March 12, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The National Commission for Children (NCC) has succeeded in re-uniting pupils of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary school and Government Municipal Secondary school after a serious impasse.
In January 2019, there was serious skirmish between the two schools, resulting into injuries and arrest of some pupils, who were later charged to court and currently standing trial.
The cause of the fracas was not clear but reports were that it all started when a male pupil from Ahmadiyya School demanded that a girl from Municipal school, who was on her way home after school, hand him an American handkerchief in her possession because it was a property of their social club.
As a commission responsible for the safety and welfare of children, the NCC together with representatives from the police, Ministries of Education, Youth and Sports, Conference of Principals, Interreligious Council and Civil Society Organizations worked relentlessly to resolve the issue.
Individual and joint meetings spearheaded by the NCC Commissioner, Olayinka Laggah, were held with both schools to find out the cause of the conflict and resolve the issue.
The move has resulted into the development of a Peace Plan by both principals and teachers from the two schools with the NCC at the centre for the successful implementation of the plan.
Mrs. Laggah pledged her commission’s commitment to continue working with partners to ensure that the root cause of the conflict was addressed.
During the peace process, Head Girl of Municipal Secondary School accepted the apology tendered by the Ahmadiyya School and advised her colleagues to refrain from any act of violence, as they look forward to the restoration of a peaceful co-existence between the two schools.
There was thunderous applause from the audience following a peaceful handshake and hug from the two prefects.
President of the Inter-Religious Council, Sheikh Abubakarr Conteh, admonished the pupils to live in peace and harmony and be their brother’s keeper and not to be agents of violence.
Also, Community Chief, Mr. Williams, thanked the commission and stakeholders for the peaceful resolution of the matter, which he described as unfortunate. He called on pupils from both schools to continue to live in peace and embrace one another.
Principal of Government Municipal Secondary School, Samuel M. Sawyerr thanked the NCC and partners for the effort in resolving the stalemate but urged that the root causes of the conflict be addressed.