1 September 2017

Liberia: Emma Smith, Scientific Announces Elections Awareness Campaign 'Vote Wisely, Save Liberia'

Photo: allafrica.com
Singer Emma Smith and rapper Scientific (file photo).

Monrovia — Singer Emma Smith and rapper Scientific has announced a nationwide elections awareness campaign style 'Vote wisely, Save Liberia.'

According to the two celebrities, the campaign is intended to educate voters about the risk of casting their voter base on a tribal identity or for money.

The artists in a joint press release noted as October 10 elections approaches; it is prudent that voters be educated about the danger of electing the wrong people to office.

The release added before the planning of this upcoming campaign, which will kick off this Saturday, a month long investigation was conducted which found out most voters will be casting their vote base on tribe line or close friendship, or because of money (selling vote).

"This year's elections will determine whether Liberia will move forward as a nation or not. And it hurts to see voters willing to cast their votes just because someone is their kinfolk or friend or because of money not base on critical analyses of various candidates platform.

"This Vote Wisely, Save Liberia initiative, is intended to educate voters on the risk of electing someone base on tribalism or for money (selling vote) and the benefit it brings when they vote for someone base on a platform", the release quoting the two artists said.

The press release added that by informing voters about their civic rights and responsibilities, the campaign seeks to encourage them to become active, positive and peaceful contributions to the Liberia progress by voting the right people in office.

"The idea is to transform the Liberian voters into ambassadors for change by realizing that selling vote or voting base on tribalism makes room for bad governance and encourages corruption."

"And that voting on a tribal identity or selling voter keeps some of the best potential candidates from being elected into office.

"For our preliminary investigation, we uncovered that candidates are taking advantage of the high rate of poverty and the huge numbers of uneducated voters to peach tribal politics, as well as, giving out money for their vote.

"Therefore, this has to stop! Cash for a vote and tribal politics has now become a dominant, determinant factor in Liberian's politics."

"And the poor are usually the victim of tribal politics or vote buying because their limited means makes them susceptible to material inducements, including offers of basic commodities or modest amounts of money.

"So, when this campaign kick -off, voters will be urged not to give credence to those that tribal politics or selling the voters, which has the propensity to ruin this country," the release said.

Emma Smith and Scientific added that tribal politics divide a nation and vote buying drives up the costs of elections for parties and candidates and may prevent credible candidates from running for political office.

Furthermore, the release said the campaign will also urge youth not to allow politicians to use them to commit acts of violence or political hooliganism before, during and after the elections.

"This is our second priority. We have noticed that there is a high risk of elections violence this year.

"And the reason is simple."

"Most voters think that this election will not be free and fair looking at some provoking statement coming from some opposition parties that they will not accept what happened to them during the last elections.

"But during this Vote Wisely, Save Liberia campaign we will change this notion," Emma and Scientific said.

The release concluded that the campaign will be done through a free concert, direct outreach in community, church, mosque and market places across the country.


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