From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Police, Religious Leaders Unite Against Violence
By Aruna Turay and Dauda Koroma
Dec 17, 2010, 17:04

The Ross Road Police Division and the Masjid Tawheed Wa-Sunnah have jointly held a day’s seminar against acts of violence, anti-social behaviors, cultism, gangsterism, cliques, and drug abuse among youths.

The seminar organized on Wednesday 16th December 2010 at the Ross Road Police Barracks in Freetown attracted hundreds of participants including school principals and head teachers, students from various schools, traders, community and religious leaders.

Chairman of the ceremony, Sheik Hassan Kargbo, said the essence of the seminar was to dialogue on violence, cultism, gangsterism, and drug abuse among youths in schools, communities, and universities.

"We are here to chat the way forward with regards the unfortunate occurrence of violence amongst our youths, the future leaders" he said.

He furthered that the seminar was also designed to improve on the relationship among students, youth groups, religious bodies and law enforcement agencies through civic education. According to Sheik Kargbo, violence has escalated among youths and the threat it poses in the security of this nation has become a cause for concern not only to the police, but also to the nation as a whole.

He emphasized the need for proactive efforts in order to eradicate violence, noting that violence must be halted now before it becomes unmanageable.

He commended the organizers for what he described as a brilliant move aimed at assisting the police in the area of maintaining law and order.

Local Unit Commander (LUC), Ross Road Police Division, Superintendent Ambrose Sovula commended the Masjid Tawheed Wa-Sunnah for organizing such a laudable programme in his area of jurisdiction. He noted that the seminar will rebrand the minds of the youths, especially school going pupils, and encourage them to desist from violence.

Superintendent Sovula reiterated that one of the key responsibilities of the Sierra Leone Police is to fight crime and the fear of crime, adding that as a result of the recent rise in crime, especially violence related crimes such as anti-social behaviors, cultism, gangsterism, cliques, and drug abuse among others, the SLP has decided to work with religious groups within the ambit of the Local Policing Partnership Board (LPPB). LUC Sovula used the forum as an opportunity to call on parents and guardians, teachers, religious heads, traditional leaders, and community residents to assist the SLP in policing their communities and to also expose all sort of deadly gangs, cultists, cliques, and drug abusers operating in their communities.

Principal for the Ansarul Islamic College Sheik Faruq Adam Bah advised parents to be mindful of the kinds of video movies they allow their children to watch in their houses. He said most of these bad practices perpetrated by these misguided and ill-motivated youths are those they copied or imitates form the Nigerian, Ghanaian, and western movies that depicts violence and immoralities.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.