A Statement from Bishops and Church Leaders, in Light of the Current State of Affairs in our Beloved Nation Sierra Leone
We first and foremost thank God Almighty for taking us through a peaceful elections. We also congratulate the National Electoral Commission (NEC) for conducting, and the people of Sierra Leone for participating in peaceful elections on the 7th of March 2018. We also thank the International community and all other well-meaning groups and persons for their support in ensuring a peaceful elections.
However, we have observed with great concern that in the wake of the announcement of the run-off Presidential Elections, the following have come to our attention:
That political leaders and stakeholders have resorted to the igniting of a high level of tribalistic sentiments that have the potential of plunging our nation into deep-seated tribal and regional conflict.
That political supporters on all sides are engaged in deliberately and blatantly sharing fake news and false information about each other with the intention of influencing the electorate against respective opponents. These false information, are very inflammatory and inciting. These are hate speeches circulated personally by individuals and through the social media. If this is not stopped immediately it may degenerate into inconceivable conflict which is not good for our nation. We already a history of eleven years a senseless and brutal civil war which claimed the lives of over fifty thousand Sierra Leoneans and left many men, women and children amputated, orphaned and widowed.
It has also been sadly observed that there are waves of attacks in various districts on individuals and business owners fueled by political intolerance and tribalism.
We would like to remind all and sundry that Sierra Leone belongs to all Sierra Leoneans and not to any particular group, tribe or persons. We unequivocally and outrightly condemn all acts of violence and political manipulations. We are reminding all political actors that the earth is the Lord’s, and that God will bring every work to judgement, whether they be good or bad.
We call upon the National Electoral Commission to be more efficient and conduct the runoff elections so as to avoid further suspicions. We adjure the general public and the entire citizenry of Sierra Leone to govern themselves accordingly.
We draw the attention of the general public to the dire consequences of such unethical and unruly practices such as the breakdown of Law and order, genocidal tendencies, civil and tribal conflicts. Any action or behavior with the tendency of undermining the God-given peace and stability we now enjoy as a country must be stopped forthwith. Let us all enjoy a peaceful co- existence in all our communities.
Be reminded that the word of God states that, WE SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT IN THE BOND OF PEACE (Ephesians 4:3).
Therefore as spiritual leaders, the conscience of the state, we implore members of the public, political parties, supporters, agents and electoral officers, that elections will soon be over and we will all have to continue living together in our respective communities after the run off.
We will conclude with the admonition of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:17-18 to “Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all”.
C. C. S. L, Catholic Mission, E. F. S. L, P. F. S. L