To Investigate August 10 Incident, Main Opposition APC Leader Endorses Instituting Independent Committee


By Amin Kef (Ranger)

During a Press Conference held at Parliament Building on the 17th August, 2022, the Leader of the main opposition APC Party, the Hon Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah, commonly known as Chericoco, informed journalists that on the 10th of August, 2022, the country suffered yet another phase of shocking violence emanating from a clash between protesters and security forces.

He pointed out how the disturbances resulted in the loss of the lives of several civilians and security personnel of the Sierra Leone Police furthering how unfortunately, the painful events of August 10, continued for several days further claiming the lives of citizens in harrowing circumstances as in the cases of Hassan Dumbuya (Evangelist Samson) and others.

“I continue to express my profound condolences to the families who lost loved ones,” he consoled and prayed that their souls rest in perfect peace.

The Leader of the main opposition APC stated that as the nation grieves let him state that he strongly condemns violence of any form expressing the belief that there are much more progressive and constructive approaches to communicate concerns ,including peaceful protests.

He continued by saying he would also reiterate that in any democratic dispensation, citizens have the right to use protest to demonstrate their concerns as long as those protests are peaceful and are within the remit of the law.

“Again, I note that citizens including Mohamed Kamara (Med Kay) of the All Peoples Congress were arrested even before the 10th of August demonstrations and are still in detention,” he highlighted adding how the events leading to and which unfolded on 10th of August, 2022, provided a clear indication that there has been an erosion in the gains made in strengthening reconciliation, social cohesion and peace building in post-war Sierra Leone.

“These events further point to the fact that we have not succeeded in using constructive means of dialoguing to maintain peace, stability, social cohesion and security in our beloved country, Sierra Leone,” he lamented.

Chericoco said more than ever before there is the need for the nation to reverse that trend by reflecting on where we have gone wrong and what we can do to ensure that the gains made over the years to consolidate peace are not lost.

He asserted that violence can only undermine stability and development and called on all Sierra Leoneans to remain calm and law abiding, calling also on the Government to immediately take steps to ameliorate the situation by ensuring the following: That the number of people killed during and after the incident is made public, with their corpses handed over to their families for dignified burial rites.

He also demanded that a record of all those incarcerated is provided to the public and their families granted access to them emphasizing that the Government should ensure that their rights are protected through speedy and fair access to a court of law and that they should also be provided with legal representation where they cannot afford one.

According to him, in line with the above, he endorses the call for an Independent Committee to speedily and conclusively investigate the August 10 demonstrations and its aftermath.

He said, however, it must be ensured that the composition and conduct of the Committee is credible and non-partisan with the sole aim of providing truthful findings and proffer recommendations that will amongst other things help to provide redress for the families of victims.

The main opposition Leader of Parliament said he wants to take the opportunity to call on the Inter-Religious Council (IRC), and other Civil Society Organizations, the Council of Paramount Chiefs and community leaders to mobilize and take the right steps in engaging all relevant stakeholders, with the aim of helping to promote reconciliation, healing and social cohesion, in our beloved country.

He stated that he cannot over emphasize the crucial role of the Civil Society in the consolidation of democratic good governance in Sierra Leone as we draw closer to the 2023 elections.

Hon Chernor Ramadan Maju Bah also called on the International Community to continue providing the required political support and inspire the much needed political will to overcome the challenges that the nation is currently contending with concluding by reminding that what unites us is mightier than what tries to divide all and prayed that May God grant us the peace and serenity that we deserve and seek to achieve in Sierra Leone.

(C) The Calabash Newspaper

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