By Chernor J. Bah
Today, 21st March 2017 is the second day of the NEC & NCRA countrywide voters registration for the forth coming 2018 Local Council, Parliamentary and Presidential elections in Sierra Leone. The People of Sierra Leone, specifically western Area who turned out in large numbers for the voters registration but continued to groan over the slow pace of the process.
The Voters registration, which started yesterday Monday, 20th May 2017 is to register all those who are 17+ and above to participate in the forth coming 2018 Elections. Large queues of voters are gradually thinning out as more impatient voters leave out of frustration.
In most centres I visited in Dan Street, Brass Street, Easton Street and Bishop Johnson Memorial School, very few Registrants has been registered in the exercise.
One of the registrants, Alusine Mansaray complained that process is very slow since yesterday.
“I was here yesterday and even came back very early today but there are no signs that the machine is working he said.
Another frustrated registrants Aminata Savage told me that he been on the queue since morning but that only few had been registered as at 12:30pm.
According to my findings through questioning and observation, I made to understand that the machines are very slow, some are malfunctioning and that it very difficult to capture the biometrics.
Mohamed Sesay, a student who came for the registration, complained that he had been on one spot of the long queue for “more than four hours, As you can see the line is not even moving and the NEC workers don’t seems to know what they are doing” he lamented.
One Political party representative also lamented the slow pace and frustration of the process.
“We have mobilise the community people to Register, now the people are here but the process is just too slow to be taken seriously” he said.
He advised NEC to create more registration centers and provide more machines to speed up the process.
“The Population is very high and the people are turning up, NEC must take steps to Register everyone,” he said.
However, Political party Leaders, Councillors, Members of Parliament, Aspirants of different political parties and Youth groups are doing very well to motivate registrants to be patient with the process and register.
Meanwhile, NEC & other authorities must try to increase their man power as the situation may frustrate thousands of eligible voters from registering.