19th February 2018
ABC Boss Ajibola Implores Politicians to be Honest and Non-Violent!
By John Koroma (07/02/18)
The Executive Director of the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change ABC has warned politicians to exhibit honesty and violence-free attitude.
ABC boss Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas and his Programme Manager, Mr. Ishmael Cole have implored politicians to be honest in signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the assurance that they will not condone violence as the March 7, 2018 elections heat up. The ABC team wants Sierra Leone politicians to develop a culture of pure honesty. (Photo: ABC boss Dr. Ajibola speaking to the military in Sierra Leone).
They were speaking on 30th January 2018, in an exclusive chat with this writer against the backdrop of recent verbal exchanges between rival politicians. The past few days saw citizens bombarded with heated variations of reports of what caused recent violence during the ruling APC party's nomination day rally. Rival politicians gave different versions of what happened and confused the citizens as to who was saying the truth.
Dr. Thomas condemned any act of deliberate dishonesty in explaining events to the public. He also condemned the act of political violence which he said occurs during political rallies, political parties processions and campaigning in voter swing communities. He also said such violence could occur during polling day and after the announcement of electoral results. He added further that political violence can be intra-party or inter-party violence. He said such was manifested in past elections and recently during the now-concluded nominations process.
The ABC chief said violence is very inimical to the electoral processes as they cause lives and properties to be lost just because of an election that is a one-off thing. "The ABC is discouraging all forms of politically motivated violence in the forth coming elections,’’ said Dr. Thomas.
Mr. Cole said political violence is any violence taking place within the electoral cycle. Mr. Cole noted that though the Police say the violence that erupted during the APC nomination’s day was a clash amongst clique members, it is still political violence as it falls within the electoral cycle and around a political rally. Mr. Cole also advised against using hate speech adding that it has the propensity to create chaos in the country.
Meanwhile, the recent ruling APC violence have sent worrying signals ahead of the 2018 polls. At least one person lost his life with many wounded and huge amount of properties and businesses got lost.
It is generally agreed that the 2018 general elections will be a test case for the democratic and peaceful atmosphere that Sierra Leoneans have enjoyed for the past ten years under President Ernest Koroma.