On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Politicians must cool down

We whole heartedly welcome the move by the Inspector General (IG) of police to stop all outdoor political activities and observe a cooling off period.
We refuse to jump into the debate about its legality or not, our support for this action is mainly because we feel that the country is slipping into conflict and somebody needs to apply the breaks.
This is against the back drop that on the 4th September the Kono incidents took place and 5
days later on the 9th September the Bo incidents took place. In our view the frequency of politically violent incidents and the period in between the two events shows that the security situation in the country is deteriorating.
This is why the step by the IG to observe a cooling down period is most welcome. No doubt it will be frustrating to the SLPP because they feel that they already have a momentum which they believe they must maintain.
Therefore they should be pitied rather than blamed if they feel betrayed. The APC will most certainly welcome the move, but let’s face it - they are
in government and they must do what is right in the universal sense to keep this country peaceful.
However the question of whether this move favours the APC and does not favour the SLPP is not the issue. The issue is what is good for our Country Sierra Leone.
That is why we would urge that this issue be looked at through national rather than political lens, and in the process acknowledging that it is all for the good of the “Land That We Love Our Sierra Leone.” Neither the APC nor the SLPP will want this country to go back to war. Neither the APC nor the SLPP will be able to enjoy their rule if violence erupts in this country. And of course neither party will want to rule at the expense of the lives of Sierra Leoneans.
This is why we believe that because the political climate is becoming too volatile with deaths already being reported, and because this nation must continue to enjoy peace and tranquillity, the politicians must observe a cool off period.
The cooling off period while affording us the opportunity to look back at what has happened and contemplate on where we are going, can also be used as a therapeutic healing period where the deep wounds within the social fabric can begin to heal.
The rebel war has done enough damage to our image as a country and to our national psyche.
Let us not allow party politics to further divide and push this nation to the brink again. There is only one Sierra Leone and we all must protect it regardless of our tribe, religion or politicalaffiliation.

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