EXTRA EXTRA……Sierra Leone Election Update Part 2
If you don’t know by now let me be the first to say that THERE WILL BE A RUN OFF….No political party will be able to get 55% of the votes in this first round. Also there are many of my friends in the diaspora who believed the APC PROPAGANDA MACHINE and have been circulated a preliminary result form printed in AWOKO Newspaper….those results are not valid and do not represent the current picture. If you look at the current NEC results you will see that it is only reporting results in the West and North (areas that have historically always been APC Strongholds)…..and that they’ve only covered a mere 7.4% of the total stations
On Saturday, I left Freetown very early to make the 2 hour journey to Makeni….Sierra Leoneans eager to vote started making their way to voting centers as early as 4 am on Saturday. By 6am tons and tons of people were in line. It was truly a spectacular time to be in our beloved country……
First stop on my observation was PortLoko….got there right as the polling center was opening and everything was orderly…..old, young, and not so old sierra leoneans waited sometimes patiently and other times a little rowdy but it was all in good spirit. All polling stations that I observed in Port Loko, Bombali, and Tonkolili were predomininantly Temne speaking areas….and even without them saying, it was obvious that they were voting APC…..the most prevalent issue in the polling stations was that people didnt know how to vote….Some polling center officers and managers spent time explaining the processes in temne and sometimes in krio but even with the explanations people were confused about the process…some people didnt mark anything on their ballot paper while others selected multiple candidates or all the candidates. Some people signed their name instead of indicating their choice with a check mark or thumb print.
In the polling stations and centers that i observed nothing peculiar happened that disrupted the process though rumors of pre-voted ballot boxes were rife everywhere……i dont know of any proven box stuffing incidents. But DAddy SAJ did try to break down a gate at consitutency where Junior Navo is symbol holder for the SLPP….i hear he was beaten…
We must commend radio stations, theater groups, musicians and the like who contributed to the Non-Violence sensitization campaign. Even those people who oen would expect to be violent and what not were calling for a violence free elections. It was truly spectacular.
Anyway I came back to Freetown on saturday night……..
As of Sunday provisional results were being read from radio stations….The APC PROPAGANDA MACHINE….via 88.8 claimed victory almost initially….Late into Sunday SLPP supporters were broken hearted because even they believed they had lost….Freetown was like a Ghost town on sunday everyone was at home clinging on to their radios….some people stayed up all night writing down results….As we went to bed on Sunday morning and results were read from the Western and Northern results….all signs pointed to a clear APC lead
By yesterday afternoon however, word began circulating that provisional results coming out of radio stations were somehow flawed. I heard unconfirmed information that some fake ballots without the NEC stamps were found that had given the APC the lead….so that a recount has to be done and what not….tons and tons of rumors circulating and i’m waiting to hear from NEC before i jump to any conclusions
I’d like to caution everyone to be patient and wait for at least a quarter of the polling stations to be counted before they start planning their victory dance….the elections could go either green or blue though we know it certainly wont be orange
The biggest lesson from these elections are that Sierra Leoneans are never again going to let themselves be ruled by a regime that doesn’t deliver. The funny thing is that most people who voted against the APC recognize that much may not change with the APC and that all politicians are pretty much the same but they voted for change to send a message to all parties that we are a changed people. We believe in accountability and anyone who does not meet our expectations will be voted out. Even if the SLPP wins, the message has been sent….loud and clear….WAY MAN DEM NO GLADI WI DAY VOTE FOR CHANGE….