The Local Unit Commander of the Waterloo Police Division, CSP Ibrahim Mohamed Sama, in partnership with the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) and the Office of National Security (ONS), on Wednesday 25th October 2023 engaged summoned over 200 candidates for the position of Village Head in the forthcoming Village Head elections slated for Saturday 28th day October 2023.

The engagement came after widespread reports of rising tensions in towns and villages in the Western Area Rural District where the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) is scheduled to conduct elections for Village Heads.

After observing established protocols, LUC Sama urged the respective candidates to uphold the peace before, during, and after the elections. Do not engage in acts of violence and do not sponsor or fan the flames of violence. I encourage you to channel your concerns to the appropriate authorities. The Police will create an enabling environment for peaceful elections. On election day, we will work in line with the instructions of the ECSL concerning the conduct of the election”, he stated.

The Office of National Security (ONS) Coordinator, Patrick Lamin, reiterated the speech of LUC Sama and went further to warn the various candidates to conduct themselves according to the established electoral laws. Hence, he advised the candidates not to mix Village Head elections with national politics. “We encourage you to be peaceful and to respect the will of the people”.

On her part, the ECSL Assistant District Elections Manager for the Western Area Rural, Madam Desiatu Thomas, stated that elections are not a do or die affair. She promised that the ECSL will conduct credible, free, fair, and transparent elections. She responded to several questions and concerns and succinctly clarified the many thorny issues raised by many of the candidates.

Madam Isatu Bankole Morgan, a candidate for Village Head of Tombo, proposed the Vote of Thanks after cataloging the many unwarranted insults, threats, harassment, and provocation she and other female candidates are enduring daily.