Months of lobbying of the members of the Parliament of Sierra Leone by the Freedom of Information Coalition (FOIC) has paid off with Parliament having decided that its Legislative Committee should give "consideration" to the Freedom of Information Bill that had been presented to it by the FOIC. The intent of Parliament was contained in a letter dated 9th June, 2006, to the FOI Chairman, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai.
Two months ago, the FOIC had received the public support of the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, APC Leader Hon. Ernest Koroma, and the Deputy Leader of the House, Hon. Elizabeth
Lavalie (SLPP). The FOIC Chairman, Mr. Abdulai, said that "consideration" of the FOI Bill by Parliament will give impetus to the FOI campaign in Sierra Leone, and stressed that "a freedom of Information Act would not be merely about policing, or, ferreting for information that could implicate the corrupt in public service; it will, importantly, help stimulate those variables that wi1l not only radically minimize poverty in our society, but, significantly generate wealth in our resource-rich country".
The FOIC plans mega concerts around the country to popularize the FOI concept by October, and plans to lobby the populace to pledge their support for FOI with their express signatures and thumbprints: "By October this year, we aim to have secured over 2 million signatures and "thumb prints of the citizenry expressing their support for the FOI Act...", said the FOI Secretary General, Oswald Hanciles.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.