Authorities of the National Elections Commission or NEC in Bomi County have reported the presence of a giant – size baboon that is impeding the ongoing voters registration exercise in the county.
During President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s trip to Bomi County where she registered on Saturday, 4 February for the pending October representatives and presidential elections, the County Elections Magistrate Mr. Washington Farmah said the voter registration process had come to a standstill in a community there due to the presence of a baboon.
Speaking to a group of journalists on Saturday inFefeh Town, Bomi County, Mr. Farmah said the giant – size baboon had brought fear to residents of the community, resulting to their refusal to turn out in numbers to register.
Out of 84 registration centers that Mr. Farmah said he visited, he said the process going on in almost all of the centers except for Fefeh Town and Suehn Mecca District where he said residents had abandoned the process due to embarrassment caused by the specie.
“This thing is causing serious problem in this community, because many of our residents are getting afraid, as a result the voter’s registration process is not moving fast as we anticipated from the very beginning”, Mr. Farmah complained.
He said there was no way to have such a beast coming to harm people and yet anyone would expect them to turn out and vote. Prior to the disturbance of the baboon, Mr. Farmah said voters were seen in numbers at the start of the registration process, but added that they became scary when the baboon surfaced.
According to the NEC Magistrate, traditional chiefs in the county said they could help to put the situation under control, but they needed to be empowered by the government if the baboon must stop harassing people.
In their quest for empowerment, Mr. Farmah said the traditional chiefs were seeking the reintroduction of a traditional form of interrogation known as “sassay wood” at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
“Our people strongly believe that when the Ministry empowers them with the reintroduction of sassay wood, they can easily calm the situation because they strongly believe that the coming of this specie in their various towns has some traditional background”, he noted.
Mr. Farmah raised concern that if measures were not put in place to address the situation, the voters registration process in the county will be at stake, saying people no longer walk alone in the county. Residents of the county say this is not the first time that such thing has happened, saying the baboon issue always comes whenever they are in the election process.
Written by Lewis S. Teh -Editing by Winston W. Parley