February 14, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), in partnership with the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC), National Electoral Commission (NEC), Youth and Child Advocacy Network, Youth in Action Network and the National Commission for Democracy Monday, 12th February launched the elections civic awareness and participation campaign.
Reading a press statement at the main gate of the National Stadium on Syke Street in Freetown, Executive Director of Campaign for Good Governance, Valnora Edwin, noted that Sierra Leone was gearing up for an important event in the country’s democratic history – the conduct of the forth presidential and parliamentary elections after the civil war.
Ms. Edwin said the week of citizen’s engagement was designed to increase public awareness and voter education around the power of their votes, themed ‘Index Power’ My Sierra Leone My Responsibility.’
She said Campaign for Good Governance, a member of the Standing Together for Democracy Consortium, and its partners were pleased to announce the launch of a week of citizen’s engagement aimed at mobilising citizens to actively participate in the electoral process through providing various forums for public information about the electoral process in order to promote effective civic participation.
The CGG executive director disclosed that a range of activities would be rolled out, starting with a launch at Mabaylah Community in the east of Freetown, followed by an elections bazaar featuring various elections management bodies and stakeholders at the National Stadium on 12 and 13 February.
She said they would also be at the Approved School Grounds in the east of Freetown on the 14th and 15th February, Tombo Park on 16th and 17th February, while community voter education and mobilisation events and institutional outreach campaigns would be held across the country.
She furthered that the elections bazaar would be held in Freetown, Bo, Kenema and Makeni with booths erected by NEC, PPRC, NCD and the Sierra Leone Police headquarters.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Marcella Samba-Sesay, Chairperson for National Elections Watch (NEW), said the event was very important as it marked a milestone in the history of Sierra Leone for CGG and partners to educate citizens on the voting process, adding that the engagement would be of great help to especially first time voters.
Head of Media at the Sierra Leone Police Force, Superintendent Ibrahim Samura, said the police considered the move of CGG and their partners very important and timely, and that they were currently working with civil society organisations and other stakeholders in combating crime in Sierra Leone.
Supt. Samura said they would embark on sensitising youth on non-violence and drug abuse before, during and after the March 7 elections and assured that the police would provide security for polling stations, security for presidential candidates, local and international observers, during the elections period.
Also speaking, Louisa S. Gbassa, Assistant Electoral Officer at the Department of Training and Electoral Education, NEC, said they were at the highest peak of preparation for the conduct of the elections and that they were doing everything possible to ensure that election education was taken to all the corners of Sierra Leone.