AVM takes Civil Society Activists to task
The Anti-Violence Movement (AVM) has been working assidiously to address the negative vices that lead to violence in the electoral process. The organization has over the years succeeded in increasing youth potential, creativity and skills towards national development and also to transform the mentality and attitude of young people in Sierra Leone. (Photo: AVM Director, Bernard Conteh… want Civil Society Activists to be neutral)
The Director AVM has come down heavily on those some so-called Civil Society Activitists that are showing their true colours in politics. “We want civil society Activists and their organizations to be neutral and transparent in their operations,” says Bernard Conteh. The AVM Director who has participated in so many civil society gatherings said he has sensed some amount of partisan politics amongst their colleagues. “This will create anarchy amongst civil society members. I am expecting all Civil Society Activists to take the lead in talking for the voiceless to ensure they gain their rights in society,” said the AVM Director.
Mr. Conteh further reiterated the fact that everybody has the right to belong, but when it comes to Civil Society Activists, they are expected to be neutral in their services to the humanity. Politicians, he said don’t have permanent friends but permanent interest, and added that they only come around people at the time of elections when they are in dare need of votes.
Mr. Conteh told this reporter that lots of Civil Society Activists and their organizations are discriminating against those that may not want to join them in their quest for party politics. “If this continues then I am convinced that these so-called Activists will not work in favour of the people.
In terms of information flowing from Civil Society Organizations and to the government or people, the AVM Director said they will never give tangible information because they have already taken sides. “If it continues like this unto the elections, then CSOs will never give out real information that will stop violence,” he said.
Also, the Anti-Violence Movement Director called on all political parties to add human rights aspect in their manifestos, because it is important in all human development. “We want politicians and the public to respect us as Civil Society Activists and not to suspect us as partisan movements. We should be seen dealing with issues that are of best interest to the nation,” he admonished CSOs.
Mr. Conteh called on all Civil Society Organizations to join in monitoring the use of the $5m arms purchased by government. The arms, he said are meant to protect the people of Sierra Leone. “We have seen young people perpetrating crime on broad daylight. These are issues CSO Activists should be attacking,” he said and concluded calling on his colleagues to work hard in their advocacy for a better future of the nation.
By Fadda Bakish
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