DECISION DAY 2012 : COCORIOKO Running Commentary: Read Updates Coming In

 

4: 43 pm  CONGRATULATIONS to all Sierra Leoneans for what we achieved today. The 2012 elections have proved that we have come of age. We are now as civilized , if not more civilized  than many nations that once criticized us. We have proved that we are able to conduct relatively free, fair and credible multi-party elections. That this much-awaited and much-feared day passed without any incident of note shows that we are a great country and a great nation. Congratulations to all of us.  Congratulations too to Christiana Thorpe. She has demonstrated her ability to conduct credible elections once again.

2: 10 pm ( America)

Sierra Leone’s  watershed elections conducted today have been highly praised by international observers for the spirit of peace, tranquility and fairness that prevailed, despite some cases of irregularities which are not expected to affect the final result. The most impressive fact today is that the whole elections passed without any incidence of violence or large-scale acts of intimidation or chaos or cheating. All elections, even in the U.S. are noted for not being 100% free from the complaints we have today.

Sierra Leoneans in forums and social media are patting each other on the backs for pulling off a herculean task.

The counting is going on now. We will bring you the results as we receive them.

_______________________________________________

5 : pm (GMT) Pollings close .Counting to start soon.

4: 58 pm . Dr. Bankole  Gibson reports questionable activities at Wilkinson Road Polling station.  Some 300 people came to vote but they were told that there were no longer voting papers. Additionally, 2  vehicles are reported to have taken off with ballot boxes from Wilkinson Road . One of them is a NEC  vehicle with number plates ABM 560 and the other is a burgundy vehicle with licence plates AFZ 902.

4: 46 pm  As polls  coming to a close, there is fracas at the FSSG Polling station. According to STAR RADIO  coorespondent , Abdul Rahman Kamara, SLPP  officials have a voters list that they said was given to them by NEC  which they are using to make people vote. APC  officials have challenged this list,  asking why the same list was not given to them by NEC.  There is something fishy , the APC  supporters are protesting. There is a standoff. We hope all these allegations will be fully investigated .This is the third report of a provisional list in the hands of SLPP  agents at polling stations . Foday Mansaray was first to discover it at Lumley and Dr. Bankole Gibson discovered the same going on at Grassfields.  We do not want to accuse anyone now or raise unnecessary alarm as yet and so we hope   NEC officials have been up to their best in ensuring that there were no irregularities that will impact on the results.

EUROPEAN UNION observer Richard Hewis praises the polls so far. They say that it has been smooth and peaceful. They acknowledged delays but say that these appear to be strategic. He  praised the people who conducted the elections.

 

PRESIDENT ERNEST BAI KOROMA says after voting that he is very pleased with the process so far and the institutions who handled the  the elections have conducted themselves professionally.  He said the process has been smooth and peaceful, though there are  few incidents here and there, which are  not major. He said that he is confident of winning the elections at the first ballot .The election, he said , is a referendum on his performance in office and because he did very well, he is confident of winning. The President said that it is the duty of  politicians to accept the results when they are announced.

4: 08 pm ( GMT )

Fayia Amara Fayia reports to STAR RADIO that all is calm and peaceful in Kenema where the voting went on smoothly and peacefully.

 

3 : 53 PM

Inspector of Police Francis Munu acknowledges to STAR RADIO that there are what he is considering  for now as” allegations” so far .He said that the Police will investigate these allegations when all the voting is complete and the Police will take appropriate action if these allegations are true. He is however saying that from all reports being received all over the country, the voting exercise is going on peacefully and smoothly.

3: 43 PM :

Dauda Musa Bangura 10:41am Nov 17
SLPP party Agent by the name of John Hindowa was arrested this morning with eleven Voters I D Card in Bauya junction in Moyamba district. He is presently at the Moyamba town police station.

3: 20 pm : At Grassfields , Kissy, Cocorioko officials Dr. Bankole Gibson and  Foday Mansaray have just reported an irregularity to Police and the NEC official has been arrested who is now being driven to the Police station. He was found allowing somebody  to vote without  voters registration cards and when those with legitimate cards arrive they are not allowed, if their surnames are Sesay, Kargbo, Mansaray, Koroma ,Kanu etc.  The illegal voters are not made to sign via signatures  because  their handwritings will not match their original signatures. Therefore, they are made to sign via fingerprints.

