7 Days To Elections


Whatever has a beginning also has an ending. After President Koroma announced one year ago that the country will go to elections on the 7th March, 2018, only one week now remains for 3.1 million registered Sierra Leonean voters to decide who will be their next president, parliamentarians, mayors, chairpersons and councilors.

So far, so good; but for one or two skirmishes here and there between supporters of the All People’s Congress (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), APC and Grand National Coalition (NGC), APC and Coalition for Change (C4C), everything has been going on smoothly since the National Elections Commission declared campaign open for the sixteen political parties.

In such a charged political atmosphere, claims and counter-claims have been levied against each other by these main political antagonists that in some cases filled the nation with concern about peace and safety. However, others state that these occurrences are all part of the electioneering process, as the stake is very high; added to it the fact that unlike the previous election in 2012 which was a straight fight between APC and SLPP, this time round they have been joined by strong challengers that include NGC, C4C, ADP and CDP with all of them battling hard to eat into chunks of APC and SLPP votes.

March 7th 2018 will be a very historic day, as, one, it will provide another opportunity to show to the rest of the world that Sierra Leone has come a long way in its evolution to becoming an established democracy that has come of age. Towards this, it is very important that we eschew intolerance, intimidation and violence that will throw the credibility of the outcome of the elections into doubt. In this regard, we should learn from the conduct of our sister country, Liberia, which held very peaceful elections that ended with a transfer of power from one party to the other with everybody accepting the result.

Even with our political differences, which make us belong to different political parties, it is important that we conduct ourselves peacefully and engage with each other tolerantly. This is because, whatever we do, only one man will merger at the end of the day as the president. That notwithstanding, as President Koroma told the nation after been elected president in 2007, he said at his inauguration at the national stadium that he was no longer just a leader of his party the APC but was now leader of the entire nation representing both at home and abroad the Green, White and Blue flag.

That makes it obligatory for all of us after the elections are over, if we truly love Mama Salone, to put aside out political differences and rally round the new president to help him push forward the country’s development. For those who would allow themselves to be used by ill-motivated politicians to wreak havoc on their fellow citizens, they should let their conscience be the judge of their actions. They should ask themselves if casing violence help Mama Salone in any way.

To the security forces, especially the police who are responsible for ensuring that the elections occur in a trouble-free atmosphere, we call on them to implement the law without any fear, favor or malice towards anyone. This is because 99.999% of the population would not want to see the nation ending up divided and at war among itself as happened between 1992 and 2002.