Vice President of Sierra Leone, Samuel Sam-Sumana, has gone into hiding as he seeks political haven at the US embassy in Freetown, the country’s capital.
According to reports, Vice President Sam-Sumana and his wife fled their home after they got wind that soldiers were coming to besiege it.
Mr Sam-Sumana was expelled from the ruling party, two weeks ago for allegedly orchestrating political violence, trying to form a new party and falsifying academic credentials, claims he vehemently denied.
Reports said relations between Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bai-Koroma and his Vice, Mr Sam-Sumana had gone sour for some time.
While still in hiding, the Vice President is seeking political asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Freetown, but the U.S. Embassy has not reacted to the development.
According to him two weeks ago, he said he had chosen to be quarantined for 21 days to “lead by example” in the battle against Ebola, after one of his bodyguards died of the Ebola virus.
More than 3,500 have died as a result of Ebola virus cases in Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia has experienced the huge majority of deaths from the disease.
Sierra Leone has decided to start house-to-house searches for Ebola patients on Wednesday and impose internal travel restrictions as part of a new push to combat the epidemic, President Ernest Bai Koroma said.
The measures come after the authorities banned all public celebrations of Christmas and New Year in with the intention of tackling the virus.
President Koroma said that under the measures, worshippers on Christmas Day must return home after services, and other festivities are banned. New Year’s Eve services must stop by 17:00 local time, while New Year’s Day festivities are prohibited.
According to a government plan announced this week, health workers will seek Ebola victims and anyone with whom they have had contact, transporting those infected to new British-built treatment centres, Reuters reported.
In his statement, President Koroma said the searches were aimed at “breaking the chain of transmission”.
He added: “Do not hide the sick”.
Freetown has recorded more than 50% of all Ebola infections in Sierra Leone over the past two weeks.
Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia are at the heart of the world’s worst recorded outbreak of Ebola