Sierra Leone starts the 2021 census in the midst of opposition boycott

“Our party’s position is clear. We won’t take part” Opposition PRO Sidie Tunis

By Alpha Kamara

President Julius Maada Bio and family completed the enumeration process that was held across the country as part of the 2021 Mid-Term Population and Housing Census. The World Bank earlier refused funding the process over timeliness and accuracy of the census. But the government funded it 100 percent.

Statistician-General, Professor Osman Sankoh, thanked the President and members of the First Family for leading by example and for participating in the process of collecting quality and transparent data in Sierra Leone.

He emphasized that the information would be used for national development, adding that the process leading to the start of the Census was inclusive of all political parties, NGO’s and civil society groups. “Your Excellency, we brought consultants from Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana who have trained our local staff for proper collection of data. Thank you, sir, for providing Statistics SL with 20,000 tablets and power banks to expedite the process,” he said.

President Julius Maada Bio, commended Stats Sierra Leone for their preparedness, saying that he had followed the process right through all the stages. President Bio called on citizens to participate in the process because it was important for national development. A day before the census, opposition MP’s in parliament sang ‘No census’ together in defiance of the process.

Opposition spokesman Sidie Yayah Tunis said this census is illegal because they have flouted the rules and the opposition will not condole it.  “The government has arrested some of our members for simply telling them not to take part in the process. I am not taking part and that’s our party’s decision, because it is illegal”, he said.  

Lawrence Leema, Sierra Leone’s Deputy Internal Affairs Minister said the action of the opposition party undermines the peace and stability of the country. Hence, those found culpable will be dealt with.

Sierra Leone starts the 2021 census in the midst of opposition boycott
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