By Jara Mena Jara
The Very Reverend Canon A.E. Nicol of the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone has called on President Ernest Bai Koroma to take his personal security seriously. He made this statement on the occasion of the presentation of the Civil Society Communiqué issued earlier this year. According to Rev. Canon Ajai Nicol, “We recognize that special attention be paid to your personal security as you move around the country.
We recognize the need for you to continually interact with the general public, but we recommend that security protocols for your movement be observed at all times”. The representative of the Inter-Religious Council also urged the President to communicate his commitment to promoting a free, fair and violence-free 2012 elections to the people of Sierra Leone and further cascade it to members of the APC. “Accordingly, we recommend that you reiterate your commitment to a non-violent process by renouncing violence and declaring that everyone will be individually held accountable for their actions or inactions”, he said.
The Right Rev. Canon Ajai Nicol also had a word or two for the Media in Sierra Leone. He described the role of the media in promoting a transparent and democratic process as very critical, but however noted that, “the media is a two-edged sword that could also contribute to destabilizing and undermining democratic processes.” “For this reason”, he went on, “we recommend that your party works with the Independent Media Commission (IMC) to ensure that the media performs a professional role before, during and after the elections. In particular, we strongly recommend that members of your political party effectively use the media to promote the aspirations of the party in a positive manner.”
In response, President Koroma Ernest Bai Koroma agreed to take his personal security seriously but was quick to note that his nature and style of leadership was to interface with all facet of society, including paying unannounced visits to Ghettos, Car Wash facilities, Attaya Bases etc. The President said that these visits almost always have their advantages as they always give him the opportunity to know firsthand how the youths are faring on in the country. He promised to look into all the concerns raised by the Civil Society within the shortest possible time.