The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is concerned, worried, and troubled after watching a video on social media in which the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Mayoral aspirant, Mohamed Gento Kamara, is seen campaigning in a mosque and appealing to religious sentiments for votes.
SLAJ vehemently condemns this type of campaign messaging from a political aspirant and further condemns the leadership of the mosque for allowing a politician to use their place of worship to campaign on such grounds.
SLAJ believes the 2023 elections is not about religion or tribe or region or any other extreme considerations but should be on issues that can develop Sierra Leone and raise the standards of living of her people.
“Religious tolerance is our last hope: it is the bedrock of our coexistence and our pride as a nation. A key component of SLAJ’s work during the 2023 elections is to combat disinformation and hate speech in all their forms. We will not allow this last bastion of our coexistence to be disturbed for political gains, “said SLAJ President, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla.
SLAJ is calling on all political aspirants/candidates to be mindful of their campaign messages and refrain from using divisive sentiments for political gains. The peace, security, and cohesion of our beloved country is our collective responsibility.
SLAJ also calls on the Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone (IRCSL) to take appropriate steps to prevent houses of worship from being used as campaign platforms to preach hate and intolerance.