In his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion Mr. Abdul Karim Fonti Kabia commended students for taking charge of the destiny of the country by organizing a program to preach non-violence.
He mentioned that Sierra Leone is at a crossroads, adding that, the action and inaction of citizens will determine the future of the nation in the next five years.
“If we choose to be positive over our negative actions, Sierra Leone stands to flourish and benefit us all,” he said. He used the opportunity to appeal to all Sierra Leoneans to redefine their love for the country, citing that citizens must use their voices, strength, education, experience and all that they have to regain the lost Sierra Leone.
Samuel Wise Bangura Head of News and Current Affairs at Africa Young Voices Media Empire, when addressing the students, stated that, the future of Sierra Leone lies in the hands of young people. He added that they (young people) have a major role in promoting peace before, during and after the elections.
He cautioned students not to fall for tricks of those politicians who make attempts to recruit them to provoke violence. The future of Sierra Leone, he said, is bigger than individual interest and he therefore charged young people to be more positive now more than ever.
Delivering the keynote address, Hassan Kallon, Project Officer of the Institute for Governance Reform (IGR) noted that the role of the university in enhancing peaceful election is very strategic. He went on to state that Sierra Leone as a country with economic disparities which should endeavor to practice a political culture characterized by wider participation, national development and non-violence.
Mr. Kallon went further to say that the universities should be at the center of upholding peace, noting that, 90% of voters across Sierra Leone comprise young people.
He charged students to be mindful that they have a great future ahead, adding that, posterity will never forgive them if they allow themselves to be complicit in plunging Sierra Leone into chaos.
He further called on young Sierra Leoneans to imitate the examples of young people in the West Africa sub-region and beyond; where young people use social media to promote peace and non-violence.