquarters.
Spokesman Alpha Kanu posited that the APC is open to every Sierra Leonean both retired officers and civilians “it happens that among the party supporters we have retired military officers who have been fighting for us and Sierra Leone against the rebel out break.”
He maintained that if the issue is retired military officers described as ex- combatants “yes we have them we have Idrissa Kamara aka Leather Boot and few of his colleagues who are active supporters of the APC and it is their right to do so” he said.
The Party spokesman declared that these retired military officers are not providing any security services anymore because the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) by virtue of the communiqué signed between the two leaders Ernest Koroma Presidential candidate of APC and Solomon Berewa Presidential candidate of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) with President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.
The use of “ex-combatants” or retired military officers has been stopped by the APC and “I expect the SLPP would have stopped the use of these people and that includes former soldiers like Maada Bio and Tom Nyuma because they fall within that category” he stated.
Kanu added that “the APC is very mindful of the provisions of the law and once the proper civilian security apparatus that is the SLP have agreed and showed in the presence of President Kabbah that the security premises of our physical structures and our persons should be entrusted to the police we have done so and we have adhered to the opportunity given to us by the communiqué.”
The spokesman said they “expect the SLPP to do like wise because really anybody will be foolhardy to counter this directive coming from the highest quarter of the land and from two of the people (Ernest Koroma and Solomon Berewa) who one of them will succeed President Kabbah come Saturday.”
“The President and the future President of the country have endorsed this, anybody who will now cross this is being rebellious of authority and would be considered as subversive elements and should be dealt with according to law” he said
He emphasized that “any threat to peace for the people of Sierra Leone, any threat on the tranquility of Sierra Leone, any threat on the property and lives of the people of Sierra Leone now and the period encompassing the run-off elections on Saturday and after, will fall under the category of crimes against humanity and we still have those laws here in this country and the Special Court also has the mandate if this happens… so I believe no body will want to counter what this communiqué is putting in place.”
When asked by Awoko as to why they were having these ex-combatants around, Alpha Kanu smiled saying these ex-combatants are Sierra Leoneans, they are individuals and supporters of this party it’s like a teacher you stop doing your teaching you are welcomed to the party, the APC has room for anybody.”
APC’s Alpha Kanu opined that ex-combatants nor ex-combatants they are Sierra Leoneans who have now been rehabilitated and brought back into society, they are soldiers who’ve been retired and returned to civilian life so they have to continue their life and that includes their constitutional right to exercise their democratic right to belong to a political party.