Saturday, September 1, 2018

Sierra Leone as a young democracy must give a breathing space to freedom of speech and protest.

The yearly United Nations Heads of States meetings in New York, is set to start on September the 15th, 2018. I have seen and read on social media of it preparedness in different shape or form, catalogued in immense tension across the political spectrum on the impending public demonstrations and counterdemonstrations. The APC and SLPP are to lock horns on open public grounds. This is part of the tools of Democracy, as long as the demonstrations are peaceful. Though no human rights instrument or national constitution grants the absolute right to protest, such a right to protest may be a manifestation of the right to freedom of assembly, the right to freedom of association, and the right to freedom of speech. Sierra Leone as a young Democracy must serve as the beacon of hope to allow those freedoms prevail. Sierra Leoneans must understand that the right to freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protest are crucial in a democracy. The information and ideas air out would help to inform political debate and spread the essence to public accountability and transparency in Government. This is why Sierra Leone as a young democracy must give a breathing space to freedom of speech and protest. A person's right to air grievances without fear of retribution or censorship must be the fundamentals to democracy in our midst without endangering others while protesting, President Madda Bio is president for every Sierra Leonean, despite the political differences of opinion, he must be welcomed with peaceful demonstrations and counter peaceful demonstrations from peaceful citizens of Sierra Leone. The present SLPP party used to give the same honor and dignity to former president Koroma. This is reciprocal; our leaders must learn from it and accept the honor. This would not erode the honor and dignity of the presidency. It will help others pay attention keenly to where they have gone wrong and what needs to be done. This is the time for the ordinary Sierra Leonean to publicly speak out against perceived injustices and urging action. This would be a message to the present administration for a change of direction and move the country forward. The dissenting opinion that one must not express his or her freedom of expression is wrong and must be given a back seat. The former opposition party has done it to former President Koroma and now would be a payback time. This is becoming a trend and time is only the essence. This is just the Thought of the Day: Voice of Peace, news and comments. Editor In Chief, Umaru Jalloh.

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