SUBJECT: PRESS RELEASE ON THE UNFOLDING POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE

FROM: NCD COMMUNICATIONS UNIT

TO: SEE ATTACHED LIST

DATE: MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015

SUBJECT: PRESS RELEASE ON THE UNFOLDING POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE

Going by its statutory mandate as enshrined in the Superseding Act of Parliament, Act No. 3 of 1996, the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) exists to carry out among others the following:

  • To create and sustain awareness with the society of the principles and objectives of the Constitution as the foundational law of the land;
  • To educate and encourage the public to defend the Constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violation;
  • To formulate for the consideration of government, from time to time, programmes at national, regional and district levels aimed at realizing the objectives of the Constitution;

On the basis of such huge responsibility, NCD is not oblivious of the unfolding political events with far-reaching implications for the nation’s 1991 Constitution. As it stands, the merit and the demerit of the views and opinions expressed should warrant a national debate that should be carried out without recourse to incitement as the peace and unity of the nation should be seen as paramount and should not for one moment be taken from the horizon. It should be noted that the peace and unity of the nation provides the framework for our democracy to thrive and for our development to take root, thus the need to maintain it at all cost.

 

Given the circumstances, NCD is of the view that the unfolding political events surrounding the Office of the Vice President has come to test the level of maturity of the nation’s democracy even as we are expected to conduct the ongoing debate without any room for violence, lies and insults, but realizing that as Sierra Leoneans we should espouse civilized means of exercising our democratic rights so that at the end of the day we can remain as a united nation. The encouragement is that we must endeavor to take out of the democratic debate matters of religion, tribe, region, partisan differences etc. even as we put the interest of the nation above all else.

Additionally, as citizens of Sierra Leone, we must endeavor to behave within the ambit of the law even as we request for the due processes to be followed with the understanding that our courts can handle all matters brought before them as part of our independent democratic institutions without fear or favor. Sierra Leoneans must learn to trust in and respect the independence of the Judiciary in the Country knowing fully well that like all other matters brought before our courts, this issue of the office of the Vice President should be treated as a matter of urgency and the outcome respected by all as we chart the democratic future of Sierra Leone in an atmosphere of unfettered peace and tranquility.

Every Sierra Leonean is reminded of the constitutional mandate of the nation’s Supreme Court as recorded in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone:

 Section 124 (1) The Supreme Court shall, save as otherwise provided in section 122 of this Constitution, have original jurisdiction, to the exclusion of all other Courts –

(a)    In all matters relating to the enforcement or interpretation of any provision of this Constitution;

As a court of competent jurisdiction, that is, the Supreme Court, NCD urges the entire nation to fully support the decision of the Court on the outcome of the matter without resort to any other means of seeking redress as we show utmost regard for the rule of law in the land.

On an issue of this nature, NCD wishes to remind all that the nation is at a cross road and the vital importance of the ongoing Constitutional Review Process cannot be overemphasized as Sierra Leoneans should be interested in the deliberations to review the current Constitution of Sierra Leone Act No. 6 of 1991. All of us can be part of what is happening and make a difference in the democratic and constitutional development of Sierra Leone, “Land that we love…”

Long Live Democracy!

Long Live National Peace and Unity!

Long Live Sierra Leone!

 

 

Copy:

All Political Parties in Sierra Leone

All Diplomatic Missions in Sierra Leone

All Press and Media Houses in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Police

Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces

All Democratic Good Governance Institutions in Sierra Leone

All Civil Society Organizations in Sierra Leone

All Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Sierra Leone

All Tertiary Institutions in Sierra Leone

All Umbrella Institutions of Religious Bodies in Sierra Leone

 

Chairman's photo
The Chairman
Dr. Abubakar Kargbo

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