NYC takes non-violence campaign to Bonthe
The National Youth Coalition of Sierra Leone (NYC-SL) have taken the venture to be on the forefront to kick hell against violence and the so-called political stronghold syndrome, which are identified as the main causes bringing young to involve in immoral activities. (Photo: NYC President Ishmael Al Sankoh Conteh…- preaching-non-violence)
The Coalition over the weekend engaged youth leaders and civil society organizations at Mattru Jung in the Bonthe District and Fire Stone Community in Freetown.
The Youth Coalition is a network movement of various youth organizations in the country that is working over the years to increasing youth potential, creativity and skills towards national development and also to transform the mentality and attitude of young people in Sierra Leone.
The NYC is proud to announce their support for the White Flag Movement to undertake a peace and non-violence campaign for the 2012 elections.
The meeting was chaired by Youth Adviser, Sulaiman Suntus Kamara condemn those that are forming themselves in to groups with the aim of perpetrating violence and other anti-social crimes. His point was supported by Pa Nabbie another of Tiwani.
Addressing the youths of Fire Stone Community, the National Secretary General of the Coalition said they have recognized the fact that politicians have succeeded in dividing the entire country into regional strongholds, and that their supporters are most times using the popular music titled ‘na my area’, to prevent their opponent from entering their communities.
Saliue AB Kargbo strongly condemns all political parties or individuals who are involved in political and social violence in the country, adding that, “We totally and absolutely condemn those political parties or individuals whose main aim is to frighten investors and attempt to create unrest.” He went on to note that they have identified one of the main factors responsible for political and social intolerance which most times lead to political violence that emanated from the political culture of ‘political strongholds’.
Sierra Leone, he said is a united and peaceful country where no political party has a stronghold. “There is no region, district or chiefdom which belongs to any political party thus the citizens are the custodian of the sovereignty of Sierra Leone,” says the NYC Secretary General.
A similar meeting was held in collaboration with the Bonthe District Youth Council at Mattru Jung.
In his opening remarks Civil Society Activist, Edward Kallon called on the people of Bonthe District to be politically tolerant, noting that they must allow all and sundry to exercise their democratic rights without any form of hindrance or intimidation. Mr. Kallon admonished civil society or4ganizations to be neutral in the electoral process, and vehemently condemn those using traditional or cultural societies to scare away those exercising their political or social rights. The CSO Activist called on political parties to encourage women and youths by awarding them symbols for the coming elections.
A Youth Leader called on his compatriots to refrain from violence. Sinnah advised his audience not to allow politicians to provide them with harmful drugs to perpetrate violence. He noted that political parties should award youths with at least 10% participation as recommended by the 2002 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Sinnah commended President Koroma for setting up the National Youth Commission. He advised the Commission to rollout programs for youth empowerment.
President of National Youth Coalition informed the youths that preaching political strongholds can lead to regional and district violence which is not good for the country.
Ishmael Al-Sankoh Conteh said young people have a greater role to play in the community to ensure a positive democracy and tolerance, which are food for development of any country. He noted that young people forms the vast majority of those that will vote in a government in Sierra Leone. The NYC President reiterated the fact that it’s time for young people to prepare for a brighter future. “Let us don’t allow politicians to contaminate our focused minds with their negative ideologies of perpetrating violence or use their so-called stronghold syndrome to destroy the country. We don’t want the youths of today to be used as a tool to destroy their own communities for politicians’ selfish desire,” he said, and added that it’s time to say no to violence and political stronghold.
He said Sierra Leoneans should see each other as brothers and sisters and discourage violence in their communities. Mr. Conteh encouraged all political parties in the country to unite so that the entire country will have a brighter future.
By A. R. Bedor
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