 

3 : PM : As the day progresses , complaints are coming in about  transportation glitches , delays in some polling stations and surreptitious activities by members of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ).  We underplayed the ridiculous arrest of our reporter, Mohamed Lamin this morning by a police officer on the recommendation of a NEC official because we did not want to be seen protesting very early. The NEC official was definitely partisan SLPP  but aren’t the Police supposed to be independent ?

Foday Mansaray is at the Police station at Lumley right now to seek Police to come and arrest some SLPP  officials who have taken control of a constituency .Specifically, a guy named Foday Mansaray went in and voted , though it was not his name. When the real Foday Mansaray came, he was not allowed to vote, though he had his voter registration card.

AND NOW FROM THE SAME LUMLEY AREA , HERE IS A COMPLAINT FROM THE PUBLISHER OF AWARENESS TIMES, DR. SYLVIA BLYDEN :

Tell me if I am not supposed to get VEXED right now? I am just from Lumley Police Station where I have interviewed Local Unit Commander for Lumley Police Division, A.G. Kabba-Kamara (aka GALLANT POLICE) and taken some photos of the amazing scene of an SLPP official vehicle accredited by Dr. Christiana Thorpe and IGP Munu to freely move around today. The SLPP vehicle with an official signed and stamped NEC authorisation and license plate number AHM 617 was stopped and searched by LUC Kabba-Kamara on suspicion that the number plate (AHM 617) appeared to be a fake. The occupants, whom I know personally to be two members of the SLPP’s Security & Intelligence Wing, by the name of REUBEN TEKUYAMA of Brookfields and GEORGE PRATT of Krootown Road, tried to flash their NEC accreditation as reason why their vehicle must not be searched by LUC Kabba-Kamara. The gallant police commander and his team INSISTED that they would search the NEC-accredited vehicle and upon conducting a search, the following have been recovered:

HALF A DOZEN BRAND NEW MACHETES (cutlasses)
WALKIE TALKIES
HANDCUFFS
AMMUNITION BAG (which was empty of ammunition)
OTHER SECURITY ITEMS INCLUDING PEPPER SPRAY, SECURITY TORCHLIGHT, and other high security paraphernalia.
The vehicle and the two SLPP operatives have been whisked from Lumley alongside their vehicle to CID headquarters along Pademba Road.
Now, tell me my people, as ordinary citizens are languishing all over the streets of Freetown waiting for NON-EXISTENT buses to take them to vote whilst many, many others have simply not bothered to go and vote since they are too afraid to use their cars, we have Christiana Thorpe and IG Munu signing out papers for SLPP vehicles to ply the routes with weapons and ammunition bags. Right now, as I type, the so-called buses are busy breaking down along the routes and many, many areas have not seen a single bus come by from morning…!
FREETOWN IS GOING TO SUFFER FROM SERIOUS VOTER APATHY TODAY AND THE QUESTION MUST BE ASKED: WHY? WHY?? WHY??? Because if it was for security reasons, it does not fly!!! You have already accredited SLPP vehicles to transport offensive items like pepper spray and cutlasses across the city!!!! Had it not been for the gallantry of LUC Kabba-Kamara, we would NEVER have even intercepted the cutlass-loaded vehicle of the SLPP. So, what the heck are you punishing our people for and depriving them of their constitutional right to freedom of movement and right to vote???
—————-

 

Dr. Bankole  Gibson reported that at one polling station, he saw some SLPP  supporters holding a duplicate voters registration record list and coaching some voters where to cast their ballots.

Issa Martyn Kanu

Koinadugu or Kabala to be precise has some logistics problems for voting materials to be delivered!

 

 

12: 45 pm (GMT )

Sedia Hassan Kamara

The Koinadugu District people are still waiting for ballot boxes and papers to vote. Constituency 43 and other surrounding villages are still waiting and it IS  past  mid-day.NEC una try people dem wan vote

12: 33 (GMT)

Alimamy Osman Bangura
I have voted. what a queue ! ! !  What a great turnout and what a peaceful elections. Sierra Leoneans can do anything if they so wish. We will again show the world that we are intellegent people with a more stronger bond than ever. God bless this country and people. we did it b4, and we are doing it again. Thank u all for patiently queueing to exercise your citizenship right. victory to us all.

