Gbarpolu Citizens In The Americas Express Dismay Over Electoral Violence
-Want Those Involved Apprehended
Mr. Teaker Harris, President, GCAA
Gbarpolu County Citizens in the Americas under the banner ‘Gbarpolu County Association in the Americas (GCAA),’ have expressed serious dismay over what they called ‘news of the harassment, intimidation, disenfranchisement and brutalization of the citizens and election officials in Norman Town, Precinct Number 45039,’ in the county in the senatorial by-election currently ongoing in the county.
In a statement issued December 17, 2020, the GCAA said “It is especially disheartening to hear per a Press Release by the Elections Coordinating Committee as posted in the FrontPage Africa (Dec. 15, 2020), of Madam Botoe Kanneh, the leading candidate in the senatorial race and her supporters as targets of this wanton brutality.”
The statement further said “Of even greater and disturbing concern to us, is the news of traditional leaders tampering with the conduct of an election which is constitutionally mandated and not as an impartial arbitrator as expected, but as perpetrator of some of the dastardly acts carried out on citizens of the town.”
The citizens reminded all that elections are basic tenets of democracy that serve as opportunities for people to choose between competing members of their communities, those they believe can best provide the kind of leadership the community seeks to foster its aims and objectives.
“No citizen needs to therefore shed blood or be killed in exercising that democratic franchise of electing the right leaders for their community,” the association members said in a statement.
The statement added “We, The Board of Directors, Executives, and members of GCAA therefore, condemn in no uncertain terms, the resort to violence, manipulation of the election process, suppression, and abuse of the human rights of our people by any group(s) associated with the ongoing election.”
“We, The Board of Directors, Executives, and members of GCAA, call on those responsible for causing harm and distress to others of our citizens in this election, to seize and desist immediately! We also call on all peace-loving citizens of Gbarpolu and residents of Norman Town in particular, to remain calm as the authorities reinstate law and order in the affected areas to ensure the conclusion of a free, fair, and transparent election for our people,” the citizens further said.
Meanwhile, the citizens are calling on the leadership of the county to deploy the necessary security personnel and measures in Norman Town and throughout the county, to quell any further disturbances and provide the necessary peaceful atmosphere and assurances, for the citizens to exercise their constitutional rights in the leaders of their choice in this election freely, fairly, and peacefully without coercion or intimidation of any kind.
“We, The Board of Directors, Executives, and members of GCAA, further recommend that those responsible for the violence meted out to our people in Norman Town and surrounding towns, be apprehended and brought to justice swiftly as a lesson in social decorum. We your sons and daughters in the Diaspora ask you to join us in denouncing violence in any shape or form throughout our social-political intercourse as a people, and instead always embrace peaceful means and channels to resolve any differences in the county,” they added.