Sierra Leone, a nation still haunted by the memories of a devastating civil war that ended in 2002, finds itself on edge once again as its citizens prepare for tomorrow’s crucial elections.

Amidst growing safety concerns, people in the capital city of Freetown are flocking to markets, frantically stockpiling essential supplies.

The recent clash between security forces and supporters of the main opposition party has left the nation apprehensive, fearing further violence following the highly anticipated poll.

In a tense stand-off on Wednesday, businesses shuttered momentarily, and chaos gripped the streets as security forces confronted protesters aligned with the opposition All People’s Congress (APC).

Reports indicate that at least one person lost their life during the altercation, exacerbating the prevailing atmosphere of unease.

Sidi Yahya Tunis, spokesperson for the APC, claimed that the police were responsible for the death of one of their supporters, a statement supported by an unverified video showing an unconscious man who appeared to have been shot in the neck.

However, the police director of operations, Mohamed Braima Jah, vehemently denied the allegations, asserting that no shots were fired by law enforcement officers.

Jah instead accused the protesters of instigating violence by discharging firearms, citing that two shots were fired from a pistol and three from an AK-47.

As tensions continue to escalate, approximately 66 individuals have been detained, according to local media reports.

The root cause of the recent turmoil lies in the APC’s call for a demonstration, citing concerns over the accuracy of the election commission’s electoral roll.

With a voter registry totaling 3.4 million people, the opposition party has raised doubts about the integrity of the upcoming election. The deepening mistrust between political factions has only served to heighten the sense of uncertainty and volatility as Sierra Leone stands at the crossroads of democracy.

For a nation scarred by a brutal conflict that claimed the lives of 50,000 individuals and resulted in countless amputations, these elections are of paramount importance.

Sierra Leone’s citizens are eager to safeguard their hard-won peace and stability, making the outcome of the polls all the more significant.

Incumbent President Julius Maada Bio seeks re-election for a second and final term, while his main challenger, Samura Kamara of the APC, aims to secure the presidency after narrowly missing out in the 2018 election.

While the campaign trail has witnessed intense debates on various issues, one concern has emerged as a central focus: the skyrocketing prices that have pushed inflation to a staggering 43% in April. The economic hardships faced by Sierra Leoneans have magnified the significance of this election, with voters seeking a leader capable of addressing the country’s financial woes and steering it towards prosperity.

As Sierra Leone braces for the imminent elections, the safety and security of its citizens hang in the balance. The international community anxiously watches the unfolding events, urging all parties to engage in peaceful dialogue and maintain order during this critical period. The memories of past strife serve as a stark reminder of the importance of safeguarding the democratic process and ensuring that the voice of every Sierra Leonean is heard and respected.