The National Coordinator of West Africa Network for Peace building- Sierra Leone (WANEP-SL), Edward K. Jombla, has said in a Press Conference that the recent pace of political attacks on individuals is a signal for chaos as the 2012 electoral processes approach.
Mr. Jombla said that “words like killer, coupist, voucher gate etc. have prevailed the media landscape quite recently that it appears that the Lome Peace Agreement, the TRC report and the communiqués political parties have signed, have been flagrantly abused and disrespected all in the interest of politics and personal aggrandizements.”
He re-echoed that “as we maintain the country’s fragile peace which was hardly earned eleven years ago, there is every need for state actors, individuals and parastatals to dwell on issues relating to development and national cohesion and should stop releasing press statements that throw personal attacks on people.”
“We are not interested in anybody reminding us of things that happened during the course of the civil war. The population is so gullible that people take everything hook, line and sinker, especially if certain statements are coming from politicians. There should be political tolerance and we all should embrace each other.”
Mr. Jombla added “we should retract our minds from things that have the propensity of putting this nation into anarchy; a situation that will again cost both local and international bodies a lot to resolve, and also cause further retrogression to this nation and its people.”
Saa Mathias Bendu, a Civil Society Activist said that politicians are the very people who go around preaching tribalism and regionalism, when the lay man knows nothing about them, not to talk of knowing their existence.
“If you visit the most remote part of the country, you will never hear people talking about tribalism, ethnicity or regionalism. We are known all over the world for religious and tribal tolerance but the efforts of politicians in preaching these ideologies have eaten deeply into our society to the point that the most cherished part of our country’s characterization, which is inter-marriage among our diverse ethnic groups, is becoming or has become very sensitive in local communities in recent times.”
A Human Right Officer of Sierra Leone Youth Empowerment, Madam Hannah Grace Collier, said “it is total nonsense for politicians to start blaming others of having blood in their hands.”
She opined that issues surrounding infrastructure, human rights, education, agriculture and food security etc. should be the primary focus when people, especially politicians, have opportunities to make public statements.
Edward Kingston Jombla additionally stated that politicians are supposed to be accurately informing people of good governance, democracy and peace building, as they are parts of the agreements entered into for the sake of peace and tranquility, but expressed disappointment over the manner in which politicians have blatantly ridiculed these agreements to enhance their selfish desire, mostly not in the interest of the country.
In other words, he said, they have utterly violated the entire communiqués that have been signed.
He said affirmatively that posterity will judge all those who wish in their attempts to put this nation into abysmal catastrophe and that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is watching and will leave no sacred cow if this country is reverted into another civil strife.
By Poindexter Sama