The operation of Military Aid to Civil Power has come under intense criticisms as the use of thugs amidst political intimidation resurfaced in the recently held Parliamentary Bye Election in constituency 91 comprising Makpelle and Soro Gbema Chiefdoms which was won by the SLPP.
The criticisms come against the background of claims and counter claims as to who was responsible for the weekend (Saturday May 8, 2010) confrontation and use of thugs with the view of securing more votes.
Speaking to Awoko’s Southern province correspondent concerned residents were quick to accuse both the Military and Police deployed in Zimmi axis for failure to intercept the movement of the gun toting men especially the group that used the van with registration number AEM 564 and openly assaulted some members of the public including the regional Chairman of PMDC Abdulai Mustapha – a situation which provoked wide spread anger particularly from the youth population except with the late intervention of the Police regional Commander David Sesay upon promising to bring to book those in control of the vehicle in question.
The ruling APC hierarchy said the SLPP was responsible for having used ex-Kamajors to put up violence as they were seen in possession of various missiles and singing war songs going up and down Zimmi Township, an accusation that was vehemently dismissed by the SLPP who in turn pointed accusing fingers at the Mines Minister, Alhaji Alpha Kanu for having taken armed thugs to disrupt the polls which was reported peaceful not until the thugs staged an hour long siege of Zimmi before they headed for Kenema Soro where similar disturbances were put up.
The Minister Alpha Kanu in turn debunked the accusation Particularly, AIG David Sesay later intervened by pleading with the irate youths to dismantle the road block put in place to help track down the thugs who were let loose moving freely without any hindrance from any of the members of the Mac-P. It must be stated that the Saturday polls which was described as a three horse race was contested by System Massaquoi representing the ruling APC with the PMDC represented by Alie Bao while the SLPP was represented by Solomon Feikai who secured huge chunk of the votes cast. By Easmon Moiguah