Election Violence at Sierra Leone College!
The fight to control political power has most times been marred by violence, both in national and student union politics at Fourah Bay College.
The trend has been worrying indeed! It depicts an inherent culture of undemocratic attitude and behavior that has the propensity to erode any democratic credentials we might have acquired as a people.
Recently, barely two months ago, brutal and bloody violence consumed the lower level elections of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party in different parts of the country, especially the south-east.
Yesterday, Wednesday 2nd June 2021, violence erupted at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone in contest to elect a Union President, which halted voting and ballot boxes speedily removed from campus under police escort for safe keeping, pending decision by the administration on what next.
Six candidates, including four female students belong to different political shades and camps are contesting for the hot seat. Reports say that only a minute percentage of not up to 5% of eligible voters was able to cast their vote when the chaos descended. As usual, there was frightening police presence on campus altering normal traffic flow and delaying the commencement of the first semester examination. Most of the lecturers were kept at bay, scared of being caught up in the running battles between the police and irate students, as the former responded with tear gas to the pelting of stones from all angles by the latter.
This is not the first time that elections on campus have turned violent, sometimes leaving the administration with no option but to ban the conduct of elections and students deprived of a Union Government that will represent their interests and welfare. It is widely believed and evident that Student Union politics is influenced and directed by politicians at the national level.
We strongly detest the ugly trend and urge all parties to desist from the shameful display of crude tendencies. We are worried about the bad signal the incident has transmitted as general elections are just around the corner. The writing on the wall is nothing to write home about. We should have grown above this level of political manipulation in our institutions of higher learning.
We must doff our hat to the police for not firing live rounds that would have resulted in death.
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