By Lansana Fofanah…………………………………
The Director of the Office of National Security, Francis Languba Keili has assured that the civil and voter registration and 2018 elections are going to be conducted peacefully.
Director Keili who is also the Chairman of Integrated Elections Planning Committee (IEPC) stated that “Since Independence, there has never been elections without the eruption of violence…The IEPC is an integrated security arrangement comprising the Police, Military, Prison officers, National Fire Force, Chiefdom Police and Metropolitan Police since the 9600 polling stations cannot be effectively manned by the entire police force in the country”, he said.
Speaking at Waterloo during the CGG sensitization on women’s participation last week, Director Keili said that the involvement of the military is a static deployment and their presence is only needed when the need arise. “The presence of any military personnel with weapon is a form of intimidation… That is why they have been trained to respect human rights and observe all protocols during the whole process” he said.
Director Keili said that the National Electoral Commission has provided a list of polling stations throughout the country and that list will be used to deploy forces based on assessment.
“For us to succeed, we need the cooperation of political parties, civil societies and the media to caution the public about the existing protocols as this time the use of tear gas and weapons would be strictly monitored so that the process will be done orderly” he assured.