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Waterloo community on governance talk

07,Apr 2017
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By Khalilu Sillah

Ahead of the 2018 general elections stakeholders in Waterloo community have held a discussion about citizens’ participation on issues surrounding governance in the country.

The issues discussed were qualities of a good leader, how to screen candidates vying for political offices, while others were warned against dancing and jubilating on the streets during political rallies. The stakeholders’ meeting attracted participants from all walks of life across the western rural area environs.

In the official opening of the meeting Councilor of Ward 342, Abu Bakarr Kamara, depicted the importance of voters’ registration, noting that registration happened to be a moral responsibility and was the first step of citizens’ participation to the 2018 general elections.

Commenting on the low turnout of citizens’ participation in the voters’ registration, the lead facilitator, Abu Bakarr Fofanah, said the low turnout was as a result of the fact that people no longer had confidence in their representatives in governance.

He stated that:  “Members of Parliament have not been accountable to their constituents about constituency development, particularly the funds which they received from government on behalf of their constituencies.”

Fofanah, however, encouraged people to register and vote as that would be the only way to making positive change and demanding their leaders’ accountability.

Alhassan Conteh, Youth Leader of Lumpa, disclosed that there were a lot of issues relating to citizens’ participation in governance, including their registration to vote and be voted for.

He said the low presence of politicians in communities during time of trials was responsible for the low turnout of citizens in the registration process, adding that politicians were only seen now in their communities when elections were round the corner.

Several other participants said they would no longer accept drugs, alcohol, food and money from politicians. While others stated that only those with integrity should be elected into office in a non-partisan manner.
The meeting ended up with several resolutions, among which were concrete action points to increase political awareness, promote and consolidate political tolerance as a way to improve the governance system in that part of the country.

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