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Sierra Leone News: Chiefs promise to preach peace

President Julius Maada Bio told Paramount Chiefs, civil society members and religious leaders that conflict is the most constant thing in life and that it is not strange. He addressed the National Council of Paramount Chiefs and Coalition of Civil Society and human rights activist’s conference at the Catco Hall, along Wilkinson Road in Freetown on Friday 13 April 2018.
After the runoff election, there were reports of isolated violence across the country. President Bio said he appreciated the efforts at building peace. He said we need to move on with development and move away from political violence. The time for politics is over and everyone should be thinking of how to develop the country toward national stability.
The President said in moving forward as a nation we need to accept that we are all different with different demand at any point in time pointing that, we need to accept each others despite the political parties, region, tribe or ethnicity. He said for a nation to develop it requires security in all aspect especially before, during and after elections stating that our lections of late have been marred by violence been fueled by politicians, their supporters and voters themselves.
PC Soluku Sonsiama, from Sando Chiefdom, Kono District, said, “Paramount Chiefs should remain neutral and stay free from politics. It’s the people we serve, in the country.” He said they should all focus on peace.
The President said, “The Paramount Chiefs and the civil society have important roles to play in building the cracks as well as bringing communities and people together.” He pleaded with the Chiefs to join his government in making the country a safer place and called on the civil society to come up with positive criticisms in areas he can work on.
“Politics has made us go too far from each other. It’s time for a rethink on how we play our politics and stop the fight during elections. We are trying to ensure the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is completely independent to conduct free, fair and transparent elections which results will be accepted by everyone,” he assured.
He said, ”Politics have kept us apart for too long. We have abandoned our family, friends and love ones as a result of politics. Politicians have assisted the citizens to build a wall against their relatives when its time for elections which we should frown at as a nation.”
To belong to any political party is not a crime and we need to understand this, it has become a serious issues in the country and we need to address it. We need a country that is safe, secure and peaceful through your supports as PCs, CSOs and all citizens.
The Chair, Memunatu Pratt, said the country had gone through successful smooth transition from 1996 to date a demonstration of how citizens have transformed their mindset on issues around democracy. She said the nation has upheld values to peace and democracy which clearly shows that both the country and it citizens did won the 2018 elections.
MK/14/4/18
By Mohamed Kabba,
Twitter: @chikakabba
Monday April 16, 2018.

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