By Titus Boye-Thompson
As time passes, the unraveling of the elections fiasco is pointing to a wholly British conspiracy with foreign nationals in the diplomatic and other bodies taking upon themselves to direct the intentions of the people rather than allow the people to register their own choices. What seems to have started out with the emotive rants of Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, a very smooth talker who was bought hook, line and sinker by a waiting international cohort of individuals managing respectable institutions with their bated calls for change has now turned out to be a hush and the will of the people diverted and wasted through corruption of the highest degree. The main protagonists in this melee has been British, with an air of engagement akin to a deliberate attitude of entitlement and an arrogance that they could distort the will of the people in this fledgling democracy.
In a meeting with the NEC Commissioner N’fa Alie Conteh, it was reported that the British High Commissioner, Guy Warrington engaged in a heated exchange with the NEC Commissioner to the extent that he told him in no uncertain terms that he should “stand up to government,” “get some bottle” and “act like a man.” In what many consider to have been an over stepping of his mandate and a betrayal of the trust that exists between the British Government and the Government of Sierra Leone, Guy Warrington in his position as UK High Commissioner should not have engaged himself so personally with the process of Sierra Leone’s institutions carrying out their functions nor is it acceptable that he should have attempted to exert such unbridled influence over the National Electoral Commissioner.
Guy Warrington seem to be helped in this unhealthy relationship with the NEC Commissioner via Kate Sullivan, another British national who is acting as Chief Technical Adviser to the National Electoral Commission and as such proffers tremendous influence over the computer systems and technology at NEC. These two are joined by the UNDP Country Representative who pays Kate Sullivan and therefore has taken upon himself a supervisory role of both the elections and the functions being performed by Ms Sullivan. All of this points to what is being queried in some quarters as a wholly British conspiracy to defraud the people of the proper outcome of the recently held elections. Many are now convinced that the first round was won hands down by the incumbent APC Party but the activities of these foreigners in their interference in our democratic processes have provided the atmosphere for doubt and suspicion.
Sources close to NEC have also pointed at one Albert Massaquoi, a known SLPP operative who holds the position of Outreach and Publicity Officer at NEC. The said Albert Massaquoi is reputed to be the mastermind behind the rigging orchestrated at the NEC with the connivance of these officials and others at NEC. In what is beginning to unravel as a wholesale theft of the peoples mandate, the activities of the Commissioner, N’fa Alie Conteh and his inability to rein in his staff and Consultants working with him tantamount to a dereliction of duty and a mark of gross incompetence.
The country has been put in near jeopardy because the NEC Commissioner was distracted from performing his duties in the face of mounting cries for change and an unholy uproar. These distractions are also not unconnected with the alliances to which the NEC Commissioner and his wife are engaged in to the extent that the Commissioner’s independence is seriously compromised and his integrity held up to serious ransom.
Altogether, the interference of the British High Commissioner and the UNDP Country Representative are unhelpful and should be strongly discouraged as we move into the run-offs. More particularly, it may be expedient for the test run of the BLOCKCHAIN technology be put on hold for now and a manual count be deployed in all polling stations and tally centers. NEC does have Regional and District infrastructures in place who must take the lead in announcing District results as they come in. By all accounts, N’fa Alie must take responsibility for these elections and give the people their legitimate mandate.