Sierra Leone People’s Party Flagbearer aspirant, Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio took 22 minutes to be interviewed and complete the voter registration process on Tuesday 21st March.
He registered at the Services Secondary School in Juba.
Bio said “I will just appeal to everybody to provide as many answers as possible. I did not find the questions troublesome. I was able to answer them comfortably because I had them in my mind. I will advise everybody to put up with whatever inconveniences there are.”
He acknowledged the work of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) staff saying, “they are improving, the timing is good. I think they will improve, as they are getting to acquaint themselves with the whole process as well as the questions and answer so I’m (confident) they will improve very soon.”
“But so far the process is successful and those who qualify to register should exercise their rights to vote and to be voted for.”
The issues of timing he said are “problems that the staff will be able to get over. It is a hard and tedious job as they are going to be working from 7am to 5pm with no lunch.”
“Sierra Leoneans should be patient as this registration is for a life time, so we should take our time in doing it”.
He called on Sierra Leoneans to ensure that they register even if there is a long queue and urged them to “come another day when the queue is shorter or come early to register. For the fact that the ID card can be used for other purposes it is important at least to have an idea of the number of people in the country.”
Asked how critical is the registration process to his party, Bio said “it is critical for our country as a whole and for any political party. People have to register before they can vote and it is important that we take part in the democratic process and to do this we have to register. I am appealing to the good citizens of this country and register.”
The question as to how the interviewee was born whether through Caesarean Section or by normal birth? The SLPP Flagbearer aspirant maintained that this question may be necessary for the purposes of national identification purpose “but I think when you have a question of that nature they must have thought through it and have a reason for putting it there, maybe they need to know how many people get caesarean birth or are born normally in this country.”
Mrs. Fatima Bio who would be a first time voter said “it is a process that everybody needs to go through as it establishes where you come from, and will also give you the right to vote.”
She said, “I am happy. As much I am going to be a first time voter I am happy because I am going to be voting for the next president of Sierra Leone.”
Fatima Bio also complained that the time “is a little bit too long for a registration but I believe NEC and the government must have assessed it before developing such a questionnaire. I also believe Sierra Leoneans should be patient because it is a process being done for the first time.”