The Native Consortium and Research Center has cautioned Sierra Leoneans to stay away from any unlawful violent protest that will lead to the loss of life, and destruction of properties like the August 10 protest.
The Consortium further stated that although they are diametrically opposed to the fuel increment. Proposed Electricity Tariff and Mobile Tariff Increments that are looming, they confirmed that they are not part of any so-called protest that will threaten Sierra Leone’s peace which they should all guard with every fibre of their lives.
Below is the Official Statement of the Consortium signed by the CEO, Edmond Abu Jr.
“Our lives begin to end, the day we keep silent about the things that matter”
“Firstly, let the Consortium restate that we are diametrically opposed to the increment in the pump price of fuel to Le 30 per liter but we could not do any public protest because of the current political climate in the country. And contrary to some people speculating on social media that the Native Consortium wants to protest, we want to inform the public that the Consortium has suspended all protests because of the unfavorable political climate. As a matter of fact, we advise all peace loving Sierra Leoneans to remain peaceful and stay away from any violence. Peaceful protest is a fundamental human right but any protest that will lead to insurrection, public disorder or that will threaten the overall peace of the nation like what happen on August 10, 2022 should be roundly condemned. Civilians and the police officers who died are still fresh in our minds.
Religious Leaders, Political Parties, the Media and CSOs should not keep a deafening silence waiting until something happens and start issuing press releases thinking that this is Government business, then you are not just a hypocrite but any lives lost you will be equally guilty like the perpetrators like it happen in August 10, 2023. The Consortium is sounding this same warning like we did before the infamous August 10 fiasco.
Secondly, we can’t over emphasis that peace is supreme. Everything you do, if you are a conman man, sports personality, a business person or a student, you will only exist when there is peace. So we are all duty-bound to strive for a peaceful Sierra Leonean.
The Native Consortium leadership has been part of protests from the era of the restoration of democracy in 1997 to the former war Lord May 8 2000 protest. We did one protest against former President Pa kabba, 2 protests against former president Koroma in 10 years plus and we have lead 3 peaceful protests against President Bio in 5 years plus. Therefore, protest is not new to Native Consortium, So it’s like someone expressing his love for water. No matter how much you love water, you will never love water like the fish that lives in water do.No matter how much you love protests, I don’t think there is any Sierra Leonean who has protested more than Edmond Abu Jr, the CEO of Native Consortium who has been to Pademba Road prison three times in the last 20 years for economic justice as the people’s advocate.
The Consortium is even opposed to any likely increment in telecoms tariff and went to court on this, yet Justice Adrian Fisher sent Edmond Abu to Prison for what he called contempt charges. Activists in the Southern Region wanted to storm Freetown with protest but I cautioned them not to because I am not very sure of the outcome and the strategy for the protest.
Fellow Sierra Leoneans, no political party is worth dying for. The best they will do for you is to fight for your dead body and your family suffer but those who are asking you to go die for them will never bring your life back neither will they bring their family to lead any protest. If August 10 can’t reach any body lesson then the choice is yours.
As a prisoner of hope I am too sure nothing bad will happen tomorrow and going forward, and we also call on the security forces to be highly professional not too use excessive force on any likely secure threat”