Maada Bio should not be allowed to get away with boldly stealing Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections

By Kabs Kanu

A very destructive, hurtful, precarious and dangerous precedent will be set in Sierra Leone if President Maada Bio gets away with the criminal act he committed last year when he stole the June 24, 2023 elections.

Bio has been widely condemned by international elections observer missions and by the European Union ( EU), the U.S government , who even imposed travel sanctions and seemingly put a hold to the U.S $ 500 million Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) grant and by local and international media .

We commend the U.S government for the actions taken against Maada Bio. And we also thank all the international elections observer teams for coming out boldly to expose and  disgrace Maada Bio and his SLPP Government for their thieving act. Bio needed to be humiliated to know that the world is not his Leybema or Tihun Village where he can just commit any thieving and lawless act.

However, given the enormity of Maada Bio’s criminal action, many Sierra Leoneans think that the measures taken against Maada Bio are not deep enough. They think that what Bio got for his heinous thieving was a mere slap on the wrist.

The greatest fear that Sierra Leoneans all over the world have right now is that if Bio is allowed to get away with it, it will set a very dangerous and hazardous precedent that will see other presidents committing the same elections fraud in the future with the belief that nothing will come out of it. The danger is that while the opposition All People’s Congress ( APC ) seems to be seeking peaceful and legitimate channels to address the issue, other political parties brazenly cheated in this manner may not treat the matter lightly and their violent response could trigger another war in Sierra Leone. I can assure everybody that Sierra Leone would have been at war right now if the SLPP  had been the party at the receiving end of all Maada Bio’s violent and  lawless deparavities in Sierra Leone .

We have heard the comments made by the U.S Ambassador to the United Nations, Mrs. Linda Greenfield – Thomas that she was not aware of any plan to have the elections rerun and the U.S Government is certainly not pushing for it. We accept her candor and sincerity. We also accept the honesty of Ambassador Bryan Hunt  in his  clarification that the U.S $ 1.5 million given to the tripartite committee has nothing to do with a rerun of the 2023 elections.

We understand the two Ambassadors’  positions. They are  living up to their  diplomatic responsibilities  for their  country not to be seen as interfering in the internal affairs of Sierra Leone. Even if there was a possibility of an elections rerun, the call is not America’s to make. It is the ongoing internationally – mediated Tripartite Elections Review Committee who should make that call.

We are not in any way preempting the outcome of the tripartite committee when we warn that Maada Bio must not be allowed to get away with robbing the nation blind last year with his elections thieving. But we see a big danger looming ahead this nation and we have a right to talk about it. Bio is slowly dragging Sierra Leone back to war..

The ruling SLPP are bragging that the tripartite committee was not set up to investigate the 2023 election or call for a rerun of that election. According to them, the 2023 election is done and dusted and whatever recommendations that the committee will make will be for future elections. If they are right, the question is, whatever happened to accountability in Sierra Leone ?

Cognisant of this,  the cry of the nation is that what the SLPP are contending  does not happen . Understandably, we saw  during the press conference on the Tripartite Committe  the tension that was  electrical and combustive over this issue of a rerun. It is a matter ,if not handled well, will plunge this country back into  chaos and likely war.  The opposition amd a ctoss- section of Sierra Leoneans are very bitter about it and  do not want the SLPP  to get away with it and they are praying for the outcome of the tripartite committee to be a rerun of the 2023 elections. Whoever underrates the anger out there will regret one day. That 2023 election must be accounted for. It cannot be swept under the carpet as we keep doing to every evil committed in Sierra Leone by Maada Bio.

The onus, as it now seems, is on the APC. and the people of Sierra Leone.  Looking at the terms of reference of the tripartite committee signed two days ago by patties involved, there is room for the APC to demand a rerun, if graphic evidence is provided to demonstrate that Maada Bio did not win the 2023 elections.

If indeed it is clearly demonstrated and proved that Bio never won the elections, why should he remain at State House ? If we are trying to build a just, honest, accountable , morally and democratically responsive , conscientious , principled , scrupulous and trustworthy nation, what justification will be there to keep Maada Bio on the presidential chair when he brazenly and with impunity , stole his way into it ?

If we prove through the tripartite committee that Maada Bio is indeed an elections thief and that  he did not win the 2023 elections, it means that he is an illegitimate President and he does not have the mandate to continue ruling the Sierra Leonean people.

The APC counterpart Chair of the tripartite committee , Dr. Keifala Marah, clearly debunked the contention of the SLPP that only the Supreme Court can determine that Bio did not win the elections and thus must step down. Dr. Marah convincingly argued that the Public Elections Laws ratified by Parliament have the same weight of the law. He insinuated that if Bio had violated them, he had committed elections fraud and he cannot continue serving as President. He did not come out clearly but that could be read in his argument.

If the tripartite committee determines that there was no winner of the 2023 elections and recommend a rerun, we expect the Sierra Leonean people to take up the gauntlet and demand President Bio to step down. There is no need for our people to be always complaining bitterly and agitating for justice or progress  but when it comes to doing the needful, they shy away. This is the primary reason that our country is sadly saddled with such an undemocratic, dictatorial, tyrannical , despotic,  fascistic, oppressive, repressive and devil-may-care President as Maada Bio.

Whatever they are recanting now, understandably, the U.S too , if they mean well for Sierra Leone and want to see sustainable democracy, peace and stability  restored in the country , must spring into action and support the tripartite Committee’s demand for an election rerun , once the committee gets done with its work and determines that Bio imposed himself unlawfully on the people of Sierra Leone by stealing the 2023 elections.

When a thief is caught, he pays the penalty. That is the law at work. The law must be applied to everybody. Nobody should be above the law if we are trying to create a just, lawful, legitimate, honest and upright  society .

Bio has killed with impunity and shed innocent blood and he got away with it for now. Bio has stolen millions of dollars and  destroyed the Sierra Leone economy and nothing has come out of it.  Bio has committed horrific human rights abuses like murdering Evangelist Sampson and  beating MPs in parliament or firing live bullets at the APC Headquarters and gotten away with them. Bio must not get away with stealing the 2023 elections.

The  spirit of impunity was one of the evils adjudged by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ( TRC ) to  have Sierra Leone into the last war. We cannot resurrect and nourish it once again in our country, because it will be detrimental to unity,  peace and stability.

Let Maada Bio go if it is determined also by the tripartite committee  that he stole the last election . We do not want any more war in Sierra Leone.


Related Posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.