Meeting at Hill Valley Hotel, Signal Hill Road in Freetown, representatives of the aforementioned parties made their respective observations and explanations of what they together described as intimidation, abuse of power and reckless misuse of the state resources including vehicles, fuel and funds to fuel the APC campaign.
According to Dr. Julius Spencer who chaired the event on Saturday 3rd March, 2018, “the parallels between political culture and practice in late 80s early 90s and what the APC is currently doing to take advantage against the opposition parties contesting the March 7, 2018 elections striking and similar which he said gave rise to the eleven years civil war in 1991.
He informed his audience that “the root cause of these election malpractices and abuse of incumbency by the APC is because the APC is determined to hold on to power by all means regardless of the will of the people, the rule of law and respect for human rights.
He recalled that allegations and pattern of electoral malpractice from recent post-war elections include partisan measures by NEC and other state institutions, vote buying, bribery of, and interference with polling agents, threats of violence to suppress opposing votes, ballot-stuffing, inflation of roll of registered voters with ineligible persons, co-optation and illegal acts by NEC officials in polling stations and centres, and manipulation of votes counted during transit and tallying.
Speaking also was NGC Chairman, Dr, Denis bright. He reiterated that his part is aware of the antics being made by the ruling APC, adding that this time round, they would allow themselves to be hoodwinked but are even ready to lay down their lives for the sake of a level playing field, justice and a free, fair and credible election. He catalogued of series of violent acts allegedly perpetrated by the APC against supporters of the NGC, adding that in most of these cases police were either inactive or unresponsive to arrest culprits even when the NGC produced sufficient evidence to prove that certain APC members were behind the attacks or were sponsoring the perpetrators in order to intimidate opposition supporters, which Dr. Bright added would not be tolerated.
He informed his audience that the NGC will not and cannot sign a memorandum which aims at restricting the movement of people during elections day, adding that they consider such a memorandum as against freedom of movement that is enshrined in our constitution and that the police have no such power in the first place.
He used the opportunity to call on all NGC supporters to remain peaceful and law-abiding, adding that the NGC is making plans to transfer elderly voters and disable people to polling centers so that they would not be disenfranchised.
The SLPP representative Lahai Lawrence Leema, the C4C representative Mr. Macfoy, the PMDC representative Mr. S. Sannoh made similar sentiments and gave details of cases of violence allegedly perpetrated on their supporters by APC supporters or sanctioned by the APC.
Each of them warned that they too are against the memorandum which seeks to restrict vehicular and people’s movement firstly because it is unconstitutional and secondly because it would result in disenfranchising eligible voters who might not be able to take the government buses which the government says would be plying the roads to transport voters to and from polling centers.
Another issue hammered home by all the representatives was the fact that quite recently, the ONS announced that it had raised the security level from level one to level two which according to Lahai Lawrence Leema is suspicious because there is nothing no threat or insecurity currently in the country to warrant the increase, adding that the ONS did so on whim and not on scientific evidence.
Also present at the meeting were supporters from the various political parties and members of the Fourth Estate.