The Inter-Religious Council of Liberia orIRCL says its attention has been drawn to the alleged growing waves of discrimination by voter registrars hired by the National Elections Commission or NEC to execute the voter registration for the October 2017 Legislative and Presidential Elections.
Addressing a news conference over the weekend at the IRCL offices on Clay Street, the Secretary General of IRCL, Atty. Musa M. Bamba, said his organization has discovered that some voter registrars were in the practice of denying people from registering on the basis of names, dress code, and religious affiliation.
Atty. Bamba did not state the voter registration centers where tribalism and nepotism are being carried out, but said, “If you are Musa, Kamara, Mohammed, Haja, Konneh, Kromah, you will be denied to be registered.”
Atty. Bambafurther alleged that at some of the VR centers Muslim women wearing hijab are mandated to take them off before being allowed to have their photographs taken or risk being deny the opportunity to register.
A hijab is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of adult males outside of their immediate family, which usually covers the head and chest. “We want to make this clear, the hijab is different from the Nikab, the hijab shows the person face unlike the nikab which covers the entire face, in fact when a woman takes photo in hijab is the most beautiful photo” he said.
He alleges further that even the manner of approach by the NEC Workers toward those women wearing the hijab has not been favorable.
The IRCL official warned that discrimination will not help the country, as no group of Liberians is more Liberians than the others.
He urged voter registrars involve in such alleged acts of discrimination to immediately desist, and apply due diligence, “This election is very significant, therefore, we need to avoid acts that have the propensity to bring about confusion”.
By Bridgett Milton –Edited by Othello B. Garblah