And after a week of intense public pressure and outcry, president Bio simply suspended the minister, rather than have him arrested and charged with incitement of public hatred and violence.
For many in the country, this decision by the president not only sends the wrong message about his so called “tough on violence” mantra, but reinforces the perception that as a former soldier once accused of the unlawful killing of 29 people accused of treason in 1992 after leading a military coup that toppled the APC government, president Bio has still not shed his violent past.
Today, several opposition politicians who were rounded up and arrested by president Bio’s government forces over a year ago, are still languishing in jail, accused of violent conduct or incitement of violence during a clash between the police and opposition supporters, when heavily armed police stormed the opposition APC party office.
Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden – a senior opposition APC politician who is also a former minister in the previous APC government, will appear in court today in Freetown, charged with ten counts of seditious libel and incitement of subversion, after simply criticising president Bio’s government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as well as questioning his government’s human rights record and governance approach.
Dr Sylvia Blyden did not threaten to kill anyone – but president Bio’s minister Abu Abu Koroma who yesterday was rewarded for threatening to killing his fellow citizens – did.