A cross section of civil society activities has recently raised serious concern over the spate of violence across the country ahead of the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

The Director of Institute for Governance Research (IGR), Andrew Lavalie is among these activists to express latest security concern, following the release of a new report ahead of the 2023 polls.

While launching the report called Sierrapolls, Andrew Lavalie bemoaned the spate of violence ahead of the 2023 general elections and called on the security apparatuses to up their strategies in professional manners to handle the tension in the country.

According to the civil society activist, hate speech and incitement form part of the issues that fan the flames of the current situation, with especially hate speech being a growing concern. He cited social media and political party meetings as a major platforms utilized for hate speech.

The IGR Report disclosed that in 16 by-elections held in the last two years, nearly 1 out of 4 Sierra Leoneans complain about violence, while 6% saw incidence of violence. The report also stated that the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) were seen as the least trusted security institutions compared to the military and other forces.

Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Mohamed Sidie Tunis, while addressing ECOWAS lawmakers at the opening of this year’s second extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament, expressed similar sentiments.

He furthered that there are early warning signs of security concerns that has the propensity to derail the smooth conduct of the 2023 multi-tier elections and therefore called for concerted efforts to nip it in the bud. He urged lawmakers to be proactive and ensure that there are peaceful elections in the region, come 2023.