In a bid to strengthen its relationship with the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone (HRCSL) and forge a synergy for better collaboration in promoting democratic good governance in Sierra Leone, the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) paid a courtesy call on the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone at its Tower Hill office in Freetown on Thursday, 30th August, 2017.
The meeting which was hosted in the conference room of the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone saw in attendance the Chairman, Commissioners and other senior staff of HRCSL whilst on the part of the National Commission for Democracy, the Chairman was accompanied by his Northern Region Commissioner and managers together with some other staff of the Commission.
In his statement, the Chairman of NCD, Dr. Abubakar H. Kargbo, underscored the need for a collaborative engagement between the two commissions noting that the history of the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone is the history of NCDHR. He said the human right component was severed from NCD noting that the detachment was a prudent decision due to the colossal amount of work that rested on the NCDHR with the separation effected on the basis of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The Chairman, however, remarked that the separation should not debar the two commissions from cooperating with each other, thus the reason for his commission calling on the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone to reaffirm its commitment for further cooperation.
Reiterating the need for better collaboration between the two institutions, Dr. Kargbo noted that cooperating with each other would add value to their work even as he called for the signing of an MOU which he said would further cement and strengthen the synergy in the relationship.
The Northern Region Commissioner of NCD, Bai J. Conteh, alluded to the challenges governance institutions face in the Country even as he suggested the need to forge an umbrella governance organization in order to push policies and also advocate for their interests. He said good governance institutions play a vital role in the governance of the state, but are fraught with challenges with the express need for an umbrella organization to address them.
The Chairman, Human Rights Commission, Rev. Dr. Usman Jessy Fornah, commended the NCD for its hard work which he said was what led to the formation of the Human Rights Commission as he emphasized the need for collaboration between the two institutions. He said the courtesy call on his commission by the NCD is a clear indication that NCD is ready and willing to promote democracy in the country.
Rev. Dr. Fornah applauded NCD for engaging his commission on the need to forge a synergy with a focus on collaboration between the two institutions. He assured the NCD Chairman of his Commission’s willingness to collaborate with NCD. He said his Commission would do a draft MOU which would be shared with NCD and signed on the basis of mutual consent.
The Chairman also supported the idea for the formation of an umbrella organization for all good governance institutions in the Country saying that with such a body these institutions would advocate for their interests and promote good governance in the country.
Commissioner Rashid Dumbuya of HRCSL applauded the visit by NCD saying that he is happy that NCD visited the HRCSL whilst noting that they have also been contemplating on the need for the signing of an MOU with the Commission. He said there is every need for a symbiotic relationship between the two as they are intricately linked to each other. The HRCSL Commissioner expressed his support for the idea to form a good governance umbrella body saying that the more they are together the stronger they would be.
The Executive Secretary of the HRCSL, Joseph B.M. Kamara, applauded the move made by NCD for forging a stronger tie with the HRCSL saying that HRCSL is an independent offshoot of NCD. He further noted that one of the mandate of the Human Rights Commission is to collaborate with non-state actors and government institutions in the interest of pursuing its good governance functions.
By Ibrahim Siraju Bah