Paramount chiefs from the Eastern and Southern parts of Sierra Leone have called on fellow chiefs and people of the country to discourage the spread of tribal hate messages against each other, especially on social media, for the sake of peace and stability.

The call was collectively made on Wednesday 7th September 2022 at the head office of the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) in Freetown by Paramount Chiefs – Prince Lappia Boima lV, the Regional Chairman for the Council South from Kakua chiefdom; Mamayei Kargobai ll, Secretary-General of Councils of Paramount Chiefs in Bo; Foday Gulama, Adviser of the National Council of Sierra Leone from Kayamba chiefdom in Moyamba district; and David Farley Keili-Comber lV, Regional Chairman for the Eastern region from Mandu chiefdom in Kailahun district.

It follows concerns over the proliferation of what they described as “unfortunate statements” coming from social media users which they said have been a hindrance to peace and national cohesion, making it “worrisome”.

According to PC Boima, they thought it fit that their “voices be heard by the people of Sierra Leone”, highlighting the issue of tribal sentiments from various factions.

He said it could be some people have forgotten what happened during the eleven years of war and that people should reflect and learn from other destructions like the Rwandan genocide in the 90s.
Paramount chiefs are the foundation of this country, said PC Gulama, noting that people should understand that tribal sentiment will not solve anything for the country.

“I am very much connected to every part of Sierra Leone. The Kayamba chiefdom that I came from was from Kono district before discovering it in
Moyamba, and for us to understand that our people loved to bring people together, they were doing intermarriages.”

Advising he said: “we are talking that dispute and war can’t solve our problems, so we should know that our kids are coming and looking forward for us to stay united and work together.”

He said young people should be discouraged from spreading hate messages as the country needs development in this country, which cannot be achieved in a conflict situation.

Chief Kargobai ll said they were expecting their colleague paramount chiefs to have come forward to advise against when those messages were coming from other parts of the country.

She said:“I won’t blame them for what is going on. If we see our kids in bad deeds, we should advise them, and these things happen when people lose elections.”

While recounting how the civil war started in Sierra Leone, PC Keili-Comber lV pointed out that the constitution protects every Sierra Leonean, and that everyone needs to use it as a peace tool rather than the use of using arms and ammunition.

A similar engagement by section chiefs takes place today at the same office.