Ahead of Tuesday’s polls, many residents of Ganta City in Nimba County are approaching the day with caution, for fear of electoral violence, which they perceive to be associated with the elections.
On Saturday, October 7, large groups of people were gathered at the various bus/taxi stations with their children and some important household supplies heading to their towns and villages as their way of taking precautionary measures.
A businesswoman in the Ganta market told the Daily Observer, “most of my friends selling here have fled for their home villages, because they heard rumors that some political candidates and their supporters were threatening to instigate confusion in case a candidate of their choice should lose the election.”
Ma Yah said the exodus of people is due to the fear factor of election-related violence, but it also comes at the time those registered to vote in their respective districts were departing to the various districts to cast votes for candidates of their choice.
Due to the limited number of commercial vehicles, hundreds of other voters were forced to board farm trucks to get to the districts where they registered to vote.
Some of the fleeing residents said while they were going to vote, they were also taking their children and household utensils along with them to adjust to a new life in case of any eventuality.
Some of the voters said the incidents that occurred in Sanniquellie between supporters of the Liberty Party of Charles Brumskine and George Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) was enough to give them the sense that anything might happen at tomorrow’s polls.
Officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and their counterparts from other agencies have been deployed at the various border points in Ganta and other distant places in the county, with squads of the LNP on foot patrol to curb any criminal or violent activity.
In spite of the fear, there has been no report of violence characterizing the campaign process in Ganta or any part of the county, apart from the Sanniquellie incident with Brumskine and Weah supporters in a melee.