Peace Commission Engages Church Leaders on National Peaceful Cohesion

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Peace Commission Engages Church Leaders on National Peaceful Cohesion

By Abubbakarr Harding

The Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion (ICPNC) has on Friday 2nd September 2022 met with Church leaders and representatives at the ICPNC Conference Hall in Freetown.

In her presentation, the Executive Secretary of the Independent Commission for Peace and National Cohesion, Hawa Sally Samai, gave the audience a synopsis of what prompted instituting the Commission, the scope of its mandate, activities already undertaken, the successes and challenges they are grappling with.

She informed the church leaders from different denominations, that the upholding, maintenance and sustainability of peace throughout the country is not only limited to the Sierra Leone Police but is rather a collective responsibility as different sectors of society has a role to play.

“As Church Leaders it is good that you work closely with the Commission to preach peace throughout the country as such will create huge impact in enhancing peaceful co-existence,” she appealed.

The Executive Secretary lamented that it is very unfortunate that some people easily resort to violence means to make their voices heard or to register disagreement maintaining that it should be otherwise by making use of acceptable channels to express grievances and disaffections.

She unequivocally condemned the August 10 violent protests in some parts in Freetown, Makeni and Kamakwie which claimed the lives of innocent Policemen and civilians calling them acts of cowardice.

“Now that an independent Committee has been set up to investigate the August 10 violent protests it is our hope that all those responsible will be held accountable and pay for their actions,” she expressed optimism.

Hawa Sally Samai called for collective action to de-escalate political tensions maintaining that as the country prepares for the 2023 General Elections all efforts must be made at this material time to scale up awareness of the importance of upholding the peace, of peaceful co-existence and national cohesion by preaching peace messages.

“As religious leaders you have clearly defined constituencies in light of your congregations and I believe that through the messages that you preach their behaviour patterns could be positively impacted,” she stated and appealed to them to be very proactive in that direction.

The General Overseer of the Faith Healing Bible Church, Pastor Francis A. M. Mambu, stated that individuals cannot live well deserved lives if they are not peaceful adding that equally too a nation cannot be progressive if there is no peace among its citizenry.

He said church leaders need to be part of the peace campaign because the church happens to be the place where different people from different tribes meet with one goal adding how he has been doing such as a leader by using different platforms.

In an interview with one of the Board members of the ICPNC Rev. Shudankeh Johnson, he stated that engaging religious leaders is very much important as Churches and Mosques are conduits through which the peace is uphold.

He added that if there are places where there is national cohesion then it is the churches and mosques because they are places where people from different tribes with different political affiliations congregate, worship and socialize.

 

 

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