The NCD Chairman, Dr. Abubakar H. Kargbo, told Her Excellency that his Commission came into being as a result of international pressure on the then National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC) as a wagon that would transform the country from the governing military regime to a full fledge and effective democratic state. Therefore, the Commission was at the initial stage established by the NPRC Decree No. 15 of 1994 and later by an Act of Parliament No 3 of 1996 charged with the responsibility of public education on democratic good governance vis-à-vis creating and sustaining awareness within the society on the principles and objectives of the Constitution as the foundational law of the land, educating and encouraging the public to defend the Constitution at all times against all forms of abuse and violation and cultivating a sense of nationalism, patriotism and loyalty to the state in every citizen etc.
He further revealed that his Commission has been yearning to meet her High Commission long since and now that he is granted the opportunity, he is very happy. NCD Chairman maintained that that his Commission has the constitutional mandate to educate residents and institutions about their civic rights and responsibilities with the aim of projecting the sovereignty of the state. “My Commission has been very effective to this call and doing its best with its limited resources”, he expressed.
Dr. Kargbo said that his Commission is currently constrained with capacity building and connectivity, ranging from vehicles with Public Address System to twining democratic institutions in Nigeria with the National Commission for Democracy.
NDC Programmes Director, Kalie Sillah, explained that NCD has a lot in the coming years more especially the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and the referendum on the Constitutional Review Process. He maintained that NCD is currently erecting flag poles and has embarked on promoting nationalism and patriotism using national symbols vis-à-vis the National Flag, National Anthem, the Coat of Arms, National Pledge, National Passport and National Currency reaching over forty thousand school going pupils with the catch phrase “Catch them young”. Director Sillah stressed that NDC is in need of support that would rightfully position it as the leading Public Education Commission on issues of democratic good governance.
In her remarks, Her Excellency (Mrs.) Gladys Modupeola Quist-Adebiyi maintained that her country is always ready to receive and support any country that knocked on its doors. She said that Sierra Leone trained Nigeria’s Civil Servants and by extension that Sierra Leone contributed immensely towards the growth and development of her country and that whatever support Nigeria is giving to Sierra Leone now, is only paying Sierra Leone back.
Responding to the issues raised by NCD, Her Excellency revealed that Sierra Leone and Nigeria have special ties that cannot be broken and therefore committed to ensuring that Sierra Leone’s democracy grows. She encouraged NDC to put it concerns on paper and forward it to her office and that she would do her best to pass the Commission’s concern to the rightful authorities in Nigeria. She equally urged NCD to work with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to develop a curriculum that would see the re-introduction of Civic Education in the country’s education system.
Thanking Her Excellency on behalf of NCD, the Communications and Public Relations Manager, Rev Gibrilla Kargbo, affirmed and thanked Her Excellency for the great work she is doing in the country and assured her that if NCD gets any support from Nigeria through her office, the Commission would use it to position democracy on a different pedestal.