12 : 15 pm :
There are villages in the Koinadugu districts that ballot boxes and papers have not reached; people are still standing in queues waiting to vote.
SEDIA KAMARA
HEAVY VOTING IS GOING ON IN WESTERN FREETOWN. ONLY MINOR PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED SO FAR. 
By John Ernest Leigh

I have just voted 4 for 4, the bright Red Sun all the way. I voted in Constituency 108. The Constituency’s polling center I was in has 9 polling stations. The center was jammed packed with voters of all ages but youngsters predominated. I arrived at 5:45 AM in darkness and I met an already humongous crowd; quiet and peaceful. Some combras brought their infants.

My own specific station opened at 7AM on the dot but problems soon began to crop up as follows:

1. The voting register listed voters in Alphabetical order as follows: A To E; F to I; KAN To… etc. Unfortunately, none of the polling stations had the corresponding Alphabetical identification. So most people stood in on the wrong lines. This problem was corrected by 7:20AM.

2. The punch pin contraptions to bore holes on Voter ID Cards could not punch holes, either because they were faulty or the NEC clerk knew not how to use them. This problem was corrected by 7:35AM in my poliing station.

3. Many combras were at the center or at the rear of voters’ lines. Many did not know that they were allowed up front ahead of youngsters. This took only a few minutes to clear up.

4. A ball point pen I wanted to use to give effect to my four for four choice, did not function in one of the booths. I drew this to the attention of NEC officials. They quickly provided replacements.

By virture of seniority in age, we Old Pas and Old Mas were allowed up front also in our respective polling station. Voting was orderly and those in charge are well trained, knowledgeable and put forth a professional contenance. I voted and quickly exited the Polling Center compound.

My vehicle is one of the very few on the roads today during polling hours. NEC banned vehicular transportation today all over the country to avoid voter fraud/bose-bose. So it was fun driving around Freetown unopposed as I was granted an exemption upon my application for one. So as I exited the voting compound and as I entered the main motor road, treking wouldbe voters soon began flagging me down for lifts to their own polling stations.

I picked up a gentleman at Congo Cross, enroute to vote at the Bintumani Hotel. With him was a Female Police officer. She was off to Lumbley Police Station. At Aberdeen junction, I picked up a gentleman who was enroute to vote at Lumbly Village. At this point my vehicle was full.

My first stop was to discharge at the Bintumani, the gentleman I had picked up at Congo Cross. He had instantly recognized me from my broadcasting voice from my MONOLOGUE encounter with Dr. Columba Blango. He was obviously my fan.
At Bintumani Hotel, the lines were long but quiet and peacefull. Immediately I dropped my first passenger there, a gentleman begged a lift to go vote in Charlote Village near Regent where he works at construction. Most people registered where they work, not where they live. From the Bintumani Hotel, I took the Lumbly Beach Road to drop off the officer and to continue on to Lumbly Village and Charlote.
Upon dropping off my third passenger at the crowded Polling Center in Lumbly, another voter boarded for Bottom Mangro, Wilberforce.

Upon my reaching Hill Station heading for Charlotte, I saw for the first time the Road Transport Bus provided for the occasion for use by voters too far from their registered polling centers. 11 free buses were assigned to the Western Area voters in lieu allowing private vehilces on the roads.

I want to believe that such is inadequate and may reduce voter turn out.

I was stopped twice at police/military check points. I was recognized by some officers who announced my name loudly and saluted me, probably upon my overall reputation but so, perhaps, upon my voter public education role over radio during the campaign. My role in voter education was so effective, SLPP during their finall rally in Freetown, composed a cuss-cuss song denigrating my radio effort as “John Leigh’s boku talk noto chop for eat!”

But then again, I as drove around Freetown this morning, I saw hundreds of prosperous-looking dogs ilding in mostly unused highways. Increases in disposable income have indeed trickled down to our pets that were heavily neglected in malnutrition and zero vet services during the days of the ousted SLPP regime.

Tiday is indeed betteh pass yesterday for all to see in plain sight.

After dropping off my final passenger near Charlotte, I returned to my lodgings to prepare and file this report.

