The Body of Christ advocates for a Godly Constitution


July 10, 2015

The Body of Christ is calling on the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) to show reverence to God by acknowledging Him in the very first section of the revised Constitution. In a day’s discussion/training session organized by Thorough Empowerment and Development for Women and Girls in Sierra Leone (TEDEWOSIL) at the former Special Court building on Thursday 9th July, they recommended the establishment of a Ministry of Religious Affairs in the revised statute.

The engagement, which attracted representatives from the four main umbrella groups within the Body of Christ in Sierra Leone – Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone (PFSL), Evangelical Fellowship of Sierra Leone (EFSL), the Catholic and Council of Churches in Sierra Leone (CCSL), was chaired by broadcaster Daniel Moseray, who opined that though politics had divided the people, they must shelve it aside whilst performing key governance functions like the revision of the country’s Constitution.

Chairman of CRC Sub-committee on Land, Natural Resources and the Environment, Yoni Emmanuel Sesay, maintained that when God created man he made laws and those laws were accordingly encoded in the Holy Bible and Quran.

Speaking on behalf of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Sierra Leone, Rev. Peter Kargbo stressed that the review of the Constitution was necessary since so many things had gone wrong with the 1991 Constitution. He reiterated that God must be prioritised in everything people do.

Father Mathew Kanneh represented the Catholic community; he made reference to religious leaders being advisers to government in most jurisdictions, whilst emphasising the need to produce an inclusive and participatory document. He summated his assurances in the following words: “Women are fundamentally present everywhere, they must be made agents of change and transformation in society.”

Father Kanneh concluded that the Constitution must be made available to everyone in the country.

“If God is not included in the Constitution, it would just be an empty paper.” This is according to Canon Veronica Thomas of the Council of Churches in Sierra Leone. Delivering a statement during the programme, she opined that as Christians they must always support the laws of government.

Canon Thomas pleaded with the CRC to maintain and retain the ‘No Trading on Sunday’ policy that was inaugurated when the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) dawned on Sierra Leone.

CRC’s Executive Secretary, Samuel Coker, appealed to the Body of Christ to consolidate their position in a position paper that would be presented to the Committee.

Brief presentations were made by representative of the Natural Resources sub-committee, State Policy and Human Rights and Information, Education and Communications sub-committees.

The highpoint of the engagement witnessed a succinct presentation by Society for Democratic Initiatives, SDI’s Head of Governance, Charles Kef Kobai. He prefaced his discourse by justifying the rationale for the revision of Sierra Leone’s 24 year-old statute.

Among other things, he recounted the horrid ordeals that characterised Sierra Leone’s 10 year-long civil strife. Rampant and blatant corruption aggravated by social malfunctions fuelled the rebel incursion. A war that emanated from the gaps in the 1991 Constitution as revealed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report.

“The 1978 and 1991 Constitutions give a lot of power and protection to political leaders/elites at the expense of the masses,” he said.

The keynote speaker emphasized that, “Too much power is vested in the presidency. The powers of the President must be separated, some to the Judiciary and Legislature.”

He concluded that out of the 28 world class minerals on planet earth, Sierra Leone has 24 but unfortunately the benefits of those minerals were not reflecting on the people let alone the nation. In his words: “No diamond should leave Sierra Leone until it is processed in here; that would bring value to the country.”

Mr. Kobai ended with the following words: “Our Constitution must be founded on the premise of respect for God.”