Order has been restored in the Sierra Leonean capital Freetown after the arrival of Former Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama curbed a tensed situation from a escalating into a pandemonium
John Dramani Mahama, on Wednesday prevented what would have marred an otherwise peaceful and smooth voting process in Sierra Leon following misunderstanding between police and angry supporters of the opposition
Tensions were stoking among supporters of the SLPP after Police stormed the SLPP Tally Centre to conduct a search based on what they said was a tip off that the SLPP had some tracking devices at the Centre.
With the SLPP officials led by Presidential Candidate, Julius Maada Bio, refusing to allow the police because they had no warrant, the situation just after the close of polls led to rioting with supporters of the opposition massing up and the police increasing their numbers.
However Mr. Mahama, who is Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the 2018 General Elections, displayed his unique diplomatic and conflict resolution skills to bear as his timely intervention calmed situations.
President Mahama, who is highly revered by the people of Sierra Leone, and who had earlier led the Presidential Candidates to sign a peace pledge, was spotted walking through the SLPP supporters and police men around 6.38pm. He later entered the SLPP Tally Centre with the Area Commander of the Police and CID Officers, who had previously been denied access.
Following his personal assessment of the situation and meetings with the SLPP Candidate and the Police, the former Ghanaian President made a couple of phone calls to the Office of National Security and other Security Chiefs, emphasising that “it is important that we de-escalate the tension that is building here. We don’t have to allow a situation that will mar the beautiful voting process.”
The police and army personnel were withdrawn from the Tally Centre just as President Mahama was leaving.
Meanwhile the National Electoral Commission chairperson in Sierra Leone has urged citizens to patiently await official results that will take several days to tally.
‘‘Results require several days to tally. Please be patient. The only true certified results are the ones that I will announce on behalf the National Electoral Commission,” Conteh said.