Meantime, busloads of SLPP provincial supporters bussed into Freetown in inflate the size of their final rally number on Tuesday were stranded at the Shell Company Bus Terminal unable to find return transportation to Bo and Kenema, etc. Efforts are being made, however, to help them get home in time to vote

SIDI YAYA TUNIS REPORTING FROM BO

Ward 235, Constituency 70 – thousands of Sierra Leonean voters have gathered
here to vote for candidates of their choice to govern them both at central and
local governments for the next five years. So far, two main political parties,
the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) headed by the current President Dr.
Ernest Bai Koroma and the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) are
the reason why most of these voters have turned up here today.

Sierra Leoneans are faced with a task of choosing between President Koroma’s
“Agenda for Prosperity” and Julius Maada Bio’s “New Direction, a task many view
as easy considering the successes and achievements of the current President the
last five years.

 

Voting  going on peacefully in Bo 

 

Most of the voters I spoke to here after casting their votes told me that they
voted for the “World Best”, referring to the President. Constituency 70 is among
those in the Bo District earmarked for an APC victory in both Parliamentary and
Presidential, with constituencies 68 and 69 been the others and Sorie Fofanah
who just left the polling center told me that it is possible if the votes are
secured by the party agents sent to represent the party.

THOUSANDS VOTING IN BO 

The scene here is chaotic with the National Electoral Commission (NEC) officials
not seeing to be entirely in control of the process there by increasing tension
and frustration among voters here because of the slow nature of the voting
process. It took me a bit over two hours to cast my vote from the time I arrived
at the polling station and this was only so because my last name fell under a
category of names that did not have many voters at the polling station. Some
people I spoke to from the lines told me they have been out since five in the
morning to cast their votes.

The process has however, been very peaceful and transparent amidst the chaos and
security presence have been very minimal with only two unarmed police and one
armed policeman. The Internal Affairs assured the people Sierra Leone of their
safety and security during the electioneering process and it has been peaceful
and quiet since the process started this morning.

Voting is expected to end at five in the evening and results especially for
parliamentary and local council elections will start filtering in two to three
hours later.

Sidie Yahya Tunis — reporting from Bo

#Contributor at Facebook : Portloko: constituency 076/191 only 4 voting boxes are present to vote at this moment instead of the required 7 boxes. local time is 09:47am. the remaining 3 boxes are on their way. However, no violence has been reported at this moment that’s the good side.

#In Freetown, Foday Mansaray reports that  he has voted and he accomplished it consumately without problems,

#COCORIOKO  REPORTER MOHAMED LAMIN ARRESTED AND LATER RELEASED

A Cocorioko reporter, Mr. Mohamed Lamin , was arrested this morning by a police officer on the orders of a NEC  official .According to  Lamin,  he took photos of some people who were having problems with their identities being matched . He said the NEC  official ordered a police officer to arrest him because he eavesdropped on a classified discussion he was having with other officials.

 

#Media Alert! Media Alert! Media Alert!

 

This is to bring to the attention of all concerned that there has been an unusual and unnecessary delay in conveying ballot boxes at polling stations around Port Loko Central. I call this an unusual delay because given the amount of money that has been spent on the National Electoral Commission (NEC); I don’t see why they would have problems conveying ballot boxes in the respective polling stations. Port Loko, as we know, is an APC stronghold and to imagine that such a thing is happening at a time when the people are energized and enthusiastic to vote for the party of their choice is totally suspicious and unacceptable.

 

International and local observers are at a loss as to why this is happening. As I write this piece, I am sitting here at Ward 169 where I am supposed to vote but the ballot boxes have just arrived and the assigned NEC officers are sluggishly trying to put things together while the people are complaining and eager to get this done. I spoke with the NEC officer in charge of Ward 169 and asked him why the delay but all he could tell me is that the District office is responsible for the delay without much clarity as to how the office is responsible. People have cued in these polling stations even before the stipulated time of 7AM when voting was supposed to have started. The national Campaign Chairman and the National Campaign Coordinator should be getting on the phones at this moment to find out why this is happening. I hope NEC will compensate for the three hours delay. We are watching the situation very closely!

