The national assembly elections have come and gone. The ruling APRC won most of the seats contested. No surprises there…you don’t need to be a soothsayer to predict that outcome. The aftermath of the elections is turning into a nightmare for some communities. My native village of Saba has been marred in a communal rift. Both candidates for the Lower Badibou seat in the national assembly elections are natives of Saba. They are from the same compound to make matters worse. I blogged about the intricacies in this post
Reports coming out of Saba has it that the UDP candidate and some of his supporters have been arrested and detained at the Farrafenni police station after an altercation started by the niece of the winning candidate. Meanwhile, the winning APRC candidate is reported to be in Kanilai, hobnobbing with the president after seeing to it that his opponents are detained for standing up to the bullying and threats coming from his niece. This is tearing up that community and somebody need to tell Suku to stop the nonsense and let innocent villagers whose only crime is opposing him go free.
The point newspaper has a rundown of opposition UDP supporters arrested around the country. Point in case this snippet about the Lower Badibou incident I was alluding to:
In a related development, Mr Kebba Binta Suwareh Singhateh, who contested in the recently concluded general elections under a UDP ticket for Lower Baddibu, was, at the time of filing this story, still said to be in detention at Farafenni Police Station. Mr Singhateh was reportedly arrested shortly after the results of the legislative elections were announced and taken to Farafenni Police Station in North Bank Region.
Foroyaa has a report on the incident, listing the names of the detainees. Needless to say I know most of these detainees.
MASS ARRESTS IN BADIBOU
By Yaya Dampha
The defeated UDP candidate in Lower Baddibou, Mr. Kebba F. Singhateh and (15) fifteen of his supporters were arrested on Saturday by officials of the Police Intervention Unit,(PIU).
According to Mr. Lamin Buna Singhateh [ a brother to the defeated candidate ], one Miss Jamba Barrow (a cousin to Hon. Suku Singhateh) had a brawl with Mr. Faburama Singhateh at the market and it ended in a physical fight. He said that later in the day, one Lamin Singhateh came and found the UDP candidate’s son brewing China Green tea (Attaya) and assaulted him; that an MP (name witheld) later called the police who came and arrested Kebba F. Singhateh, Lamin Singhateh, Ebrima Dambelly, Omar Ceesay, Faburama Singhateh, Alhagie Ngum, Jololi Barrow, Mafafu Saho, Lang Jumbo Singhateh, Faburama Gasama, Bubacarr Singhateh, Ousman Suso, Burama Jaliba, Buramanding Singhateh, Buranding Danso and Dembo Makalo. Nine of the arrestees are detained at Farafenni Police Station while the other six are detained at Kerewan Police Station.
The family members have raised concern over the arrest and detention of their loved ones and called on the authorities to release them.
However, sources close to Farafenni Police confirmed the arrest of the nine people.
When contacted, Police Relations Officer (PRO) Aziz Bojang said when complaints were made to the police they had to arrest those suspected and that it is only the court that can prove guilt. He said if somebody lodges a complaint with the police, they (the police) have to proceed to effect the arrest of those alleged to have committed the offence, but that this does not mean that the police are siding with the party that complained.
Superintendent Bojang however did not say anything as to why the Lower Badibou UDP candidate and his supporters are still being detained for over six days which is beyond the required constitutional duration of 72 hours or three days.