Salaam was seen as a major threat to the opposition Sierra Leones Peoples Party (SLPP) during the election as he was firm in ensuring that ballot stuffing or rigging was not done in his centre in Jalloh Terrace, Wellington in the Eastern part of Freetown.
During this process he made a lot of enemies especially from members of the SLPP, who threatened to deal with him if they win the election.
Immediately after the first round result was announced in March 2018 by the country’s National Electoral Commission, thugs purported to be members of the SLPP stormed the residence of Salam and demanded that they produce him as they need to teach him serious lesson.
According to eye witnesses at the scene, the thugs started beating members of his family for refusing to show his whereabouts to the extent that members of the community had to leave for fear of their own lives as the scene was chaotic and there was no police presence to rescue them. The irate thugs demanded that if Salam is not produced they will not cease to visit the residence and whenever or wherever they lay their eyes on him they will either kill or render him paralysed for life.
The situation became more serious when the opposition SLPP was declared winners in the April 4 2018 Run Off Election. Residents of Jalloh Terrace had to leave their homes because they were perceived to be supporters of APC and were posing serious threat to members of the SLPP when they were in governance. Many people saw the actions of the SLPP thugs as pay back and their actions have rendered many people hospitalized with some leaving the country for fear of being arrested or killed.
Aminata Bangura explained overhearing the thugs saying that their aim is to kill or render Salam paralysed so that he would stay off politics for life. She revealed that they were blaming Salam as the main reason why their member of parliament was unable to win in that constituency and that Salam did not allow all their members to vote in that ward.
She admitted that family members of Salam have also escaped for fear of their lives, as the house is presently empty.
According to sources within the family it was reported that Salam has left the shores of Sierra Leone, as he is seeking refuge elsewhere for the fear of the thugs
According to police source no arrest was made, as they are still investigating the incident. But according to members of the community the perpetrators are not in hiding as they still visit the residence of Salam to check whether he had returned. “The police are afraid to arrest them because they are members of the ruling government; police officers are afraid of them especially when the police acted unprofessionally during the general elections, supporting the then ruling APC against SLPP who are now in governance,” Kumba Sesay informed this medium.
The police are still searching for Abdulai Salam so that he can make his statement, at the same time the thugs are seriously searching for him.