Marcella Samba Sesay: Unraveling the Truth from Falsehood

By: Abubakarr Benson 

Executive Director, Centre for Youth Participation in Democracy (CYPaD)

Baseless accusations have been circulating on social media, with political parties’ stalwarts alleging that Marcella was paid to promote a regime change in Sierra Leone. In a decade, I haven’t seen an accusation as baseless as this one, tarnishing the reputation of decent individuals in society who have chosen the path to uphold democratic values and dedication.

She wasn’t paid when we had a regime change in 2018, right? Why do you think she is being paid now to promote a regime change? Given all the intimidation and baseless accusations, did she, in fact, claim that the election was won by the opposition or that the results put them in a comfortable lead?

The PRVT methodology used by NEW is routinely employed by citizen election observation organizations worldwide. Over 35 PRVTs have been conducted for national elections in 10 African countries, including recent elections in Nigeria (2023), Kenya (2022), and Ivory Coast (2020). This is not the first PRVT in Sierra Leone; NEW has employed the same methodology in the past, in 2007, 2012, and for both the first and second round Presidential elections in 2018.

They have consistently employed their PRVT methodology to monitor the election and issue preliminary/provisional results of the election outcome, emphasizing that the National Election Body, ECSL, has the sole mandate of announcing election results. Why do you think they were wrong this time? When Andrew Lavalie of the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) issued pre-survey results and predictions of the 2023 June 24 election outcome, giving specific percentages, did you or your cohorts raise objections, suggesting that he was financially influenced? Because he was simply doing his job, as he has done in previous elections. Why should the conversation be any different when it comes to Marcella?

The social media bullying of Marcella is too much. As an advocate for the success of democracy and good governance, I feel a moral obligation to comment on issues hindering the progress of a thriving democracy in Sierra Leone. If you believe you can tarnish Marcella’s reputation with baseless conspiracy allegations, I encourage you to redirect your energy elsewhere and leave Marcella Samba alone. She’s doing her work!

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