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ABC Secretariat Calms Political Violence In Moyamba District

29 February 2012 at 02:31 | 690 views

By Momoja Lappia, Freetown.

The Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat at the end of a one-day workshop on the theme ABC Concept Political Tolerance and Politically Motivated Violence held at the Moyamba District Council Hall on 27th February, 2012 successfully helped to calm political impasses that have been mounting up in that part of the country ahead of the impending Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Council elections slated for November 17th this year.

In his opening remarks the Chairman of the well attended session who happens to be the Moyamba District Officer, Mr. Prince Soriba underscored the importance of the workshop on the basis of its timeliness since according to him tempers have been flaring up among political party members and sympathizers since the ban on political campaigning. He therefore urged the participants, more so those drawn from the political parties, to make good use of the sensitization exercise since according to him the reason why most people perpetrate politically motivated violence is because of poor knowledge of its consequences on sustainable national development.

He commended the ABC Secretariat for educating the inhabitants on the need to put up positive behaviour while practicing politics and encouraged it to reach other areas of the country more importantly Kono, Kailahun, Bo, Freetown, Tongo and Pujehun among others where political violence has being raising its ugly head quite recently. For the ABC Secretariat to achieve this urgently needed feature of political tolerance the Moyamba District Officer called on the All People’s Congress party led government, foreign donors and private business entities to provide the Secretariat with moral and financial support.

In his Keynote Address while officially declaring the workshop open the Chairman of Moyamba District Council, Mr. David. S. Woobay advocated against the presence of violence within the country’s political circles which he said depicts that most nationals have not shown any sign of learning lessons from the past eleven-year rebel war which according to him emanated from ceaseless bad deeds and manners.

Retrospectively, Chairman Woobay lamented how materialism which saw the decline of education, accountability and good morals in the 1980s is still affecting national stability through constituent intra and inter-political party upheavals. Against this backdrop the Moyamba District Chairman called for urgent action to address this problem of debilitating and awful attitudes and behaviour that he said are holding the nation back.

In his view if this is not speedily put into place it will be impossible for Sierra Leone to compete with other developing countries. Chairman Woobay disclosed that the ‘Agenda For Change’ which is clearly the thrust of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) - prescribed for fast-tracking of the country’s postwar economic recovery -is not a new concept in the world. He explained that it is a concept which initiated the Marshall Plan that catapulted Germany into full gear industrialization after the Second World War. Based on this positive result in Germany and elsewhere, the Moyamba District Council Chairman dilated that although it is a daunting task the ABC Secretariat should not relent in bringing President Ernest Bai Koroma’s vision to fruition.

Delivering a lecture on the relevance of political tolerance to national uplifting the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan .A.S. Thomas called on those present to put nationalism above political party loyalties, tribalism, regionalism and other unproductive pettiness. He noted that youths should see themselves as productive future leaders and must not expose their talents for politicians’ exploitations to wreak political instability, but use their youthful years to acquire appropriate educational qualifications that will help them with respectable and payable jobs . According to the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat political violence is a criminal and punishable offence. He continued that the 2012 elections are very crucial to the country since they are what will allow the international world to perceive whether the citizenry are ready for progress and ready to move ahead as a nation. Towards this end he called on the people of Moyamba District to desist from any form of pre and post electoral violence.

In her own lecture on the topic ‘Positive Attitude and Behaviour is Everything,’ the National Coordinator and Second-in-Command of the ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas called on women to be role models, counselors and advocates for peaceful electioneering since according to her in political unrests women suffer the most. She pointed out that women naturally possess these valuable potentials because they are directly linked to agents of political violence who could either be their children, husbands or close relatives. She encouraged participants to register and asked that they also inform all of their relatives, friends and neighbours to register as the registration process is the first step that would qualify them to vote. On politics, Madam Thomas called on the participants to come to the realization that every contestant or party has its own destined time to win and that losers must always exercise courage, understanding and patience for the common good of peaceful co-existence.

“There are no angels in politics, but angles. In 2002 it was former President Tejan Kabbah that was the angle in Sierra Leone and in 2007 it was President Ernest Bai Koroma ,”Madam Thomas stressed and urged them to see reason in voting for the candidates that have reputable performance records and with plans to improve the welfare of the electorate. She later called on parents to empower their girls with potent education and avoid forcing them into early marriages. Madam Thomas further warned teachers, bike riders and other class of men from sexually abusing young girls.

Valuable presentations were made by representatives from the APC, SLPP and PMDC; the NDA, UNPP, PDP RUFP, UDM and other prospective political parties for the 2012 elections were unavoidably absent.

Other recognizable community stakeholders who made meaningful contributions comprised the Local Unit Commander, Sahr Richard Marka; the Brigade Commander, Major Matturi; Office of National Security Coordinator, Abass.A.Kamara among others.

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