By Ralph Sesay
Stakeholders in Waterloo and Cole Town communities and other meaningful players in both communities have committed themselves to peaceful headman elections. They made this commitment while meeting with authorities from the Office of National Security and other members of the country’s security architecture last Thursday at the Waterloo Rural District Council Hall.
The various parties, which included three candidates each from the two communities, cited the problems which have fuelled the violence during the campaigns for headman elections in Cole Town and Waterloo communities scheduled for 18th May,2019.
The team from the ONS and the security players concluded from the deliberations that political attachment of candidates to the two main political parties (APC/SLPP), importation of thugs to the respective campaigns, ethnic considerations (Krio/Kontri) were amongst the issues that have raised tensions in the elections.
The Chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council, Kasho J. Holland Cole, was criticized by the other party for using the Lion Mountain Radio Station to make inflammatory statements against one of the candidates who was perceived to be SLPP.
The WARDC Chairman also disclosed that the ruing SLPP, through the Deputy Minister of Energy, are bent on manipulating the elections in favour of a single candidate.
The six candidates were at the end of the meeting committed to a communiqué, which had called for cessation of hostilities and use of ethnic and political considerations in the elections. The six candidates, three each from Waterloo and Cole Town, committed themselves to peace and agreed that people found wanting of violence should be treated as common criminals rather than as party supporters.
It was also agreed that posters should not have party colours and that campaigns and rallies should also be discouraged hence new dates for the elections were announced.
Vacancies for elections in both communities emanated as a result of the death of headman Sokie and Omojuwoe Browne of Cole Town and Waterloo communities.
By Ralph Sesay