The European Union Election Observer Mission (EOM) report is replete with political intrigues, lies, deceptions and sometimes cover-ups of a premeditated plan that was carefully orchestrated and carried out to achieve a ‘Regime Change’ agenda in, particularly, the March 7th and 31st presidential and runoff elections respectively in Sierra Leone.
Between the first round and runoff presidential elections, a diplomat who was lukewarm about foreign meddling in elections in Sierra Leone told me that he heard the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone under Dutch courage on Saint Patrick’s Day celebration [17th March], upon taken more than a few drinks he could handle, at least, managed to insinuate in Creole that, “tolongbo nor dae sidom ya,” with reference to the presidential run off election that was due on 31st March at that time. As he gyrated with a glass full of green colored drink, “we go pull dem commot ya paopa,” he added.
When translated into English, “tolongbo nor go sidom ya” means, APC will not win the elections and “we go pull dem commot ya paopa” means SLPP will win by any means necessary. The main slogans for the APC and the SLPP during the elections campaign were ‘tolongbo’ and ‘paopa’respectively.
We may never be able to know the reason behind the High Commissioner’s over exuberance for SLPP victory. But what we know, he championed the European Union intervention in elections 2018.
We know also that Saint Patrick’s Day is marked by the colour green and binge drinking traditions. The reason for the High Commissioner’s personal show of exuberance may be simply parochial – the SLPP and the Saint Patrick’s Day celebration share the same colour. At least, on that Saint Patrick’s Day, both the color green and binge drinking were notable. What is amiss though; what business did the British High Commissioner have in a public show of happiness over a pre-emptive winner of our election.
That behavior also corroborates the global perception of Sierra Leoneans though, especially amongst the opposition supporters, beyond the accusation from the APC that there was international conspiracy to oust them from power.
Nonetheless, the EOM reported hastily that “The National Election Commission (NEC) proved it genuine commitment to a transparent and inclusive election” against the popular outcry from all political parties, save for the SLPP, which was the beneficiary of the international conspiracy, that the presidential election was rigged by outside forces.
For a cover-up, the EOM further demonized the ruling APC then, understanding too well that the Constitution does not provide for an independent candidature for president, yet reported falsely that there was government ban on independent candidates from running for president, thereby enforcing a perception that government ordered the ban of independent candidates just for the purpose of the elections 2018.
Above all, the EOM admittedly reported that the political parties’ popular outcry against NEC for elections malpractices caused post-first round lack of confidence in NEC yet went ahead to certify that NEC was genuine. The EOM’s position against all of the views of the people of Sierra Leone if not a blatant attempt to justify the rigging they championed, in my opinion, it can only be yet another show of perceived European presumptuous superiority of understanding complex issues better than the African.
The report also stated that the campaign was free of hate speech which deliberately turned a blind eye to all of Brigadier Julius Maada Bio’s hate speeches and warmonger pronouncements, such as the threat of war if he didn’t win, the widespread display of gun-totting and machete-weaving kamajors etc. and many more for some of which he would apologize.
The EOM skillfully used the African leaders who observed the elections to force the tally 2018 electronic system by any means necessary against the APC’s refusal just to tamper with the results of the elections at the end of the day according to popular perception. This was carried out on the backdrop that few primary school pupils could count the population of Sierra Leone, which even a Nigeria comedian jested about on BBC Focus on Africa, in few hours. Why tally 2018 for about three million voting population then?
The plot to rig the presidential election in particular involved the decision of the last polling stations (PSs) implementation where any body could vote or any NEC officer could fill out Reconciliation and Results Forms (RRF) after the voting process. NEC had been purposefully infested with SLPP surrogates who were well orientated on elections rigging. All of the last PSs were utilized especially in the southeast to achieve the narrow edging of the APC in the presidential election. Interestingly, we were told that tally 2018 would automatically reject entries above the 300 thresholds per polling station but ended up accepting all the last PSs entries from the southeast and rejected those from the north.
The APC protestation was ignored by NEC officers who at all times enjoyed the full backing of internationals in all their wrong deeds amidst an average of thirty extra votes cast per last station in the region whilst the same were cleverly casted out as over-voting in the north. And all of these and many more election fraud were referred to by the EOM report as either administrative errors or insignificant with no impact on the result. While the SLPP was up in arms APC leaders either overly trusted the EOM and other observers or felt way too diplomatic to challenge in a tit for tat manner.
And interestingly, the EOM reported all the way into the post-election row in Parliament over the election of the Speaker of the House but failed to address the SLPP blatant abuse of the rule of law and the Constitution. The EOM was witness to the fact that the minority bulldozed its way into electing the Speaker by a lopsided parliament after ordering the police to forcefully remove 68 APC elected members out of parliament.
Now, theories are replete amongst political pundits in Sierra Leone that neocolonialism is on a brand new track in Africa in the guise of ‘Regime Change’. And quite a handful of elections recently held in Africa have been cited. To name but a few The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia etc. are all examples of ‘Regime Change’. This is on the backdrop that African leaders, for the most part, are settling down for western sense and understanding of democracy just to be slammed with this ‘Regime Change’ thingy ploy to rig elections.
This has left many politicians in Africa thinking aloud why Europeans are so desired to pervert democracy in Africa for simplistic renewed European wind of change regime change phenomenon that is now blowing over the sub Saharan Africa. Europe has been the economic beneficiary of colonialism and recently, Africa has been called the new economic hub just about the same time that the world economic powers have launched a global trade war.
The above seems to lend much credence to the APC’s argument of election rigging, in particular, based on the fact that the Sierra Leone population is too unsophisticated to discern between voting for parliament and president separately in elections. Our people are accustomed to voting all-for-all. That the APC fell out with the Europeans mainly because of their defiance in adhering to the World Bank (WB) and IMF advice to remove subsidies from global commodities and for their strong trade and economic ties with the Chinese.
In elections 2018, the APC won majority of the parliamentary and local council seats [68 and 10 respectively] than the SLPP [49 and 8] yet the SLPP was declared the winner of the presidential elections. This is likening to winning the popular vote and losing the presidential election in a country that does not have an Electoral College system. But the EOM and their fellow conspirators claimed at the end of the day that the APC and all the other parties have no substantial evidence that the election was rigged knowing very well that the substantial evidence had been shrouded in computer coding far away from the knowledge of our people.
Notwithstanding, the EOM managed to justify their cloak and dagger approach they employed into the elections process by faulting the ruling government for political intimidation every step of the way which was however widespread across the nation depending on the political parties’ majority Vs. minority presence in the regions.
Former Minister of State-East, Former Deputy Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Former Director of Political and Public Affairs and Former National Coordinator of Open Government Initiative of the Government of Sierra Leone.
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