 

Brima M. Turay – Asst. PRO; APC North America

 

#They should be watched…..watched and properly watched….it is however different in kamasasa village in the Tonko Limba chiefdom …only that it is slow …JOHN BAIMBA SESAY

 

  • 7 : 56 am ( GMT )
Dauda Musa Bangura reports that voting is peaceful in Moyamba. See photo below .
  • PICTURES OF VOTING GOING ON AT A POLLING STATION IN MOYAMBA : PHOTOS BY DAUDA MUSA BANGURA
  • 7: 18 am ( GMT) Voting starts and it is very peaceful so far

Co-CEO of Cocorioko , Mr. Foday Mansaray , reports from Lumley that there are thousands of people on line waiting to vote. He also said that it is as peaceful as ever. The line is a quarter mile long and people are waiting .Voting has started and it is going on peacefully. Mansaray said it was so peaceful you could hear a pin drop. A detachment of Police and army are on guard. Though there is a travel restriction to stem chaos, the government has provided free transportation for voters. There are many buses around and you could hop on any one of them going to your destination.

Foday Mansaray said that he asked some voters whom they will be voting for and many say they are voting for development.

Reports say that the voting is peaceful in Makeni where thousands have also come out to exercise their franchise.

VOTING IN FREETOWN : PICTURE BY SAHID SESAY

Abdul Rahim Kamara reports that voting has started in Rokupr and it is peaceful so far. See photo below.

  • DECISION DAY 2012 : Sierra Leoneans start lining up at polling stations as the Day of Decision arrives at last

4: 25 am ( GMT ) : With about three hours still to go for the polling stations to open , Sierra Leoneans have started lining up to vote in what has been described as watershed elections . Assistant CEO of Cocorioko , Dr. Bankole Gibson,  arrived at the Sierra Leone Grammar School polling station at 4 : 25 am (GMT ) and reported about the big crowd that had started queuing already. From the noise that could be heard in the background, prospective voters seemed excited that the big day had finally come for them to vote in the presidential, legislative and local council elections.

What was most impressive was that the crowd was lining up peacefully and there was no hint of rowdiness.

 

COCORIOKO spoke with some of the prospective voters.

Madam Augusta Conteh said she was very delighted to be out this morning to vote for the president and leaders she wants. She said she came early because she wanted to get done with it and return to her chores. She is looking forward to a peaceful day as she did not see any need for chaos or violence. The persons that the people want will win, she affirmed.

A youth , Ibrahim Kargbo , said he was also glad to be there at the polling station to vote. He predicted that the elections will be peaceful . We Sierra Leoneans are now ‘aware’.  We can no longer be goaded into chaos. We are tired of conflict and war. All we want to do is vote for the president , legislators and councillors we desire .

The Hon. Charles Kalawa , who could have contested in the constituency but did not get a symbol, was also at the polling station . He was helping prospective voters to line up properly . He and Dr. Gibson said that the line was lengthening and moving towards the cemetery .

WE WILL CONTINUE OUR RUNNING COMMENTARY WHOLE DAY.

4: 53 pm (GMT )

Eugene Starr posted in The New Daily Nation Newspaper on FACEBOOK :

Eugene Starr 12:53am Nov 17

CHILDREN OF THE LION MOUNTAINS, My fellow Sierra Leoneans as you go to the polls today in these historic elections. I implore you to look deep within yourselves, find the very depths of your Patriotism. Show your love for our beloved motherland by not voting along tribal, regional, familial or party lines. Vote for who you think within your heart of hearts is going to bring progress, peace and opportunity to our beloved country. Vote for who you genuinely feel is best suited to steward our countries’ future as we try to emerge as a global powerhouse in this 21st century. Vote for who you genuinely think has the suffering of our people at heart. TO THE YOUTH: Vote for who you genuinely think has your futures at heart. Vote for who is going to provide for your higher educational and employment needs. Vote for the person you truly believe will ensure a bright and prosperous future for you and generations to come. ABOVE ALL ELSE MY PEOPLE VOTE PEACEFULLY DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO THROW OUR BELOVED MOTHERLAND BACK INTO THE DARK YESTERDAYS WE ALL LIVED THROUGH.** LETS HAVE A PEACEFUL, FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. **MAY GOD GUIDE YOUR MINDS TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE THAT WILL MAKE SIERRA LEONE THE COUNTRY WE ALL WANT IT TO BE.*LOVE YOU ALL AND I WILL ALWAYS BE MY BROTHER’S/SISTER’S KEEPER.**

Related Posts