Last week young people of Koinadugu district had a confrontation with the police which led to the death of three and many people injured while 20 people have been arrested.
At the same time the police themselves have instituted an investigation and according to the Inspector General the Local Unit Commander and one of other police officers have been asked to step aside.
As a country there are gamuts of issues that we must look into which I will begin to shed light on.
FLUCTUATING POLITICAL PROMISES
There is nothing as bad as dashing the hopes and aspiration of people. When this normally happens it will only left the despair and we will all know that hopelessness breeds disgruntlement.
When politicians begin to raise the hopes and aspirations of young people, they only make them become ambitious but when these promises are not fulfilled it only make them discouraged and disgruntled.
This is what exactly happened with the young people of Kabala Township who were hopeful and aspiring towards the building a youth village and training college in a district that has been so deprived and neglected for a very long time.
According to the young people, it was no less a person than the Supreme Executive Authority of the country that promised to give them the much aspired to youth village and youth training centre.
After all these promises by President Koroma which inadvertently raised the hope of the young people, only for their hopes to be dashed his Vice President who told them that on internationally youth day that the youth village and training college will be moved from their district to Tonkolili district.
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHT
It was after their much raised hopes were dashed that the young people decided to call for a peaceful protest. We must aware that peaceful protest is not only a democratic right but a human right.
According to Mohamed Marrah, the youth leader of the district they decided to call a meeting to pacify the young people that they should remain calm and it was in that meeting that the police came and started shooting live bullets to the point that armless civilians who were holding placards were shot at.
Thus, until the police and every Sierra Leonean knows that peaceful protest is a right that the police must provide protection for then we will continue to see these confrontations.
DELUGE OF UNACCOUNTABLE POLICE KILLINGS
The flurry of unaccounted for police killings that have happening in this country should be nipped in the bud so that the police will not be doing it rampantly. The police should know when they should pull trigger and they should know when an individual is armless.
There have been police killing in Bo, Kono, Dove Cot, Lumley, Tonkolili and the list goes and except for the Krootown Road killing none of the other killings have held the police officers accountable.
Even in situation where commissions of inquiries and investigative committee have outlined recommendations, they have all fell on deaf years.
Therefore now that we have the Independent Police Complainant Board, the internal discipline wing of the police must be scrapped and allowed the Independent Police Complainant Board to do its work.
JUNGLE JUSTICE BY THE YOUTH
On the flip side of all of the argument, we must as a nation condemn the reaction of the young people to burn down properties of individuals and institutions in the state.
The action of the young people of Kabala to engage in jungle justice and take the law into their hands should not be condemned greatly.
I don’t believe in violence for violence but this is wake up call to the government that they need to come up with measures to tackle youth empowerment and employment which have become a crisis in the country.
THE BLAME GAME
It seems as if the Kabala issue has become a political charade in which political elements are blaming people that has nothing to do with the whole incidents.
I have seen on social people who want to score political points blaming the Bank Governor who came from the district and who according to people is also eying the Presidency.
Although Dr. Kelfala Marrah’s house was almost torched by the young people in Kabala, political elements are saying on social media that he motivated the young people to do what they do. This is just malicious and an attempt to bring a good man down just because of politics.
From my own information, had it not been for the presence on the Dr. Marrah on the ground, it would have been more than this.
In fact he was the one who told the leadership of the youths not to come out and they were been pacified in the hall when the police came. Why not blame the Vice President who made the President statement looked as untrue and sparked the whole violence?
My call to the Government again is to ensure that they implement recommendation of past police highhandedness and brutality and to ensure that they continue to engage the young people on issues constructively.