I will never stop stressing that RESTITUTION – Putting right the wrongs that have been committed, should be the first step towards genuine peace and reconciliation in any society or situation.

We all want peace and reconciliation in our motherland because it is the only route to national reintegration and national development. But we must go about them the right way that is pleasing and satisfying to all concerned.

Asking for peace and reconciliation with an aggrieved man whose ox you have stolen (Without first returning the ox) is hypocritical; it is the height of bullying and impunity. You are wilfully holding on to my ox and asking me to make peace with you? Are you serious? Are you really sober? What sane person ever does that?

President Maada Bio upset the political apple cart in Sierra Leone. He openly and brazenly robbed not only the citizens of the land by rigging the recent elections and imposing himself in power. He also hurt the stakeholders who provide the funds, logistics and necessary resources to stop our country from sinking into the miry pool of economic destruction, abject poverty and suffering.

By boldly and criminally stealing the mandate of the people, President Bio has also angered the nations and organizations we refer to as the moral guarantors of peace and security. The people trusted with the responsibility to ensure that we do not go back to war as we did in the 1990s , a bloody, deadly and costly war that we have still not fully recovered from.

According to a paper on progress update on the strategic objectives of the U.S government, “The United States supports the expansion of democracy abroad because countries with freely elected, accountable governments contribute to a freer, more prosperous, and peaceful world. Democracies are our strongest partners on security, trade, energy, and the environment, in peace and conflict.”

Rigging an election is an illegal interference with the process of the election that robs the people of their constitutional mandate to decide whom they want to govern them, according to Moses Obisike in his book “Electoral Malpractice and Political Development in Nigeria” (2022).

President Bio and his hoodlums in the Elections Commission of Sierra Leone criminally changed the figures on the Result and Reconciliation Forms ( RRFs ) where the real votes from all the polling stations were recorded, a very dumb and asinine act, given that after the counting of the votes in the polling stations, elections observers, stakeholders and representatives of all the political parties are given copies of these forms. They knew the outcome of the elections already from these RRFs.

Only people with their heads in the wrong place would go and change the figures in the tallying process to produce a different outcome and then expect the result to be accepted, hook, line and sinker. It is worse than broad daylight robbery.

Consequently, the robbed citizens, the cheated opposition and its supporters , local and international Elections observers and the international stakeholders and moral guarantors are all annoyed with the Elections Commission and the SLPP government.

The best way to handle this problem is to put things back in their right place. If President Bio is sure of himself and his public boasts and posturing that he can defeat the opposition APC at all times, he must either order a rerun of the elections or the recounting of the votes, this time by an independent international organization that will ensure transparency, neutrality and credibility.

President Bio cannot insult the intelligence of the people and the international community with such brazen criminality and then start calling for peace and reconciliation. Things do not work like that. As long as all parties remain aggrieved and hurt, any such peace and reconciliation will be fake and hypocritical, and a recipe for chaos in the future.

Political historians have recorded that many wars in Africa were preceded by rigged elections. We in the media and international stakeholders and moral guarantors are trying to avoid that scenario being replayed in Sierra Leone.