President Koroma Scores Human Rights Goal
President Koroma’s appointment of a prominent and the leading Human Rights Lawyer in Sierra Leone, Lawyer Melron Nicol-Wilson as OMBUDSMAN in Sierra Leone has been seen by many as a wise decision and an indication of his commitment to the development and maintenance of Human Rights in Sierra Leone. His Excellency recognized the importance of appointing someone with the requisite knowledge and skill to handle the issues that this office is faced with. It is this office that workers and other people whose rights have been violated in their respective places of work and undue advantage taken over always go for help. Therefore in his wisdom the president decided to choose the leading Human Rights Lawyer in the country to head that institution. Opponents as well as supporters also see this appointment as appropriate. This move will be seen as a legacy of the president as he leaves office since the term of office of the OMBUDSMAN is 4 years.
It could be recalled that President Koroma had promised to empower the youths. He is quoted to have said that he will die for the youths. He set up the National Youth Commission and appointed a youth as the minister to head that ministry. Furthermore the deputy minister of sports is a youth. This he did in order to promote sports in the country mindful of the fact that youths are involve in all sport activities in the country. He introduced the Youth Employment Scheme to provide jobs for the less privileged. Presently the government has a sizable number of youths in key positions. He has displayed his trust in the youths and his commitment to empower and protect them from abuse thus the appointment of the new OMBUDSMAN who is also youthful is an indication of such trust and confidence in them. So far the youths he had appointed to top positions have not disappointed him.
The dossier on Lawyer Melron Nicol-Wilson speaks volume of him and is impressive. In 2007 he was winner of the African Human Rights lawyer award and a former human rights law teaching fellow at the prestigious human rights institute at Colombia Law School in New York. He was funded by the US embassy to do the international visitors leadership exchange program in the US and funded by the Menah Pratt Family to do speaking tours in 4 American Universities (including university of Tennessee and Vanderbilt) on the challenges of setting up a social justice organization. He co-founded the Lawyers centre for legal assistance (LAWCLA) which took up many cases of the disadvantaged, vulnerable and those who could not afford a lawyer.
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