Reacting to the controversy training the Sierra Leone presidential election, former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama has said international observers have no capacity to change the will of the people.
Mahama, who was reacting to the flurry of social media report of his interest in the election, said: I, John Dramani Mahama, have no interest in who governs the people of Sierra Leone.
“The long nights, early mornings, long meetings, diplomatic shuttles were all aimed at helping Sierra Leone choose their leader freely, maintain the peace and consolidate their democracy.’’
Mahama said he had absolutely no interest in who became President of Sierra Leone at the end of 2018 elections.
“I just believe that a credible election would consolidate not only Sierra Leone’s democracy but also its peace, bearing in mind its past gruesome civil war.
“Let us all continue to join the good people of Sierra Leone in prayer.’’
He explained that he arrived in Accra to a flurry of social media stories and other worrying reports attributed to officials of the Sierra Leonean Government.
The reports said that “I had cut short my mission and left Freetown because of my support for one of the Candidates and Political Parties in the just ended Presidential Run-off election’’.
“As Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group to the Sierra Leone Election, I was officially due to complete my Mission and leave Sierra Leone on Monday April 02, 2018, via Kenya Airways as per the ticket bought and issued to me by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London,’’ he explained.
“Following multiple issues that arose just when the tallying of the result from the run-off began, I was requested through a call from the Secretary General of The Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, to stay one more day to work with my colleague Heads of International Observer Missions to resolve issues that had stalled the tallying process.
“My departure was therefore delayed until Tuesday April 03, 2018.
“With this extension in mind, I joined my colleagues in multiple meetings with the political stakeholders on April 01, 2018 until well after midnight to achieve consensus in order to have the tallying process proceed. All these meetings were chaired by Professor Amos Sawyerr, Head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission.
“In the afternoon, just before my departure from Freetown, I joined my colleague former Presidents, Amos Sawyer of Liberia, Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Dr.
Mohammed Ibn Chambas at the Presidential Lodge to brief President Ernest Bai Koroma on our efforts in reaching an agreement between the political parties and the National Electoral Commission in order that the tallying process could proceed.
“I bid farewell to President Koroma before I drove to the sea coach to leave for Lungi Airport.
“My departure from Freetown was not sudden and when I bid farewell to President Koroma I did not get any indication in word or deed that I was not wanted anymore in his country.
“I was leaving because by my agreement with The Commonwealth my mandate as Head of Mission had ended.
Sierra Leone begins voting in presidential runoff election
Sierra Leone’s governing party had accused Britain, African Union and ECOWAS of planning to rig the presidential election.
All People’s Congress (APC) said Britain and the regional blocs were spearheading an international conspiracy to effect regime change by rigging its presidential election.
NAN reports that the party, through a spokesman, said Tuesday the conspiracy involved the African Union, the West African regional bloc Ecowas and the Commonwealth, among others.
Deputy Information minister and a government spokesman Cornelius Deveaux, said the British High Commissioner in Freetown was championing the conspiracy alongside former Ghanaian President John Mahama.
Mr Mahama is heading the Commonwealth Elections Observation Mission in the country.
President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone
“There is an international conspiracy to steal our victory. It is led by British High Commissioner, Guy Warrington, and implemented by former Ghanaian President John Mahama,” Mr Deveaux, told state broadcaster SLBC.
Mr Deveaux, who is also the APC publicity secretary, said they had got evidence indicating that a brother of President Mahama was bankrolling the campaign of the opposition candidate, Brig (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio.
The allegations come as the country anxiously awaits the results of the March 31 presidential run-off election pitching Brig Bio against APC’s Dr Samura Kamara.
Both parties have issued statements claiming victory, even without the National Electoral Commission (NEC) releasing any figures.
On Monday, SLPP held a press conference where it presented the outcome of its tally indicating a 2 per cent victory margin for its candidate.