By Elkass I.L. Sannoh
The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Francis Alieu Munu, at Police Headquarters, George Street in Freetown, on Wednesday, June 13, was presented with a Peace Communiqué from 13 year old Junior Secondary School pupil of Henry Fergusson Secondary School, Kennedy Street, in the East end of Freetown, Miss Marie Tommah.
Explaining the reason for the official handing over of the communiqué, the Deputy Chairman, Education Development Programme of the Sierra Leone Gullah Kingship Association, Mr. Lamine Kamara, told the gathering that they pioneered the peace campaign because violence of all sorts have started raising its ugly head in the country.
He revealed that in their bid to promptly help arrest this trend of events they decided to embark on preaching peace messages since January, 28 this year which has culminated in the development of the communiqué.
He explained that the communiqué was designed mainly for the political parties so that they can be honestly sincere with themselves and ensure that they not only sign the peace communiqué but also commit themselves to uphold its contents and moral core values it entails.
He said he was happy to report that all political parties have signed the communiqué and promised to abide by its dictates.
He explained that copies of the communiqué have been sent to the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Office of National Security (ONS) all political parties and other relevant stakeholders.
“ Having in mind the destruction that the decade long civil war caused which still have untold marks in the minds of all Sierra Leoneans, we have collaboratively decided as an association comprising of a membership of one hundred and thirty people, to partner with relevant peace preaching organizations to help propagate the message of peace and active non-violence,” he reiterated.
He said against this background they regard the Sierra Leone Police as the constitutionally mandated moral guarantors of this nation’s internal security.
“We believe that our efforts will be incomplete if you are not part of this all out crusade against violence,” he told the Inspector General, adding, “We are therefore asking the Police through you Mr. Inspector General, to constantly use all strategies to maintain the hard won peace in the country.”
In her remarks, the Chief Queen Mother of the Gullah Kinship Association, Mrs. Salaymatu Bangura, said that for too long women have suffered and still continue to suffer from all forms of violence, be they armed robbery, civil wars, political or domestic violence.
She observed that the war left many of the young teenage girls fatherless and motherless which is why most of them are still wandering in the country during nights selling their sex for money.
Presenting the Peace Communiqué, Miss Marie Tommah pointed out that they as pupils are vulnerable during the occurrence of violence, stressing that nobody has the right to be elected President, Mayor, Parliamentarian or Councilor through violent means.
She urged the Inspector General to use his position to ensure that violence of any sort is not encouraged to have a place in this country.
Receiving the Peace Communiqué, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Francis Alieu Munu, opined that he felt very elated and honoured to see mostly women of all ages preaching peace in the country.
Describing their efforts as laudable and very valuable he said he will do all within his power to ensure that the war against all forms of violence is won.
He called on them not to relent but to continue the good work until they achieve their noble objectives.
“We will continue to adhere to all details in the Peace Communiqué and we will stand with you to frustrate all detractors and perpetrators of violence,” he concluded.