By KABS KANU :
The international community has spent so much money on civil society organizations, funding their activities , supporting their their expansion and development and training them to be a third, neutral force in the political metamorphosis of the country. But what these international organizations funding these fake civil society organizations in Sierra Leone do not know is that they are just funding another wing of the power-desperate opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ). The civil society organizations in the country are all mechanisms of the SLPP to grab back power in Sierra Leone.
The first suspicion Sierra Leoneans had was that these organizations are headed by people from the South/Eastern part of Sierra Leone , which is the SLPP stronghold. They all speak the same mother tongue in a country where tribe and political partisanship are not divorced . How Sierra Leoneans sat down and allowed this untenable state of affairs to emerge under the tribalistic government of the late President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah is really baffling.
Because of their modus operandi, which is to help citizens shape the culture, politics, and economies of their nation, civil society organizations are supposed to be neutral and non-partisan. They cannot be the mouthpiece of any political party because they are representing the citizens of the country. This is how they maintain the trust and confidence of the people. The bane of civil society organizations is non-political engagement. They must not involve in power struggle, ideological warfare or group interests. Their role is to serve the common good. Civil society organizations ARE FORBIDDEN FROM BEING THE PRESSURE GROUPS OF POLITICAL PARTIES .
It is with this in mind that we find it very troubling that Mr.Abdul Fatorma- Executive Director of the Campaign for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRDI), ONE OF THE LEADING CSOs in Sierra Leone – is a rabid supporter of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) , so rabid that he has no shame or ethical scruples to wear the party’s T-Shirt ( The same worn by the wife of MAADA BIO, the SLPP ‘s 2012 defeated presidential candidate and one of the present aspirants of the party’s flagbearership for the 2018 elections ) and with impish impunity posing publicly with her during a political rally.
Where is Fatoma’s neutrality and credibility as a leading civil society leader ?
The CHRDI adds this foot note to their public releases :
“Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) is a Rights based social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.”
If this is correct, it means they must be receiving funding even from the UN. And if so, is it not a case of duping these international organizations when they falsely parade as a civil society organization when they are nothing but the SLPP in disguise ?
It is a shame that the CHRDI, which RECEIVES INTERNATIONAL FUNDING to speak for the Sierra Leonean people does not represent the wider range of the citizenry. They represent only the South-East-oriented SLPP. And there are many more such so-called civil society organizations in Sierra Leone. Their top-level executive is composed of SLPP fanatics and they only speak the politically intolerant, one-sided and divisive language of the SLPP. They spend their time inciting tribal hatred and chaos in Sierra Leone. They never see anything wrong with troublemakers going on the rampage and looting and destroying private and public properties because when the government tries to take legal action to enforce the law, they appear with their cynical press releases calling for the immediate release of the criminals. A country is not run and developed like this.
Abdul Fatorma- Executive Director of the Campaign for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRDI) seen here in SLPP attire with Maada Bio’s wife
No wonder all many of our civil society organizations do whole day is to incite citizens to chaos and anarchy. It is part of the carefully-choreographed SLPP strategy for power, knowing they cannot defeat the APC in any credible elections. The CHRDI and their colleague civil society organization are just in Sierra Leone is to promote the SLPP legacy of political confrontations, confusion , coups and violent bush wars.
If these civil society organizations do not follow the protocol and internationally-established practice of their operations , the government should report them to their sponsors and move to have them lose their foreign financial sponsorship, which is sustaining them. The government could also institute measures to have their articles of incorporation revoked, especially if they are instigating chaos in the country.