The National Election Watch (NEW) ahead of Local Council bye-elections for District Council Chairperson and Ward 155 Councillor has ended a three-day pre-election assessment in Koinadugu District on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.
The release said engagements with key stakeholders in the District, it was identified that the main cause of election violence in the District is the interference of non-indigenes imported into the district and the presence of the political party stalwarts who move around with marshals.
‘’NEW met with the following stakeholders during the three-day pre-election assessment mission in Koinadugu District: National Electoral Commission (NEC), Office of National Security (ONS)/District Security Committee(DiSeC), Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Radio BintumaniManagement, Political parties and their candidates (APC and SLPP), Paramount Chiefs of Sengbe and WaraWaraYagala chiefdoms, Section chiefs, Youths at Attaya bases in Alkalia, Chief Imam in Alkalia, Pastor in Kabala, Mammy Queens and teachers. A team of 6 from the NEW Strategic Management Committee (SMC), Regional and District Structures and Secretariat staff, formed the pre-election assessment team.
The objectives of the mission were: to assess the preparedness of the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) and elections stakeholders, know the level of awareness and readiness for the two bye-elections, find out potential causes of violence, identify potential hotspots and proffer recommendations to relevant stakeholders including the EMBs and the Security Sector for proper planning and engagement to ensure peaceful and credible elections’’.
‘The following came out very clearly throughout all the engagements: Both bye-elections are contested by only two political parties: the All People’s Congress Party (APC) and the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) with no independent candidates. There has been no major violence since NEC declared dates for the two bye-elections, but stakeholders constantly referenced previous bye-elections violence in the district. Both political parties have so far complied with the campaign schedule and guidelines. Both political parties however complained that their campaign posters have been destroyed. For the SLPP they complained it happened in Yinfi and Kalkoya, while the APC claimed theirs happened at Ismaia Road in Kabala’’.
‘’In Alkalia, the local authorities complained that people from Tonkolili district joined the SLPP campaign and in a scuffle damaged the community water pipe. There is an on-going conflict over which district Tunkoli village belongs to, and this has resulted in clashes between residents of the border communities of Koinadugu and Tonkolili districts. Residents most of the time flee the village as a result of the clashes. There is the fear that this 2 might affect the election in the community which NEC has already identified as being within the electoral boundary of the bye-elections. The hotspots identified that requires maximum security attention were; Bafodia, Yinfin, Alkalia, Fadugu and Kabala. Other communities might become volatile with the importation of thugs and or presence of political parties heavyweights’’.
‘’NEC has had two stakeholder engagements in Kabala and Alkalia where campaign schedules and guidelines were agreed on and also conducted voter education. NEC furthered the voter education using radio stations in the district and hired town criers carrying voter education messages in local languages.
The SLP has closely followed the activities of the bye-elections and provided timely intervention to avert violence. The SLPP candidates were accompanied by a large crowd to the nominations but the police allowed only the agreed number into the nomination precinct. On getting the report of destruction of campaign poster in Kalkorya, the police immediately stepped in to prevent retaliation and the matter is under investigation’’.
‘’The SLP reported that the Vice President of Sierra Leone had earlier on engaged them during his visit to Koinadugu District on their neutrality and professionalism in policing the entire electoral process. They said, he acknowledged the need for additional logistics and man power to enable the police to be effective in the discharge of their duties. This acknowledgement stems from the fact that the Koinadugu Police Division has only one vehicle effectively functioning and another one that is used only in the township’’.
‘’The Paramount Chiefs have so far maintained neutrality and allowed all political parties and candidates campaign in their chiefdoms without hindrance. Recommendations New recommends that: The Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) should encourage registered political parties to participate in bye-elections and give opportunity to the electorates for multiple options to choose from. Importation of thugs and presence of political party heavyweights that are not indigenes into Koinadugu District during the upcoming bye-elections be completely discouraged. Only NEC accredited persons and vehicles should be allowed into the district on polling day.
Police mount checkpoints in all the main routes leading to Koinadugu District and to major polling centres, to ensure only the right people enter the district or go around polling centres on polling day. The police step up their standards and beef up their preparedness in terms of personnel and logistics to adequately police the elections not only in Kabala, but also in remote communities and roads where violence is feared to happen through mobile patrols.
The SLP continues their professional and non-partisan engagement with the political process. NEC to continue with the voter education efforts to ensure citizens’ participation and minimize incidents of void votes. Key stakeholders including the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Provincial Secretary’s office of North-eastern Region, District Administrations of Koinadugu and Tonkolili districts, the SLP and the Paramount Chiefs of neighbouring chiefdoms of Tunkoli community undertake a fact finding and reconciliation mission in the said community before the by-elections. Paramount Chiefs continue to be neutral and provide a level playing field for all candidates and political parties in their chiefdoms. Conclusion NEW applauds all players including EMBs in the bye-election processes so far and urges them to continue in the same spirit to ensure that the conduct of the bye-elections is free, fair, participatory, and credible with an outcome that has integrity and accepted by all. 3 National Election Watch (NEW) is a coalition of local and international organizations in Sierra Leone with a common objective of supporting free, fair and peaceful elections. This Electoral Observation was realized with the financial support of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of National Election Watch – Sierra Leone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union’’.
