In lower Margibi County, at least 13 candidates, including incumbent Senator Clarice Jah of the Unity Party; Saah Gbollie, former Margibi County representative and National Patriotic Party in the 52nd legislature; and UL Prof, Dean Ansu Sonii, were all vying for the single senatorial post. Prof. Sonii ran as an independent candidate, while Jah and Gbollie were seen as the front runners for the county’s senatorial seat.At the Rock Church School, about a mile from the Camp Edward Binyan Kesselly Military Barracks, polling got off to a very slow start. Voters from the surrounding communities, including Dwazon, Gbengba town, and the barracks, trickled in to cast their ballots.Few hours later, what appeared to be chartered vehicles, began bringing voters in. One of the bus drivers, Mustapha Kamara, told the Daily Observer that he had taken some of the voters from Soul Clinic Community in Paynesville City, Montserrado County.“I was parking in Redlight when they came to charter me to bring their partisans to vote here in Margibi,” he said.Kamara’s admission validates complaints made earlier this year in some quarters that people were being trucked in from other parts of the country to register and increase the voting population of certain candidates. This was widespread in the 2011 General and Presidential Elections, which President Ellen Johnson won for her second and final term.Our reporter further observed that some of the voters, who were brought in to cast their ballots, were drinking a white creamy substance. One of them told the Daily Observer: “We have to get in zico (a Liberian slang among young people, meaning ‘high’ or ‘tipsy’) before we can go and cast our vote.” However, the election officers did not allow them in until they had left their bottles behind.Further up the highway, in Margibi, is a very small community school at Marshall Junction, where another polling center comprising five rooms, was located.The election officers, even though they had no police officers to help them properly organize the process as was the case at Rock which had at least four police officers, still managed to keep the voting process orderly. Voters were seen observing the ‘2-3 feet apart’ preventive distance between voters put in place by the National Election Commission(NEC) against the further spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has so far killed more than 3000 persons in Liberia. The election had to be postponed twice for fear of the disease further spreading.It was the same slow turnout and cars bringing voters in, one of the polling officers who didn’t want to be named told the Observer. He, however, couldn’t say where they were being transported from.Off the highway and deep into Lower Margibi County, in Folley Town, the issue of health measures was thrown out of the window. Voters were “skin on skin” as they stood in the queue.At all of the centers our reporter visited, none had any of the 4700 thermometers and 10,000 hand sanitizers which Mr. Tolbert G. Nyenswah, head of Incident Management System (IMS), announced would be available at all the polling centers around the country.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon continued his tour of Ebola-affected countries in West Africa on Saturday.The three countries hit hardest by Ebola have now recorded 7,373 deaths, up from 6,900 on Wednesday, according to WHO figures posted online late Friday. A total of 392 of the new deaths were in Sierra Leone, where Ebola is spreading the fastest.The new totals include confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola deaths. The WHO says there have also been six Ebola deaths in Mali, eight in Nigeria and one in the United States.The total number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia now stands at 19,031, up from 18,569.Ban arrived in Guinea, where the outbreak’s first cases were confirmed back in March, on Saturday after touring Liberia and Sierra Leone on Friday. After meeting with President Alpha Conde, he expressed concern about the situation in the country’s southeast forest region, where he said the number of infected people “seems to continue to grow.” The region borders Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, and Ban called for cross-border collaboration to bring the disease under control.He urged all Guineans to commit themselves to eradicating Ebola, saying that the U.N. and its partners “are there to help you.””It has never been so important to work together,” he said.Guinea has recorded 2,453 Ebola deaths and 1,550 cases, according to the WHO. This past week, officials in Conakry, the capital, announced a ban on New Year’s Eve celebrations such as fireworks displays and beach gatherings in a bid to curtail transmission.Ban was expected to travel to Mali Saturday evening.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
A suspected bandit was on Tuesday morning nabbed by public-spirited citizens after he and an accomplice robbed a Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) resident.The gun and ammunition that were recovered by the Police after the robberyBased on reports received, the 28-year-old victim was standing in front of his Diamond Access Road, EBD residence when he was attacked and relieved of a gold-coloured chain he was wearing at the time by the two men.However, upon realising that the young man was being robbed, several members of the public went in pursuit of the two men. One was apprehended; however, the other made good his escape.Upon the apprehension of the man, the chain that was stolen from victim was found his possession. In addition, an unlicensed revolver with six live rounds of marching ammunition were found close by.The suspect is being processed for court while Police continue their hunt for the second person.