Bio frowns at attack on International Observers


April 5, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Presidential candidate of the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has stated that attacks on international election observers and members of the diplomatic community was deliberately calculated to discredit them and undermine the integrity of the electoral process.

There have been widespread verbal attack and criticisms from government functionaries, including Deputy Minister and Information and Communication, Cornelius Deveaux, and some civil society organisations against British High Commissioner Guy Warrington and former Ghana President John Dramani Mahama for their alleged involvement in the electoral process.

They claimed to have evidence that the two high profile personalities were meddling in the politics of the country by dictating who should be the next president of the country.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday, April 4, Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio said the virulent attacks were not only unnecessary but also unworthy of persons who claimed to be officials of government.

“These media attacks are deliberately calculated to undermine the integrity of the electoral process and to discredit highly respected international elections observers and members of the diplomatic corps. Two such personae against whom the APC has directed its opprobrium are the highly revered and internationally acclaimed former President of the sister Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Mr. John Dramani Mahama, and the current United Kingdom High Commissioner in Sierra Leone, His Excellency Mr. Guy Warrington,” he said in a statement.

According to Mr. Bio, all respectable citizens must feel deeply disturbed and ashamed of the kind of behaviour perpetrated against people who were in the country to help the nation consolidate its peace and democracy through observation of the electoral process after years of internal conflict.

“The very least I can do in the circumstances is to extend on behalf of all civilized and peace-loving Sierra Leoneans our most profound apologies to the targeted victims of the outrageous attacks. At the same time I would like to take this opportunity to express our abiding appreciation to all the Elections Observers and the Media, both national and international, and the members of the entire diplomatic community in Sierra Leone for their relentless efforts and contributions in bringing about free, fair, transparent and credible elections,” Bio said.