Democracy is about love for Country- NCD
Sierra Leone, Freetown: As Sierra Leone joins the world to commemorate International Democracy Day which is today 15th September every year, the Director of Public Relations at the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) has said democracy is not about love for self, but love for Country.
As defined by Abraham Lincoln between, 1863-1865, a true democracy is of the people, by the people and for the people, giving the majority to participate in all civic duties, as well as accepting leadership of legitimacy through the rule of law.
Speaking to Awoko, Rev. Gibrilla Kargbo said patriotism, with sound democratic processes has made Europe and America great nations and deep rooted in democracy. “These countries have short falls in governance, but always find solutions with the participation and involvement of the majority, which is seriously affecting Africa’s democracy”, noted Rev. Kargbo.
He added that democracy began in developed countries several centuries ago and was being introduced in Africa as a means of putting to rest the many coups and counter coups that brought instability in the smooth sail of governance of elected governments. “Constitutional democracy cannot go without good governance, including transparency and accountability and this Sierra Leoneans have been practicing close to three decades giving the majority choices of representation”.
Asked why democracies have failed in some parts of Africa, Rev. Gibrilla Kargbo disclosed to this medium that the right civic culture is mainly affecting democracies in Africa and Sierra Leone is no exception. He furthered that majority of some leaders and the governed are unaware of their civic culture of responsibilities noting that the people have to accept leadership legitimacy through the ballot box and in Sierra Leone it is once every 5 years, which during the period leaders and representatives have to be accountable and transparent to their people.
The NCD communications director maintained that since its establishment in 1994, a lot has been done to strengthen Sierra Leone’s democracy after years of civil conflict and to foster unity and to date apart from other journals and survey reports, books were produced by the commission; Governance and the three arms of Government, Governance processes in Sierra Leone (1789-2014), Post-Conflict Governance in Sierra Leone and Promoting Sustainable Democratic Consolidation in Sierra Leone. He noted that all 4 books were produced by the former Chairman of the NCD, DR. Abubakarr Hassan Kargbo with efforts from staff. Rev. Kargbo disclosed that the NCD had been part of the Justice Cowan review of the country’s 1991 constitution and since embarked on several public education exercises in various vernacular across the country on how the constitution works.
With regards to violence in communities and other demonstrations which sometimes include loss of life, Rev. Gibrilla Kargbo said in governance dialogue is key and an ongoing process but because many lack civic culture, issues are misinterpreted and misconstrued and this is the reason why such events occur. He added that the NCD in collaboration with partners both within and out of the country will continue to engage the public about rights which goes with responsibilities and called on the public to listen to government for the right information before going down the wrong path, and also for the appropriate authorities to be more proactive in disseminating public information, rather than waiting to respond and react, after it is too late. “Sierra Leone is bigger than all of us and everything, therefore it is time leaders and the governed show more commitment and are true to each other, rather than always playing the blame game hide and seek, which hampers national development”, Rev. Kargbo concluded. AC/15/9/2021
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