Several Sierra Leoneans have taken to social media to react to the government’s decision to embed chimpanzee and other animals on the visa pages of the new passport.
Most of the reactions at current has been negative with some calling on authorities to make some amendments.
Chief among Sierra Leoneans that took to social media to comment on the new design are Academic Dr. John Idriss Lahai, former New York Times Researcher, Jaime Yaya Barry and Journalist Amadu Lamrana Bah among others.
Author and Gender Expert, Naasu Fofanah questioned the rationale used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to use an ape on the visa pages.
There are also concerns from some that the featuring of a chimpanzee will have racist implication in the future.
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Journalist, Chris Wizo termed the passport as “Animal Farm” and pleaded with authorities to remove reptiles because he believes that it will affect people suffering from ophidiophobia -the fear of snakes.
He added that lion is widely known as the animal used in Sierra Leone as it is present in the nation’s Coat of Arms and Currency.
“How a Chimpanzee became our national animal is what I don’t understand?” he inquired.
On a positive note, however, the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary doled praises on the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Immigration Department for the move.
The sanctuary expressed their delight by appreciating authorities for their support done by giving such recognition to the nation’s national animal.
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The new passport has already received criticism before now with some Sierra Leoneans expressing anger after government announced that it will cost the sum of $100.
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