Also, the awareness program was directed towards building the confidence of Sierra Leoneans to participate in the 2018 elections, and over 200 students attended the session with support from the United States of America Embassy in Sierra Leone.
Giving an overview of UNIMAK's community engagements over the years, Mathew Kanu - Lecturer Mass Com said, Since its inception in 2005, the institution has been very proactive in building a stronger governance system in Sierra Leone. During the 2007 and 2012 general elections, the institution organized different training programs for paramount chiefs, youths and community radio reporters on their respective roles and responsibilities in those crucial elections.
Commenting on the significance of the program, Bintu Sudan Sesay, a first year student at the Mass Com Department admitted that, the awareness campaign was first of its kind where detailed explanation on electoral laws in Sierra Leone were discussed and understood. She added that with the knowledge gained, she could stand in any platform and deliver on election guidelines.
Addressing students at the Fatima College Auditorium, the Director of Academic Affairs Rev. Fr. Dr. Francis Sehdu Sesay said, the awareness program constitute package in the core values of UNIMAK; and These values include teaching, research and community engagement. He went on to say that UNIMAK has been organizing such sessions because, majority of the students are Sierra Leoneans and that they have the right to vote and be voted for in any election in the country.
Bombali District Voter Education and Training Officer, at National Electoral Commission Manty Turay informed students on the various election violations which she mentioned as: spreading false rumors, ballot stuffing, attempting to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the electoral process, provocation, intimidation, destruction of voters ID cards and political intolerance.
Manty Turay therefore admonished students to be good examples to others as their contribution to the electoral process happened to be relevant to sustainable development in Sierra Leone.
Explaining the role of Police in electioneering process, the Local Unit Commander Panlap Police Division Chief Superintendent, Gibril M. Turay cited section-2 of the Police Act of 1964 which guarantees the Police the right to provide security to citizens including NEC staff.
Chief Superintendent, Gibril M. Turay noted that for Peace and tranquility to shower in, students and members of the public as a whole must work within the confines of the law rather than engaging on ill motivated activities that have the greater tendency to disrupt the peace quiet moment of law abiding citizens.