By Desmond Jones
Riotous Fourah Bay College (FBC) students have finally realized that dialogue was a better option than violent protest.
After almost a week of violent protest, including burning of tyres and barricading administration offices at the college campus, the students have issued a press release through their union government calling on their colleagues to avoid all forms of violent activity, be peaceful and to conduct themselves within the ambits of the laws of the University of Sierra Leone (USL) and the nation at large.
Furthermore, they appealed to the college administration to consider the constraints faced by students and to temper justice with mercy regarding 31 of their colleagues rusticated for illegally occupying the college hostels.
They said they were caught in a desperate situation which caused them to occupy the college hostels illegally. They cited constraints such as transportation and accommodation, especially for students coming from the provinces.
However, the students confessed that their constraints were no justification for them occupying the hostels unlawfully, but it was for them to be able to study for their examinations.
They called for the intervention of the Government of Sierra Leone, Civil Society, Inter-Religious Council, the Media, parents and guardians and well wishers to resolve the matter amicably.
Meanwhile, the Police have earlier claimed that the situation at the college has been brought under control and assured parents/guardians and law abiding students that there was no more cause for alarm.
In addition, they advised the college administration to resume the second semester examination with a new time table, but issued a stern warning to all students that any more attempt to subvert the peace, tranquility and security of the college and its environs would face the full force of the law.