Hon. LatiffSupports 1st EditionPort LokoMusic Fiesta
The Port Loko City Music Fiesta is one among the events that Forms part of the BaiBureh Festival 2021. The BaiBureh Festival is a Youth driven initiative aimed at Remembering, Celebrating, Appreciating and Honouring people that provides services for Communities and humanity. It further consolidates people’s efforts towards, Peaceful Coexistence, Progress, Developmentand to celebrate the glorious heritage and culture of Sierra Leone through Music, Sports and cultural exhibition.
Hon. Abdul LatiffSesay is a personality that share the value of Music embedded with the passion to see the rapid transformation of Youths to acquire a successful future in all works of life, in which Youths who see Music as a career for self-empowerment are not exempted. I am 100% in Support of the idea of the Music Fiesta because it has a clear message that, these are moments we begin to support each other for a transformed Port Loko.
‘’I want to complement the resilient efforts of the BaiBureh Heritage Foundation in portraying the good image of Port Loko. I am willing to support such initiative that gears towards elevating the Port Loko Music Industry to an enviable status especially the Promotion of my Brothers and Sisters. I wholeheartedly accept the invitation to serve as Guest of Honour for the December 28 Port Loko City Music Fiesta’’. Hon. Abdul LatiffSesay disclosed in an engagement with the Organizer’s.
Hon. Abdul LatiffSesay is currently the sitting Member of Parliament for Constituency 075- Port Loko City. He is a very Young Charismatic leader with a track record of excellent Performance in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament. The BaiBureh Media will soon unfold details of his community development activities and Professional Profile in subsequent Publications.
The first edition of the Port Loko City Music Fiesta is currently on the move to make a massive breakthrough into the Sierra Leone Entertainment Industry with a solid promotion.
The Music Fiesta will leverage on value addition, branding and promotion of Port Loko Music and musicians to a national level.
PUBLIC REVIEW SPORT
S/Leone Women’s U-20 Climax Training in Dakar
The Sierra Leone U-20 Female team have ended their first training session in the Dakar Sacr’e- Coeur Senegal ahead of their crunch tie aganist Guinea in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers to be hosted in Costa Rica.
Players are in high spirit and are extremely determined to represent their country. They described this venture as an added value to their career.
Head Coach Victoria Conteh disclosed that they have trained intensively for the past few months including playing several friendly matches which has helped her to rectify their mistakes.
“We are assuring Sierra Leoneans of winning the match based on what I have seen in my players. They are committed and determined to play for our country”, she said
The final training session will take place at 4pm on Friday at the AlasaaneDjigo Stadium de P’ekine’
Finance Minister Donates Le10 M. to KDFA for Division 2 competition
The Minister Finance Dr Denis K. Vandi has today 23rd September, 2021 doles out 10,000,000 to the Kenema District Football Association ( KDFA) as gesture for the ongoing Division 2 competition.
Dr. Denis K. Vandi was approached by the Leadership of KDFA requesting him to support the ongoing Division 2 competition to enable it ends well.
The Minister of Finance, waisted no time but positively responded to the to request from the KDFA through it’s leadership Denis NgothoLansana. “I have known the chairman of the KDFA for over decades and have never seen him engaged on any other extra curricular activity except football. I saw him playing and administering the game at a very tender age which he has lived up to till now. I know him of being discipline and have the charisma to lead others. I am always in to support any planned football initiative presented to me by the KDFA”, the Minister informed
The KDFA appreciates and welcome the timely brotherly intervention of the Minister of Finance. We assure him of judicious use of the funds. He is also expected to do the kick off of the finals and hand over the championship trophy on Saturday, 10th October, 2021 at the Kenema City field.
SIERRA LEONE WOMEN’S U-20 SECURE VITAL AWAY WIN
The Sierra Leone Women’s U-20 team on Saturday defeated their Guinean conunterparts 1-0 in the ongoing FIFA U-20 WOMENS WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS at the StadeAlassaneDijgo in Dakar, Senegal.
The only goal was scored by FatmataTuray early in the first half after a well- delivered cross from left-winger Matilda Kabba.
This result has put Sierra Leone in a comfortable position ahead of the second leg on the 9th October, 2021 in Monrovia, Liberia.
Team captain HawanatuContehexpressed delight for the win, adding that “this is just one step towards the dream land [Costa Rica]”.
“We deserve to win because we have been training very hard all this while”, she pointed out.
The skipper commended her team mates for the collective work during the match, saying such magnificient display will surely be replicated in the second leg.
She called on Sierra Leoneans to keep believing in them as ‘they are about to make history’.