Leadership Struggle, CSO Accuses NSA of Romancing With Politicians

A-Z Newspaper reports that Both the Bo district and Southern Regional social media platforms of the Civil Society Forum have been flooded with comments coming from the Focal person of Non-State Actors in Bo District Claude Sheriff declining the participation of NSA in the proposed civil society forum pillars or committee elections.

This has led some CSOs to allege that if NSA is withdrawing from taking part in the election show it might be romancing politicians, thereby mortgaging the intercity of the NSA which belongs to the Civil Society Forum in Bo District.

According to a correspondence dated 17 August 2022 from the Bo District Secretary of Civil Society Rev, Momoh Kamara “the Secretariat of the Civil Society Forum Bo District hereby writes to call on the attention of all committees or pillars to make a pronouncement date for the conduct of their elections on or before the 5th of September. Failure on the side of any pillar/committee will have them to blame. Note that the decision about committee /pillar elections is far overdue and therefore all are expected to comply as leaders who should leave by good examples.

” The correspondent went on to say that “all pillars/committee elections should be conducted within the pronounced election date i.e from 18th August 2022 to the 5th September 2022. Defaulters will be held responsible as the Moral Guarantors, Regional Conveners and the CSO election committee will take appropriate action against any committee or pillars flouting this memo. With regards to the above backdrop, the following Committee or Pillars are notified appropriately with immediate effect.”

The Bo District pillars or committees under the Bo District Civil Society Forum for which elections are to be conducted include Bo District Human Rights Committee (BDHRC), Child Rights Coalition (CRC), Bo District Budget Advocacy Network (BODBAN), National Election Watch (NEW), Non-State Actors (NSA), Bo District Education Committee (BDEC) and Disability Advocacy Committee (DAC) in Bo.

This statement was followed by text messages on social media from the head of Non-State Actors in Bo District, Mr Sheriif and it reads: Good morning secretary and colleagues of the Bo civil society. Let me respond by making a few clarifications and corrections for the benefit of other CSO regarding the notice from the secretary of Bo civil society.

First of all copies of the minutes and agenda were shared via What Sapp to all including non NSA members immediately after the national conference of NSA in April this year at Masiaka. This is enough to tell you that NSA is a national structure that regulates it including elections.

This is also enough to tell you that from inception NSA, NEW and BDHRC are not pillars or committees under Bo District civil society and these structures Don’t have what you call moral guarantors or conveners.

Lastly, we still have the Regional Chairman of civil society South in the person of Jeremy Simbo who we still recognize until the changes are done where necessary. I hope I have made myself abundantly clear. Thanks for your attention.

” Mr, Sherriff went on to say” Let me quickly make some clarity here. What ended up being the People’s Assembly was initiated by Kenneth Amadu primarily to bring CSO together for inclusion and peaceful co-existence within civil society or not to dictate to the national structures. I strongly believe it was a mistake or oversight by all and people should not be misleading others in the guise of the People’s Assembly.

Secondly, you engage the radio stations ten times I will engage twenty times on issues related to NSA, NEW, and BDHRC which you are not part of and know very little or nothing about (please take your time to read the operational document of the NSA).

Thirdly, we have as CSO’s legitimate structure for the district with the Chairman being Abdul Banya Brima, PRO Joseph Blackie, and Secretary Rev Momoh S. Kamara; we have started engagement as to who will be our next Regional CSO Chairman south after meeting with our current chairman Jeremy Simbo.

Lastly, I have seen parallel CSO structures coming up soon in the Bo district which will cause serious doubts in the minds of those we represent. I, therefore, advise at this point that we make ourselves more relevant with imaging issues now as we are close to elections. Thank you all.

” The Bo District Public Relations Officer of Civil Society Forum who doubles as the Director of PRIDE-SL, Joseph Blackie reacted by saying: “was Keneth Amanda in attendance at the People’s Assembly? As per integrity, is Jeremy still the regional Chair after his abrupt absence from the region for three-plus years?”

Mr. Blackie said “We want to see accountable and transparent governance exhibited by politicians and we as moral guarantors to good governance do not want to taste an atom of it.
It’s becoming scary.

According to A-Z Newspaper, some residents of Bo expressed their total disappointment at the way and manner the CSOS is behaving as do not want to follow the tenet of democracy.

Bockarie Thomas said that if there is a power struggle within the civil society cannot they speak with one voice for the voiceless, adding that it will be good for the civil society in the southern region to close their ranks and do the right thing for the benefit of the country.

Madam Thomas said that a house that is divided can never move forward.

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It could be recalled that there was a People’s Assembly f in 2021, designed to bring civil society organizations to enhance unity and critically look at burning issues happening in Bo District and find a solution to address them. It was also during the meeting decision was taken for the conduct of pillars/committee elections.

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