While it members were busy with their normal party activities on their premises, the OSD officers, without any provocation, spontaneously started to discharge tear gas canisters directly on its members.
Three of the canisters landed on the first floor of its building, and majority of its members were suffocated including a Party elder who was left unconscious for hours.
The release went on that such an unwarranted and unprovoked use of disproportionate force against its party members and causing damage on its Party headquarters follows a systemic pattern of many attacks Party members at the national headquarters have been accustomed to over the years.
“We view this unprovoked attack by the Police as intolerable and that we strongly believe certain officers in the Sierra Leone Police have the propensity to unleash violence on our membership at the least opportunity” the SLPP statement added.
It went on that after the attack by the OSD officers, at around 5pm, people believed to be members/supporters of the ruling APC gathered at Howe Street and launched another attack on its national Party headquarters. The party said: “Stones were pelted at our Party premises; three of our party members were seriously injured and are currently hospitalized at the Sarola Hospital. Similarly, this later attack was unprovoked and deliberately carried out by these people believed to be members/supporters of APC to stir violent confrontation with members of the SLPP.”
The release added: “Therefore, we view the Monday 6th November 2017 release by the APC National Publicity Secretary, circulated on social media and containing several ill-informed and preposterous claims relating to the incidents at our Party headquarters as a shameful attempt to condone violence perpetrated by members/supporters of APC. While we will continue to admonish our supporters to be law abiding and resist every temptation into violent confrontation, our supporters will always act in self-defense to safeguard their personal safety.
The SLPP has made a formal complaint of the two incidents and presented the empty tear gas canisters to the Inspector General of Police who has ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.
The party further claimed to have in its possession video evidence of the two attacks and shall duly hand them over to the police to aid them in their investigation. These two attacks they went on are unacceptable and they will no longer be countenance by the Party and general membership.
In conclusion, the SLPP has called for the SLP to facilitates the speedy investigation of the matter and immediate disciplinary action be taken against the officer or officers who discharged the said canisters on our Party headquarters.
It has also called for the SLP to provide adequate security for its Party headquarters and protects its membership from violent attacks and admonished the Leadership of the All People’s Congress members and supporters to desist from violent attacks against SLPP members and supporters and perpetrating criminal damage on portraits/banners/posters of the SLPP Presidential Candidate, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.
The party called on its general membership to remains calm, law abiding and maintain the peace at all times while the Leadership of the SLP ensures speedy investigation into the attacks.