Citizens of vote rich County of Nimba have taken to their local air waves expressing frustrations over the caliber of personnel recruited by the National Elections Commission or NEC to conduct this year’s voters’ registration exercise.
The citizens who voiced their disappointment over the airwaves on Thursday February 2, 2017 said it was embarrassing to the process that the voting house would recruit individuals who cannot spell simple names like John and Peter, and to talk much about traditional names such as Kou etc.
Liberia has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the sub-region, with bulk of this population living outside of the capital, Monrovia.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, once frustrated over the level of poor students performance here said Liberia has a messy educational system and that some High School graduates here can’t even do the work of a 4th grader elsewhere.
Though it is not clear as to whether it is the poor educational system here that is impacting the performance of the voters’ register staffers but exit report coming out of many voters’ registration centers have not been encouraging to the process.
Many of the individuals, especially those who cannot read or write are returning home with most of their names misspelled by staffers, while others claimed that at some centers individual photos have been wrongly placed under other names rather than the one whose image is on it.
The voting house is yet to respond to these allegations emerging from the voters’ registration centers.
Meanwhile, this paper has gathered that a 28- year old Guinean has been arrested in the commercial capital of Nimba, Ganta for alleged voter registration fraud.
The Guinean, who posed as Lawrence Flomo, was said to have registered at the Liberty Christian School, and was only arrested by the citizens after he boasted that he was able to register as a citizen undetected.
“We are all Liberians now,” he was quoted to have said.
Our Nimba County correspondent said Flomo as he is called had spent just two days in Ganta prior to his registration.
Flomo escaped the angry crowd for his dear life as they were on their way to a nearby police deport leaving only his voter ID card in their hands, which was subsequently reported to the local police authority.
NEC Magistrate Princeton Monbiah commenting on the registration by a foreign national said since Flomo’s escape his whereabout is unknown and that there are plans for NEC officials to ask the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization to join the voters’ registration process.
This paper has gathered that the city of Ganta has been parked ahead of the voters’ registration exercise.
Our correspondent says almost all the motels and guest houses there have been occupied.
Politicians here are noted for transporting voters from one region to another to secure their votes, something which has poorly affected the development of most of the districts here because those who often elect officials in those areas don’t reside there.
The NEC has repeatedly frowned upon this practice and despite much education from civil society groups, many unemployed youths see this as an opportunity to make money from politicians.
Written by Franklin Doloquee, Nimba -Edited by Othello B. Garblah