Abridged version of the 1991 Constitution launched
The National Commission for Democracy (NCD) Sierra Leone has on Thursday 6th March 2014 during the usual Government press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications Youyi building in Freetown launched an Abridge version [Including a braille version] of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone .
Explaining to Journalists, the Chairman NCD, Dr. Abu-Bakarr Kargbo described the launching exercise as a manifestation of promoting good governance to the people of this country.
He further stated that, creating and sustaining public awareness on the issues of the National Constitution of Sierra Leone is among the mandate of the Commission. The Chairman emphasized that, over the years the Commission has been carrying out its mandate within limited resources which he recognized as one of the major challenges facing the work of the Commission.
As the constitution is currently undergoing a review process, the NCD boss emphasized the importance to give citizens the opportunity to have first hand information about the supreme laws of the land. He also discussed that since the Constitution provides principles of governance there is need to give voice to all sectors of people to make their own input in to the process. He appealed to the media that their role is not only to criticize but they should also equally come onboard and actualize the whole process.
Concluding, the Chairman happily announced that, NCD will celebrates it 20th anniversary on International Democracy Day.
Delivering the statement, the Country Director, Action Aid Sierra Leone Mr. Mohamed Sillah deliberated that, they are in partnership with NCD for the fact that they are right base organization. He entreated that, the National Commission for Democracy is a Government entity while explaining that Action Aid is a Non Governmental Organization but they have the same goal which is to achieve good governance system.
The Country Director expressed that, they as an NGO believes that, the Constitution is the soul of a nation, therefore the people across all towns and villages in Sierra Leone should have accurate participation in the review process.
Mr. Sillah emphasized on the lot of lapses that are embedded in the Constitution that is undergoing review process. He further revealed how the right of people has been denied. He cited Madam Torto in Kono whose right to contest the Paramount Chieftaincy was denied even though he went to court to seek redress but she lost the case. He dilated that; development can only thrive when the rights of citizens are guaranteed by the constitution.
Taking the podium, the Secretary of the Constitutional Review Committee Mr. Augustine Sheku commended NCD and for the initiative they have undertaken to strengthen the review process. He discussed that, the process of launching of the abridge version intended to educate the general public on the values which are entrenched in modern society that all of us must subscribed to. He thanked Action Aid for funding the project an action he described as a move to complement the country’s development agenda. He encourages other development partners to emulate the good example of Action Aid. He revealed the timeliness of the launching and he emphasized how Government has acquired eleven vehicles to ensure the mobility of members of the review committee.
By: Jennifer Kanneh and Abdulai Mento Kamara
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