President Tejan Kabbah has in a nationwide address threatened that he will impose a state of emergency if the spate of unrest does not cease.
The President recalled his address to the nation last week in which he admonished Sierra Leoneans to “refrain from violence”
He also reiterated that as President he was not going “to sit idly by and allow anyone to take the law into his own hands and destroy everything that we have achieved since the end of the war.”
President Kabbah stated that he was “deeply distressed” by the events of the weekend where certain groups “went on the rampage in parts of the city of Freetown, Koidu Town and their environs, intimidating, threatening and molesting peaceful citizens.”
He warned that “Government will deal firmly and promptly with anyone bent on unleashing another round of mayhem on our country.”
“These acts of provocation must stop now” he said adding that “Government will employ all legal and constitutional measures necessary in order to preserve and maintain law and order throughout the country.”
The President further stated “as a final warning all those responsible for the violence and lawlessness should be prepared for the consequences” threatening that “as from henceforth Government shall not hesitate one moment to declare a state of public emergency if the current spate of intimidation molestation and violent acts is not stopped immediately.”
President Kabbah called on the leaders of the APC and the SLPP to appeal to their followers “to respect the constitutional provisions for electing the President and Parliament in a safe and secure environment.”
He ended with the hope that his government “will not be compelled to take drastic measures that may be necessary to protect the people from wanton activities of a group of self seeking, unpatriotic and power hungry individuals.”
A lawyer speaking under condition of anonymity stated that if the President declares a state of emergency, the Elections will automatically be postponed. She indicated further the President may however need to summon Parliament.