Restore foreign investors’ confidence : Tone down the scare tactics and show of force in Sierra Leone

As the nation readily awaits the pronouncement of the Tripartite Committee’s recommendations after months of investigations into the conduct of June 24, 2023 election, fright tactics are uncalled for, and should not form part of the healing process.

Expectations are that the governing Sierra Leone People’s Party – SLPP should moderate the trending panic campaigns to earn themselves the much needed public trust, restore foreign investors’ confidence and move forward steady progressive state governance, rather than gun exhibitions all over the place.

Peace by itself can hardly come from war.

TONE DOWN THE PANIC CAMPAIGNS AND RESTORE INVESTORS’ CONFIDENCE

As in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who says; “Peace cannot be achieved through violence it can only be attained through understanding,” the current display of guns all over the place depicts a typical atmosphere of an armed conflict situation. It also paints a picture as if Sierra Leone has rapidly reverted to another armed struggle.

Yet the country is no longer at war. So we ask for the exact whereabouts of all our peace experts? What are they doing or saying about the trending proliferation of fire arms across the country? Stakeholders must thus tone down the scare tactics and give respite to the people by enhancing free movements.

On the other hand there is huge fear among members of the business and investment communities amid an atmosphere of gradual build ups with panic running wild. Hence the urgent need for confidence and trust restorations from the top at home and in the country’s diaspora communities so that Sierra Leone can once be reconsidered as one of the perfect investment destinations in the world.

The Tripartite Committee which has been engaged in probing electoral inaccuracies found in the June 24, 2023 poll has completed their work which they will make public on 19 June 2024 along with their recommendations. Theirs is not warfare training but mere paperwork throughout the last twelve months so why the unveiling is expected to be done through a weapons exhibition? Don’t scare your vulnerable people with guns for peace and transformative national are the most paramount things Sierra Leoneans need moving forward. Therefore moderate the happy trigger warmonger security personnel roaming around with guns.

While the Tripartite Committee recommendations are to be officially declared, detailed aspects of its final outcome have long been disclosed by several government and presidential spokesmen, with some saying that it won’t remove President Julius Maada Bio from office. Some had earlier said that there will be no rerun of the June 24 polls as the only competent body to order a rerun of the June 24 election is the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone.

The co-chair representing the SLPP premised his argument on judicial solutions. Additionally, a Western diplomat also opined that a rerun of the election will be unrealistic. Others had initially encouraged their membership and followers to refrain from pre-empting the outcome of the Tripartite Committee recommendations, all in furtherance of managing expectations from both sides of the political conflict.

Nevertheless, the governing SLPP looks very much happy with the expected outcome especially wherein it won’t dethrone their leader and president from office. This is strongly backed by fright tactics of proliferation of arms by security personnel thereby disturbing the peace.

With June 19 being the slated date for the completion of the work of the Tripartite Committee, panic has already gripped the country right from Freetown down to the least villages, as armed police and military personnel are everywhere for only God knows why.

The June 24, 2023 election was declared over with President Bio as winner. Nothing has changed that since last year to date despite challenges by the opposition All People’s Congress – APC that ‘the SLPP and Bio didn’t win the election’. Yet the APC failed to go to court irrespective of widespread criticism of the process by domestic and foreign observers which caused the probe into the election for the last one year.

To all Sierra Leone politicians and their followers, the contest has come and gone and the country remains as it is. Therefore in as much as the outcome of the Tripartite Committee’s recommendations is expected in a few days’ time for the benefits of the political parties, the peace and stability of the country must be highly considered as the most paramount treasure to all and sundry.

Therefore there is no need for false alarms to cause the tension already being hyped by the security sector. And as professionals of both the Sierra Leone Police and the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, your operations should not be conducted to scare peaceful citizens. Thus brandishing live fire arms is unethical and must be curtailed moving forward. Hence security personnel should and must conduct themselves within the legal framework of laws of the land and in sync with international best practices as well as in line with International Humanitarian Law in order refrain from disturbing the peace of the nation.

Government as manager of the whole situation is expected to handle the issue of the announcement of the end of the Tripartite Committee work and the recommendations thing not to appear as if the country is on standby to engage in warfare campaign with Hamas or Russia.

Apply some perfect crisis management along with tailored communications strategy to engage the public instead of guns being brandished everywhere.

The declaration of the work of the Tripartite Committee over and making its recommendations public is not a renewed battle for Fort Thornton–State House.

So, FORUM NEWS is thus calling on all key players in the process including the leaderships of both the police and the military to guide their personnel to tone down the alarming manoeuvres since Sierra Leone is not at war.

Government on that note should be engaged in activities aimed at restoring public trust, confidence and encourage direct foreign investments not with a gun in one hand while calling business friends with a bomb in the other hand. Guns and bombs can only help in isolating Sierra Leone rather than help repair public trust and foreign investors’ confidence.

CULLED FROM THE FORUM NEWSPAPER

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