General News of Thu, 5 Apr 201851
From Kenya to Sierra Leone: Mahama accused of plot to rig polls
Many people in Sierra Leone, especially members and supporters of the governing All Peoples Congress, are said to be angry with former President John Dramani Mahama who has been, once again, accused of being part of a conspiracy to help rig the country’s elections in favour of the opposition SLPP Presidential Candidate, Julius Maada Bio.
Julius Maada Bio is suspected to have been sponsored by a brother of Ghana former president.
Mr Mahama, who was in Sierra Leone as leader of the Commonwealth Observer Mission Group, suffered similar accusations when he led the same assignment in Kenya recently.
The outcome of the presidential run-off held on March 31 is expected to be released today. Both the governing party and the opposition are claiming victory.
The opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party, which won the first round with 43.3% against the ruling All Peoples Congress party’s 42.7%, has not held the presidency since 2007.
John Dramani Mahama, who has since left the country ahead of the declaration of the results, together with others, including British High Commissioner Guy Worrington, has been accused of meddling in the conduct of the elections.
Cocorioko.net, a Sierra Leonean online portal, reported the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd.Major Ishmael Sengu Koroma, to have said that “the sudden departure of the former Ghanaian president leading the ECOWAS election monitoring team… cannot be unconnected to accusations of his interference into the presidential elections in Sierra Leone.”
“Following the way and manner in which former President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. John D. Mahama, is meddling into the domestic politics of Sierra Leone, a sovereign State has been put on the microscope, thus subject his reputation to test,” the same online portal captured this in story captioned “SIERRA LEONEANS QUESTION JOHN MAHAMA’S NEUTRALITY.”
One Mabel Swaray, a Sierra Leonean currently residing in the United Kingdom, was quoted to have said: “John Mahama, has no right to be meddling into our national politics, to the extent of him being accused of conniving with other forces to manipulate the March 31st, 2018, Presidential run-off results in favour of the SLPP Candidate…”
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has rubbished the claims against him, saying he had no interest in the outcome of the elections.
In a post on Facebook, he also claimed: “My departure from Freetown was not sudden and when I bid farewell to President Koroma I did not get any indication in word or deed that I was not wanted anymore in his country. I was leaving because by my agreement with The Commonwealth my mandate as Head of Mission had ended…”
He added: "International Observers have no capacity to change the will of the people, in any election. I, John Dramani Mahama, have no interest in who governs the people of Sierra Leone. The long nights, early mornings, long meetings, diplomatic shuttles were all aimed at helping Sierra Leone choose their leader freely, maintain the peace and consolidate their democracy.”