In his keynote address, the Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Abubakar H. Kargbo, underscored the need for the partnership agreement with the musical group that has been using music as a tool to educate the critical mass of the population of Sierra Leone about the need to promote and uphold peace, especially during elections. He noted that a critical mass of the country is uneducated and primordial, but can easily appreciate and adhere to messages when they come in the form of music.
Dr. Kargbo said the Commission should team up with the Artist for Peace and do the necessary work to ensure that the 2018 elections are not marred by violence noting that most elections in the past were fraught with violence. The Chairman expressed hope that the Artist for Peace will deliver even as he said that the 2018 elections will not be easy.
He lamented on the fact that the youth are in a critical position as they are almost always misused by some politicians with the use of narcotic drugs as an instrument to misguide and perpetuate violence in election periods. He said music could be used as an effective instrument to prepare the minds of the youth not to engage in any violent activity.
Alluding to the current political saga in Kenya, the Chairman noted that the Kenyans have learnt their lessons from the previous elections after they lost the lives of hundreds of their compatriots. He said instead of resorting to violent means this time they sought redress at the Supreme Court where verdict has been handed down in favour of the opposition party.
Dr. Kargbo noted that man was not born a good citizen rather it is nurtured and therefore with the agreement between the Commission and the Artist for PeaceSierra Leone, the two should cooperatewith each other in creating the good citizen in the people of Sierra Leone.
In his welcome statement, the Commissioner for the Northern Region who is also the focal person for performance contract with state house, Bai John Conteh, noted that the Commission is required to sign a minimum of four partnership agreements with institutions in 2018 that are relevant in helping the Commission achieve its mandate and one such partnership agreement is the signing of an MOU with the Artist for Peace Sierra Leone.
He said the MOU between NCD and the Artist for Peace Sierra Leone was born out of a project sponsored by UNDP that seeks to conscientize people to becoming good citizens. He said rolling out the UNDP project, the Commission will work with the Artist for PeaceSierra Leone to add to the Commission’s presence in every corner of the country. Commissioner Conteh said the MOU will cement the relationship between the Commission and the Artist for Peace Sierra Leone and will continue for years to come.
After welcoming the new commissioner, the host Commissioner, Benjamin Macfoy, noted that the partnership is crucial for the promotion of peace whilst noting that peace is a prerequisite for development. He said the Commission is pleased to partner with the Artist for Peace Sierra Leone and hope the relationship between the two institutions will continue to thrive.
Marian Samu, the Southern Region Commission, expressed her delight for being part of the occasion of signing the MOU between NCD and Artist for Peace Sierra Leone. She applauded the work of the musical group nothing that they have been doing a good work with regards promoting peace through peace messages in their songs. She said the Commission is not making any mistake in partnering with them.
The Public Relations person who also doubles as the Secretary for the Artist for Peace Sierra Leone, Aruna Wahid Dumbuya, applauded the event of signing the MOU with the Commission whilst noting that his group has been working hard to ensure that they promote peace in the country. He said other colleagues were engaged in singing songs either against or in favour of various political parties, but they choose to embark on doing songs to promote peace.
He said their group is targeting mostly the youth who are the most vital element in the society saying that music is a cool way of communicating messages. He noted that elections are approaching and this is why they should act now and begin to work on the minds of the youth before it is too late.