The National Elections Commission or NEC is facing barrage of allegations from across the country ranging from alleged denial of eligible voters, unqualified staffs to withholding voter cards for special interests with the latest claims coming an aspirant of the United People’s Party (UPP) in Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County.
Mr. Mohammed B. Jaleibah claims to have detested a scam where NEC staffs conducting voter registration in Grand Cape Mount allegedly turned away citizens going to register on grounds that voter cards are out of stock when in fact, they are available within the centers.
He walked into the offices of this paper on Monday and expressed dissatisfaction over the manner in which the exercise is being conducted in the county, disclosing that as a result of the situation, serious confusion erupted at the Tienie voter registration center after hundreds of citizens from various parts of the district converged at the center to register, but were turned away due to alleged shortage of VR cards.
The UPP representative aspirant said the experience had in Tienie led him to believe that similar situation was happening in Bambala town, in electoral district#3.
He continued that after heated argument between citizens and staffs of the Commission, voter registration cards which the NEC workers claimed were finished, resurfaced at the center.
According to him, the NEC staffs were allegedly keeping those cards for politicians, who were trucking people to the district to register.
Mr. Jaleibah lamented that it was disheartening to note that while representative aspirants like himself were moving in various parts of the county, encouraging citizens to turn out to register, some staffs of NEC were allegedly stalling the process by sending eligible voters away without registering them.
He further narrated that while in enroute from Cape Mount to Monrovia, officers of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) assigned at the Gbar checkpoint arrested a Sierra National, who registered and obtained a Liberian voter registration card, noting that the alien could not speak English well, but claimed to have hailed from Mambo town, about few kilometers away from Tienie.
He said the BIN officers seized the card from the Sierre Leonean, but allowed him to go with impunity.
Meanwhile, the political officer at the National Elections Commission Mr. Joseph Yarsiah, has denied that staffs of NEC were withholding voter cards and keeping them for specific interest.
He however conceded that there were some instances where some centers had shortage of papers used to record data of registrants, but stressed that under no condition would NEC hoard cards for any political aspirants as perceived by Mr. Jaleibah.
Mr. Yarsiah indicated that the Commission has taken measures to resolve problems reported in some of the registration centers, maintaining that the NEC remains independent, transparent and credible in enhancing the electoral process across the country.
He admonished Liberians to be mindful of aspirants who think they could use the operation of the Commission to archive their sinister motives, assuring that there is no need for Liberians to worry about the process as everything is on course in every part of Liberia for the October elections.
By Emmanuel Mondaye