Editorial: No Liberians should die because of voter trucking
Recent news that three Liberians died and 12 others left hospitalized recently following a motor accident near Yao – Lepulah Town, in Nimba County while they were being trucked from Ganta towards Buu-Yao electoral district#5 to participate in the biometric voter registration is unfortunate. No Liberian has to die just to please a politician’s quest for power.
The victim reportedly included a pregnant woman and 58-year-old Beatrice Glanma, identified as sister of a representative aspirant, James G.K. Sumah, who was allegedly trucking some eligible voters to have them registered.
According to report, since the BVR process kicked off in Nimba, representative aspirants, including those seeking re-election have been allegedly trucking people from one county to another, including from Ganta to Grand Gedeh and Grand Kru County in the southeast, while some leave from Ganta to Bong County, and from Monrovia to Ganta, respectively, among others.
The NEW DAWN gathered that this act is taking place in all nine electoral districts of Nimba and elsewhere across the country in flagrant violation of the electoral law.
Some of the people being trucked are offered an initial amount of US$50 each to go get registered and then wait until after casting the vote on polling day on October 10, to receive the balance of US$50 each.
This practice in our electoral process needs serious intervention to put an end to it or else, more lives could get lost before actual voting day, as poverty-stricken citizens in desperation are lured by selfish politicians.
The National Elections Commission under the chairmanship of Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah has persistently warned that voter-trucking is a violation of the Constitution and the elections law, as citizens 18 and above, are required to register and vote where they reside.
However, we urge the NEC to go beyond mere warning in the face of widespread trucking and stamp its feet down firmly by bringing perpetrators to book which will serve as deterrence to would-be truckers. We suggest that if caught, both those being trucked and those facilitating the process should be punished.
As Liberians, it is important that we sincerely endeavor to make our electoral process as clean and fair as possible, not only to maintain the trust of our international partners but to maintain our respect as a people.
Anyone going into competition must be ready to play by the rules and demonstrate confidence in winning at the end rather than devising schemes to cheat in a bid to gain undue advantage just to satisfy their selfish desires. Such people, when they managed in getting their way thru, are nothing but a complete disservice to those they claim to lead, as we have experienced over the years in our body politics with painful consequences.