The former Vice President of Sierra Leone, Chief Alhaji Samuel Sam Sumana has raised serious concerns over the deadly protest that occurred on 10th August, 2022 in Freetown and in other provincial area in Sierra Leone
In a press statement dated 18th August, 2022, he stated that some five years ago in the second week of August precisely 2017,our nation was saddened by a devastating mudslide where hundreds of lives perished, property worth billions of Leones lost and inflicted permanent emotional distress to the immediately-affected compatriots. Below is what the former Vice President said in his press release:
“Today, like many fellow Sierra Leoneans, I am in deep grief over the recent incident of violence that occurred in the second week of August. As an Elder Statesman and your former Vice President, it is with profound sincerity of all purposes that I am sending this message to you; a message of pain, grief but equally saddled with love for our nation that happened again in the second week of August 2022.
“Our nation has witnessed several unpleasant situations ranging from natural or man induced calamities, including eleven years of civil war, disease outbreaks and other forms of disasters. But as a nation we have been resolute and resilient to cope with these unpleasant situations, and we need to do more to unite our people amidst our political differences. Last week’s unfortunate situation has cost us lives of peaceful citizens, police personnel and property worth billions of Leones to what one would describe as sad and regrettable that could have been conducted differently. The constitution of Sierra Leone guarantees the right to peaceful assemblies and association and must be respected in practice. As citizens on the other hand; whilst we have a right to peaceful assembly and association, these rights must be exercised within the confines of the law. This fundamental human right was recently echoed by the United Nation Special Rapporteur of Freedom to Peaceful Assembly and of Association; the advisory body to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Having said that, I implore the state security apparatus to consider allowing peaceful demonstrations that will collectively express, promote; pursue and defend the common interest of every Sierra Leonean.
“Needless to say these demonstrations should be directed towards specific purposes and not predicated on inciting and misguiding messages intending to provoke and cause mayhem. As a senior statesman, Global Peace Ambassador and your ongoing state servant of this nation; I call on the government of Sierra leone, the moral guarantors of our hard earned peace, our international partners, heads of political parties, the Inter-Religious Council, the civil society organisations and other eminent stakeholders to jointly come together to resolve this unwarranted situation. It is our general responsibility to our citizenry, the sub-region and the world at large to reaffirm our commitments as enshrined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to maintain peace and national cohesion in our nation, Sierra Leone.
“My fellow citizens it is with a heavy heart I call on you all to hold on to those values that have held us together as a nation. Never again should we allow ourselves to be divided by the pettiness of party colours; never again should we allow ourselves to be divided by regionalism, never again should we allow ourselves to be divided by tribalism, but to stay united to rebuild our nation in Unity, Freedom and Justice. I call on all to remember our fallen compatriots in our prayers. May God bless us all and may God bless our nation, Sierra Leone.”