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Political Tension Engulfs Sierra Leone

By Abdul Hassan Fackie,
Freetown, Sierra Leone.

As the country prepares to hold Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections on Wednesday, March 7 this year, the length and breadth of the country is now engulfed in political tension as political activities have now become a daily occurrence.

It is now common to see the various political parties engaged in daily sensitisation meetings, conventions, dances or rallies, all in a bid to make their presence felt and cajole voters to vote for them on elections day.

While the activities have been peaceful and orderly for the most parts, a few ugly incidents have however been reported to have taken place when the two largest parties, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the ruling All Peoples Congress (APC), held their Presidential and Parliamentary nominations on Thursday, February 25 and 26 during which Police has reported that at least one person was killed on both days, while a lot of stabbings, pick pocketing and snatching of bags also took place. A Police informed 40 Acres Canada this evening that they have arrested about seventy five men and women for various breaches of the law.

As I report now, a National Electoral Commission (NEC) has confirmed to me that they have completed the nomination process in which about seventeen political parties participated.

He described the exercise as very hectic but considerably orderly and peaceful.

Meanwhile, news coming from the regions also speak of a few skirmishes mostly between members and supporters of the APC and SLPP which have resulted in soundings in Pujehun and the burning of about three houses in Port Loko.

The people are now waiting for the NEC to declare the commencement of campaign on Monday, February 5 so that they parties will present their manifestoes to the electorate and canvass their votes.

While there are a lot of apprehensions that these elections will be very keenly fought and may experience a lot if violent events, the Police say they are on top of the situation and that they will ensure that they elections will go on peacefully, freely and fairly. They continue to appeal to all Sierra Leoneans to be law abiding and conduct themselves peacefully as their will be consequences for law breakers. 

There is now a pervading sense of expectations as we race towards the elections on March 7th, 2018.