John Mahama, who is Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the 2018 General Elections in Sierra Leone through his timely intervention and display of his unique diplomatic and conflict resolution skills resolved a disturbing confrontation between the main opposition party, the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, SLPP led by Julius Maada Bio and the Police when counting was underway after close of poll.
The police around 1800 GMT stormed the SLPP Tally Centre to conduct a search based on what they said was a tip-off that the SLPP had some tracking devices at the Centre which will aid them to hack the Electoral results.
The SLPP presidential candidate, Julius Maada Bio, denied the Police entry to their coalition center saying it is a deliberate attempt by police to intimidate the main opposition party.
When the news went viral in Sierra Leone, supporters of the SLPP started massing-up the coalition to get ready to ‘retaliate if the police attempt anything unusual’
However, BBC’s Umaru Fofana reported that, former President John Mahama, who is highly revered by the people of Sierra Leone, and who had earlier led the Presidential Candidates to sign a peace pledge, assessed the situation, met the opposition party leader and the Police Commander to help calm down tension.
Reports indicate that, after a couple of phone calls by John Mahama to the Office of National Security and other Security Chiefs, emphasizing that “it is important that we de-escalate the tension that is building up here. We don’t have to allow a situation that will mar the beautiful voting process.”
Few minutes after John Mahama’s call, the police and army personnel were withdrawn from the Tally Centre.