By Mohamed K.M Bangura
Following the just concluded first round Presidential elections in Sierra Leone between 16 political parties on the 7th of March and no political party reached the threshold of 55% which gave space for a run-off that will take place on the 27th of March 2018,Now the body responsible for the media in the country that’s The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is deeply concerned about the increase in hate speech and tribal slants creeping into the conversation on the elections ahead of the run-off slated for 27th March 2018.
In a press released the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists views this trend of political discourse as ugly for the descent democracy and its potential to undermine the peace and stability of the Country.
SLAJ condemned and dissociated itself from any journalist who peddle hate speech and preach tribalism in their publications/commentaries/analyses on the elections.
All journalists and their media houses in the country were asked to resist any attempt by politicians to use them to promote divisions among the people.
As evident in the SLAJ National Dialogue Series in the run up to the elections, and the 2018 Presidential Debate Series, SLAJ continued to encouraged politicians, political parties and their supporters to focus on issue-based discourse around the elections rather than personalities or tribal/regional sentiment.