The escalating political violence and the acts of massive trucking of mercenary voters from other parts of the country into Western Liberia has engulfed Bomi County in serious pandemonium, to the extent that the citizens are being deprived of registering to vote during the Voter Roll Update process. But according to Bomi County District #2 Representative Edwin Melvin Snowe, the people of Bomi have resolved to stop any busload of hired voters from entering their county on December 8.
“As for trucking, the NTA buses management should either get insurance for their buses before December 8, because the citizens of Bomi have resolved they will not allow those NTA buses to go to Bomi. The people of Cape Mount have already put a stop to it. We will not allow those buses to go into Bomi. And you can take it from there. Tyler can bring the entire police force that he already boasts of in Bomi County, we will not allow the buses to go there. Citizens of Bomi will make the determination on December 8,” Representative Snowe cautioned Wednesday when he appeared on a local talk show to clarify reports that he was also involved in the trucking of voters from one location into Bomi County.
“It’s false. If I wanted to truck, like I am going for a senatorial election, would you say you say my pickup that can take 10 persons or my jeep that can take eight persons, labeled, conveying people to Bomi? What sense does that make? If I wanted to truck, I would go and rent buses, even though I won’t be given NTA buses like other candidates, but I would go and rent buses and truck people. Not one person can tell you they’ve seen such a thing in Bomi County associated with me,” Representative Snowe vehemently debunked the reports.
“We all know in Bomi there’s only one person who’s trucking people, and it’s Mr. Alex Tyler. As I speak to you now, as I was entering your studio, the people from a town called Gayah Hills, and another place called Behsao, informed me about what is happening in their towns. It’s like people have taken over their county. This morning, the women had a major demonstration at the office of the elections commission in Bomi. As they were demonstrating, five NTA buses were entering Bomi County. Let me make it clear before we go further. I am not crying about it. No. I am not worried about Mr. Tyler trucking people. He can truck the whole of Monrovia or Margibi into Bomi County. We have the votes on the ground and we will take on him. My only concern is the credibility of the elections. That’s where I am coming from,” Mr. Snowe averred.
Snowe cautioned that a lot could go wrong if care is not taken. “If we don’t blow the alarm now, by December 8 there will be a lot of crybabies in this town, and nothing’s going to happen at that time,” Snowe said.
He said the National Elections Commission informed Liberians that they were going to do three things during the Voter Roll Update.
“One, they would do the first time voters, meaning those that did not attain the age of 18 and above by 2017 to register and vote, would now have the privilege to have a voting card. Two, those cards that got misplaced, voters will not get the chance to obtain a new card. And three, if you relocated from one destination to the other, they will give you a new card. Now, I don’t have a problem with the first time voters. If you didn’t meet the age and now need a card, you have a student ID card, national ID card, you show something, and you get a new card. If you misplaced your card, I think you should be able to go to the registrar, call your name, state where you registered before or where your information would be, and then they will now mark it or cross you, and then issue you a new card. Or if you relocated from Montserrado to Bomi County for example, you should go there, surrender your old card, and then obtain a new card. Because guess what, the 2017 card is still valid for the 2020 elections,” Mr. Snowe stated.
But Snowe warned that the National Elections Commission is just doing a completely new registration in addition to the existing cards of 2017. “This is why people can now obtain two cards with two different names, and people are using each other finger prints, which is not credible,” he stated.
Regarding concerns that he could lose out to Representative Alex Tyler who is also contesting the senate seat in Bomi County on the ticket of the Coalition for Democratic Change, Mr. Snowe said he has the support on the ground and will beat Tyler any day.
“I am not crying about what Mr. Tyler is doing. What he’s doing in Bomi is abuse of power. Besides the 10 NTA buses, they have these KIA motors. At Behsao, they packed the vehicle in Behsao and their guys jumped down looking for where to register. The entire town came to a standstill. There was a big riot in Behsao today. The citizens don’t even have the opportunity to go and register. It’s a big confusion. Interestingly, in addition to him having authority over all of the local county authorities, he also has the support of the police. He’s being escorted and protected. It’s unbelievable what’s happening in Bomi today. Even this morning, as the women were demonstrating, presenting their petition to the Magistrate in Bomi, Mr. Luther Dean, and the Superintendent, Mr. Adama Robertson, the buses were entering Tubmanburg. You monitored the show on Spoon TV that night when the buses were offloading people and they came and attacked James. It’s abuse of power,” Snowe said.
The Bomi County lawmaker who relocated from Montserrado County District #6 to contest the representative seat in Bomi County and won, said he is more concerned about the credibility of the elections than his chances of losing the elections.
The Magistrate in Bomi, Mr. Snowe said, even went on the radio and said there is no law against trucking.
“Not only that. I called him on the second day and said our citizens cannot register, and that Mr. Tyler has 10 NTA buses and several KIA Motors trucking people every day. I asked him to at least create a separate line for the citizens to register. But Mr. Dean said, ‘look, Honorable, there is no law against trucking. So I advise that you do it too, because everybody is doing it’. Why is that people are getting three voting cards one day? Because they can leave Brewerville, go to Demein and vote and come back to Monrovia and vote. That’s the credibility I am talking about. There will be thousands of our citizens voting at least two times on December 8,” Snowe warned.
Regarding the issue of electoral violence, Representative Snowe said his office was attacked Tuesday by Mr. Tyler supporters, and it was witnessed by two media outlets. “One of the attackers admitted he was taken to Bomi by Mr. Tyler. Then the City Mayor, who’s the campaign manager for Mr. Tyler, went to the police station and demanded the release of the guy. We’ve seen the abuse of power in this country, we’ve lived it. To come back today and see power being abused as it is, it’s unfortunate,” Snowe lamented.