|Mayealie Bangura, Vice Chairlady of the Abacha Street Traders Association and a resident of No 30 Old Wharf Road, Wellington in the Eastern part of Freetown, on Saturday 1st June 2019, escaped from the hands of the Sierra Leone Police and lawless youths of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party at her Abacha Street business place.|
Mayealie and others were raided by the police on allegation of staging a protest at the main opposition, All Peoples Congress (APC) Party Headquarters at Old Railway Line, Brookfields in Freetown, on Friday 31st May, 2019, condemning a High Court ruling, which disqualified 10 Members of Parliament of the main opposition party, the APC.
Mayealie Bangura, a well-known businesswoman at the famous Freetown Abacha Street Business Area, has, on many occasions, openly defended the APC party at her Business place.
She was accused of sponsoring jobless youths at the Abacha Street to block the street, put fire on tyres and pelt stones at police vehicles. She was also accused of providing financial support to the APC party prior to the March 7th 2018 General Elections.
Sources stated that she was arrested and beaten during the riot, and bundled into a police van, and was only able to escape from the vehicle when youths attacked the vehicle, and in the confusion, she managed to jumped out and make good her escape.
The riot has been the tensest political battle yet between opposition members, the police and SLPP Youths in the capital, Freetown, leading to the death of a young lady and injuries to many opposition members and supporters who were beaten, when the police forcefully entered the opposition party’s offices, amidst a barrage of tear gas and live bullets fired.
Eye witnesses stated that she came to her business place at No. 111 Abacha Street, to collect some cash she had left hidden there, but on her arrival, a truckload of armed policemen stormed the area, she was then identified by one Mr. Nyakeh, who is a strong supporter of the ruling SLPP, who then told the police that Madam Bangura and others are also planning to do naked demonstration from Abacha Street to State House against Police brutality and violations of their Human Rights to Protest.
Upon realisation that her position has been compromised, she quickly entered one of the shops along the street and exited through the back door and through a crowd in the next street, effectively disappearing from her assailants.
The Abacha Street trading area is the most popular business area in the capital, and traders there are known for their unflinching support for the main opposition APC party.
Family sources explained to this medium that they have never set eyes on Mayealie Bangura since the incident at Abacha Street, while many believe that she has run for her life, especially now that the government is targeting opposition members.
This writer contacted Ibrahim Kamara, spokesman of the Sierra Leone police, who confirmed to us that, indeed Mayealie Bangura is wanted by the police to help them with investigations regarding the riot at APC headquarters.
Politicians of the ruling party say that the traders at Abacha Street have become a subject of harassment to the government since the SLPP ‘New Direction’ government took power. It is common knowledge that the government had often threatened to remove them from their business place, but are afraid of the back lash from residents in the city, especially from strong holds of the opposition party in the city, where the government was only able to get a negligible number of seats, as opposed to that of the main opposition party (APC).