A representative aspirant of Montserrado Electoral District #2, Lt. Col. Jimmy Smith, has warned his opponents including the incumbent, Representative Sekou Kanneh, not to truck voters into the district when the voter registration process begins in February, next year.
The former police officer’s warning was contained in a statement he delivered at an “acquaintance gathering” held at his residence in Jacob Town, Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Smith alleged that he lost to the incumbent in the 2011 race due to the trucking of illegal immigrants into the country.
“Since we want to see our country remain peaceful, we will resist any form of manipulation in 2017 as we go to the polls to decide who should lead the people of the district,” Smith said.
He said the trucking and registration of undesirable aliens to vote during election periods endanger the security of the state, adding, “this ugly political act must be completely deterred.”
He promised to consult with the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) and the National Elections Commission (NEC) and security agencies to sanction the practice.
“We will make the trucking of people from wherever into this district very uncomfortable by carefully checking out facts on each registered voter,” Col. Smith said, adding that if care is not taken, the district will continue to be misrepresented and remain backward in development.
Smith’s warning came following Sinoe County Senator Milton Teajay’s recent comment on the influx of “aliens” into the country through porous borders.
Teajay believes that those roaming the streets in Monrovia and other parts of the country without any thought of returning to their respective homelands instill fear in the minds of Liberians who are conscious of the ensuing elections.
When contacted via mobile phone to discuss the allegation of trucking aliens into the district, Representative Kanneh denied the information, which he described as false. He called on anyone who thinks that he has done any wrong to take the matter to the law, “instead of crying wolf pointlessly.”
For his part, the chairman of St. Francis community in Jacob Town, Gregory T. Blamoh, said it is a sad thing to see residents of the same home being divided instead of forging ahead in unity to develop their community.
“For me it is a good thing to rally around whoever wins and support him or her in executing his or her development agenda for the district,” Mr. Blamoh said.
He said that he has noticed that Representative Kanneh and Col. Smith are not on speaking terms and this, he thinks, is not in the interest of the district.