Will NGC Entrust Its Party To Maada Kpulun?
Mainstream narrative seems to be mute over Sexual Violence cases in Sierra Leone, especially when the perpetrator is politically connected to the ruling party/government, whereas if the matter involves a political opponent of the government, he is hurriedly arrested and kept behind bars, as the case of the ADP Leader.
Investigation mounted by this press revealed that Maada Kpulun, the Southern Regional Chairman of the NGC, who is now yearning to contest for the Chairmanship of the party, was in 2018, arrested in the southern city of Bo on alleged sexual penetration of a 15 years old School girl.
This, according to our source, prevented him from contesting as a Parliamentary candidate for Constituency 085, as he was initially declared and awarded the NGC symbol.
He was however withdrawn and replaced by his son to contest, after series of interventions from party stakeholders and dialogue with the alleged victim’s family, However, the fact that the previous case is still pending and a new accusation is looming, then it is also not farfetched to assume that if he becomes the Chairman of NGC, this very case could be resuscitated and used as weapon by the government against the NGC party by holding their Chairman at ransom. The case of Kpulun and that of Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, leader of the Alliance Democratic Party, ADP, who is languishing in prison, is the same. Many believe that Kamarainba was suffering based on the fact that he is challenging the Bio New Direction government on national issues.
However, during our investigation, there were other allegations of Maada Kpulun’s involvement with other minors in one of the villages in the southern province. In the face of these allegations, many supporters of the party insinuate that the government might use these allegations against Maada Kpulun, if he eventually leads the NGC party.
Many supporters allege that Kpulun is being sponsored by the government to lead the NGC, so he may use the party to merge with the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) in the upcoming 2023 National Elections. And there are rumors that SLPP PAOPA will arrest him again if he is elected and refuses to play ball with them.
It is obvious that sexual violence against women and girls is widespread in the country, yet survivors struggle to access justice or health care and counseling.
Different data showed increase in sexual violence cases in 2018, with 3,137 cases of sexual violence, and 3,695 cases in 2019.
Meanwhile, a concern of supporters of the NGC is rife, as Joseph Maada Kpulun is among the names coming up to contest for the position of Chairman of the opposition, National Grand Coalition (NGC) party. Over the past four years, under the leadership of Dr. Denis Bright and Hon Alhaji Dr Kandeh Yumkellah, the party has proven to be a formidable opposition, holding the government to account on national issues.
NGC, which was formed months to the national elections in 2018, grabbed over 6 % of the national votes; 5 Parliamentary seats and a District Council Chairmanship, which was very much encouraging in the political landscape in Sierra Leone. In Parliament, the party was seen taking the role of the main opposition party to advocate and challenge the government on the mass suffering of citizens, especially on Corruption and human rights violations in the country.
It has been only able to do so due to the fact that those leading the party are credible enough, and have no criminal issues that will warrant the government to go after them, in a bid to silence them, even though they sometimes face serious forms of intimidation, but they stood for the people of this country.
As the Convention is scheduled for June 11 and 12 2022, all efforts to get the side of Maada Kpulun has proved futile.