By: Jeremiah Sackie Cooper – jeremiahcooper105gmail.com
Liberia: Several Liberians residing in Montserrado County have revealed to Women’s TV-Liberia that they were been trucked to Nimba County allegedly by Representative Samuel G. Kogar to participate in the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration process.
The National Elections Commission is conducting the second phase of the Biometric Voter Registration in the remaining nine of Liberia’s 15 counties namely: Bong Nimba, Lofa, Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, River Gee,River Cess, and Sinoe Counties.
Samuel Kogar is Nimba County District #5 Representative who is seeking re-election this year.
Speaking to our reporter while in route to Nimba County on the alleged mandate of the Rep. Kogar, some of the voters who chose not to be named said Kogar promised to compensate them with US$40,00 each if they travel to get register in the county.
According to them, they were not forced by the lawmaker to go and register in Nimba County but it was a decision they made wholeheartedly as a means of earning something for themselves.
They however blamed their action on the economic hardship in the country and accused the government of failure to provide jobs for its citizens.
“We are here and on our way to Nimba to register for Representative Kogar. He said that he will give us money and we are happy that he will give us money”.
Meanwhile, Nimba County District #5 Representative Samuel Kogar has admitted to transporting the eligible voters who according to him are from the country specifically his constituents who do not have any means of going back home to obtain their biometric voter registration cards.
Rep. Kogar made the revelation to a local news network after being accused of offering US$50 to each individual to be trucked to his district to register.
On Monday, 24 March 2023, the National Election Commission while giving update on the phase one of the biometric voter registration exercise disclosed that the commission continues to receive reports of voter trucking in several parts of the country.
NEC Chairman Davidetta Brown Lansanda noted that voter trucking is against the election law of Liberia, and severe punishment awaits anyone found in violation of the law.
She warned politicians to avoid the act of trucking voters from where they live to a different place just for political interest and at the same time said that the act of voter trucking is unacceptable and has the propensity of undermining the conduct of a free and fair election.
“NEC has received a report of incidence of violence related to trucking of voters and the control of crowds. The commission appreciates the effort of the joint security of it responding to the incidence”.
“We call on Liberians not to do trucking. Trucking takes away from the population of where they reside and shift it to another registration or another locality or another county”.
Voter trucking violates session 10.2A of the election law of Liberia.